Forza Motorsport is a very popular racing video game series that’s exclusive to Xbox. Starting back in 2005 on the original Xbox console and have been adding a new release every other year ever since. But in 2012 they created a new series to be released every opposite year of the main series known as Forza Horizon, so far they have released two of these popular spin-off games. And Forza Horizon 3 is expected to be released later this year. It’s yet to be confirmed but it’s almost a certainty that we will see its’ release. (we will hear about it by E3 at the latest, is my guess) But, if it does we may have a serious Game of the Year contender for 2016.
In many video game franchises, sequels can often ruin what made the game series so great to begin with. But, Forza has managed to keep it’s head above water so far with it’s total count of eight games with both the main series (the latest game was Forza Motorsport 6 in 2015) and the spin-offs. Their lowest aggregate review scores for any game in the franchise is a 79 for Forza Motorsport 5 which was released in 2013. All seven of the other games have been at least a 85 or higher. This is incredibly impressive for a franchise that’s released eight games in just over a decade.
Both of the games in the Forza Horizon series have scored 85 and 86, and it seems likely that the third game would be somewhere along those lines of quality. And with scores that high, it’s a good possibility that it has a shot to be in the running for Game of the Year. Even though there are a lot of AAA titles that have been announced for 2016 but not yet confirmed, the more of them that get pushed back, the better chances it has.
Again, also being a console exclusive, I find that developers are able to really put forth a little more effort to get the game to work well on one console vs games that are on multiple platforms. This isn’t always the case, but just an observation of mine. Plus, this is the third game in the franchise to be released on the Xbox One. (Yes, the Xbox has already been out for nearly three years, how time flies) So, they should have the new console really figured out by now, to help push their game just that much further.
The Horizon series helped to keep the series feeling fresh, and I feel like it helped to revitalize the franchise in a way that also allowed for them to release a new game every year. There are a lot of game franchises that have been able to capitalize on sales by releasing a new game every year, usually using multiple studios to accomplish this. It also, reinvigorates the series with a fresh game annually.
But a big question I have isn’t whether or not Forza Horizon 3 will be released, (because I’m very confident that it will) but will they keep making more entries in the Horizon series? It was a spin-off after all, so will they make Horizon 4 and beyond, or will they create a whole new spin-off trilogy? This could begin a new era of spin-offs to help keep the series fresh for another four years.
What do you think? Does this game have the potential to be Game of the Year material? Should they keep making more Forza Horizons, or just leave it as a trilogy and start a new trilogy to be released semi-annually? So many questions that only time will answer. But in the meantime, leave your thoughts in the comments below.