Forza Horizon 3 launches later this month and it’s by far the most anticipated game for me in the racing genre for me this year. When I got thinking about it, however, I realized it is not only my most anticipated racing game this generation thus far, it might also have the potential to be the best racer this gen so far. There’s been plenty of great entries into the racing genre this generation but will Forza Horizon 3 be the best yet?
That’s right, Forza Horizon 3 will take players to the beautiful environments of Australia. This is perhaps one of the most enticing features of the latest entry as it will likely prove to be one of the most beautiful locations in a video game yet. In Forza Horizon 3, Australia is the home of the Horizon Festival. As one of the most beautiful and varied countries in the world, Australia makes the perfect setting for Forza Horizon 3 and the team at Playground has translated the Land Down Under into the largest and most diverse open world ever seen in the Forza Horizon series. Just like the real place, the Australia of Forza Horizon 3 is absolutely massive – in fact, it’s is twice as big as Forza Horizon 2’s map. More importantly, Forza Horizon 3’s vision of Australia captures the spectacular natural beauty, the tremendous diversity, and the environmental variety that makes the country one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.
Australia’s natural beauty abounds in Forza Horizon 3. From exploring bioluminescent caves that look like something out of a science fiction movie, to skipping across the beach and skimming the ocean surf as you speed past the famed “Twelve Apostles” limestone stacks, there are driving experiences in Forza Horizon 3 that players have never seen before in a Horizon game. Forza Horizon 3 is packed full of incredible diversity. There’s the famed dusty Outback that will be a test of any car’s abilities; blasting through the dense and lush rainforests; testing your driving skills on city streets – the unique driving experiences in Forza Horizon 3 seemingly never end.
If you have played one of the Horizon games before then you surely know that the game centers around a festival event. This time, you’re not just a participant in this event; you are the boss. As the main promoter and planner, you can customize the Horizon event to your exact specifications. With Blueprint, you can take any of the hundreds of pre-created events in Forza Horizon 3 and customize them to your exact specifications. That can include things like changing the route for a particular event, the time of day and weather conditions, the eligible cars, event restrictions, and more.
Should you choose to play any of your friends’ Blueprint events, you’ll earn the same rewards and the same fans that you’d earn for doing the “preset” event built into the game. Between prebuilt events, your own customized events, and those events that your friends dream up, Blueprint provides a virtually limitless stream of events and fun. But it doesn’t stop there.
Remember Bucket Lists – those lists of special challenges that every player should try before leaving the Horizon Festival? Blueprint works with them too. Players can use the Bucket List Blueprint to create brand new challenges, using the same tools that the game designers use. Choose a challenge type, the car you wish to use (including its livery and tuning setup), set the conditions, choose the music, give it a name, and set the difficulty by completing the event yourself. Then you can send that Bucket List Challenge to your friends as a direct challenge to see if they can top your score.
You might be asking yourself “Wait, what… is that a Warthog in Forza Horizon 3” and yes, indeed it is. The classic Warthog is made available in Forza Horizon 3. The 2554 AMG Transport Dynamics M12S Warthog CST is a civilian transport alternative to its militaristic cousin, the M12 Force Application Vehicle. What it may lack in brute force – you won’t find a turret on this version – it more than makes up for with its 720 bhp twin turbo V8, making it significantly faster than its FAV counterpart. The Warthog CST in Forza Horizon 3 is also ideally suited for the rough and tumble landscape of Australia.
What’s best about this news is that this is only one of 350+ cars that will be in Forza Horizon 3 at launch. That’s a truly impressive garage of cars for one game. Every car is recreated with ForzaVista™ detail including full cockpit views, working lights and wipers, and new vehicle types bringing all-new driving experiences never before seen in Forza.
If there was ever one statement about the Forza Horizon series that would be so undeniable that one could actually call it incontrovertible is the fire music playlists. Thankfully, the selection has also just been announced recently. My favorite playlist? That’s the one from Epitaph records:
- “Naivety” by A Day to Remember
- “This Loneliness” by Avion Roe
- “Anxiety” by Bad Religion
- “She’s A Blast” by Beautiful Bodies“
- “The Gold Song” by Bouncing Souls
- “Spineless and Scarlet Red” by Descendants
- “It Remembers” by Every Time I Die
- “Make Me Dumb” by Joyce Manor
- “Elephant” by letlive.
- “Raise Your Voice” by Obey The Brave
- “Get It Right” by The Offspring
- “Greed” by Pennywise
- “ISUA” by Plague Vendor
- “Fall Back Down” by Rancid
- “Racing Toward a Red Light” by Saosin
- “Gold” by Sleeping With Sirens
- “Palm Dreams” by Touché Amoré
- “Come Around” by Transplants
However, there’s plenty of variety in the full tracklist which can be found on the Xbox Wire website.
Now, I wouldn’t describe myself as someone that needs to be on the bleeding edge in technology but I am happy to own a 4K/HDR TV. Let me tell you from personal experience, it is simply stunning. There’s nothing to show you the true benefits of HDR unless you see it for yourself – something which is now a lot easier with Microsoft’s new Xbox One S console and Forza Horizon 3 is one of the very first games to make use of HDR technology to bring a richer contrast of colours to all compatible TV sets.
On Xbox One S, these skies can look better. “It’s skies HDR brings to life in our game,” Fulton said.
“It touches everything, but when you look at those skies, when you look at the clouds and suddenly there is so much more range in the whites and the off-whites and the definition there, it is quite astonishing.”
The Xbox One S’ HDR support adds a higher contrast ratio between lights and darks, the idea being the tech brings out the “true visual depth” of your games. Of course, you’ll need a telly with HDR to see the difference in the first place.
If you stuck around to read the article then congratulations because you get to see the bonus 6th reason!
Did you ever think you would see a Lamborghini Centenario on a beach? Is it the coolest thing you’ve ever seen in a racing game? This and all of the above is waiting for players as Forza Horizon 3 launches on September 27, 2016.