Forza Horizon (Series) Review
Posted: 9 months ago, last updated 2 weeks ago.
Author: Andy Robertson.
There may be 420 cars to earn and race against other players, but it’s the world you race through that stands out. Seasons change, leaves fall, lakes freeze or the summer heat shines off the tarmac. Each day the sun rises and sets, and different weather blows in to complete the sense of immersion.
This isn’t just a world to race in but one to freely explore. Uniquely in racing games, this is distracting enough to make players pull over and just watch the view changing in front of them.
Challenging family members to set the fastest times on particular challenges and races is a popular way to enjoy the game together. Finding the right place to break, or the racing line that saves seconds, parents and children egg each other on to improve their times and get a genuine understanding of driving and racing mechanics along the way. Forza Horizon 4 also has a battle royale mode called ‘The Eliminator’. 72 drivers compete against each other in frantic head-to-head races where only one driver can come out on top.
With its changing weather, day–night cycle and beautiful British landscape, there’s also considerable enjoyment to be had from finding the best views and sharing them with each other. Then there’s a Forza Horizon 4 Lego Speed Champions purchasable add-on that turns the cars and landscape into Lego. Families and younger drivers enjoy exploring the Lego valley and collecting bricks for items in their Lego house and garage.
Rating: PEGI 3+, ESRB EVERYONE
Release Date: 25/09/2018
Platforms: PC and Xbox One
Players: This is a single player game. You can play with up to 72 players online. Single-player on one system, with Xbox Gold Live online multiplayer for 2–12 people and Xbox Gold Live co-op for 2–6 people. For split-screen racing Forza Motorsport 6 or 7 is a better option.
Forza Horizon 4 offers Passes, VIP Memberships and Packs to access exclusive cars, double credits rewards, special item maps, a free player house, and vanity items. You can buy these individually, via seasons passes or with deluxe versions of the game.
This game is free with Xbox Game Pass.
Forza Horizon 4 received a PEGI 3 and is suited for all persons. The examiners report expands this rating with the following: Players can, however, intentionally crash into roadside objects and other cars while driving. As a result, cars can sustain visible damage, including scratched paint, cracked windows, and dents. In addition, some car parts, such as side view mirrors, can detach from cars due to the impact from collisions. It is not possible for any driver depicted in any car to be injured or killed. There are no visual representations of bodily injury or death to any human depicted in the game, whether it be drivers in cars or the spectators who line the track.
Previous Forza Horizon games are also PEGI 3 apart from the first game Forza Horizon with was PEGI 12 and ESRB Teen.
Users Interact: The game enables players to interact and communicate with each other, so may expose players to language usually associated with older rated games.
A range of customisable settings in the general "Driving Assists", as well as switching off damage and tyre wear make the difficulty highly flexible. The rewind option enables you to redo some driving if you crash or miss a corner. You can also specify car and tyre volumes separately. There is the option of voiced advice for driving. The majority of menus are narrated. There is vibration feedback for audio cues when the tyres loose grip, that can be disabled.
Note: When exploring the open world, the selected assists won't take effect. However, if you set a Waypoints via the map where you can select a destination route. Useful preset layouts are 8 (triggers not used), 14 (controls all on left stick ideal for chin controls), 16 (useful for one left-handed controls).
How you can adjust the challenge of play, and assistance the game offers when you fail or get stuck.
Select Difficulty: Select difficulty from a range of presets.
Customise Difficulty: Customise different aspects of the game.
Adjust Speed: Adjust the overall speed of the game, or rewind play for a second attempt, to ease reaction times.
Assistance When Stuck: The game notices if you get stuck and provides assistance, such as skipping levels, hints or tutorials.
Assistance With Controls: You can get the game to assist aiming, steering, reloading, jumping, running etc.
Practice Area: You can practice freely without opponents or time pressures.
Tutorials: There are helpful tutorials, instructions and tips.
How much reading or listening comprehension is required, and how accessible this is.
Moderate Reading: Moderate reading required.
Large Clear Text: Text is large and clear, or can be adjusted to be.
Large Clear Subtitles: Subtitles are large and clear, or can be adjusted to be.
Any spoken content has subtitles: All spoken content has subtitles, or there is no speech in the game.
How you control the game, different options for alternative inputs and whether you can remap these settings to suit your needs.
Required inputs for the game, or that can be setup with remapping.
1 Button: Can play with single button.
1 Stick: Can play with 1 stick.
Multiple Buttons & Single Stick: Can play with multiple buttons and a stick.
Mouse And Keyboard
Mouse Alone: Can play with just the mouse/mouse button/mouse wheel.
Mouse and Keys: Can play with mouse and multiple keys.
You can customise the controls for the game as follows:
Remap Buttons: Re-map all buttons/keys.
Remap Sticks: Remap the stick controls to buttons/keys.
Remap Mouse and Keyboard: Remap mouse and keyboard.
Holding Down Buttons Optional: Holding down buttons not required or can be turned off or switched to toggling the action on and off.
Rapid Pressing Optional: Quick, repeated button pressing not required or can be skipped or disabled.
Vibration Optional: Controller vibration not used in the game or you can disable it.
Adjust Mouse/Stick Sensitivity: Adjust how sensitive mouse/stick controls are.
How you can adjust the visuals to suit your needs, and offer additional information if you can't hear the game.
High Contrast Mode: You can adjust the contrast of the game to be high-contrast.
Audio Cues for Visual Events: Audio is provided to indicate visual events.
Colourblind friendly: Game doesn’t rely on colour or can switch to colourblind friendly mode.
Clear Interface: The game navigation, maps and information are clear to read, large or adjustable.
Adjust Head Up Display: Remove or resize head-up display to remove distraction and make more visible.
Windows has extensive accessibility features. Some, like colour correction, work with games. Lots of accessibility software can be used with PC games, from voice recognition to input device emulators. Xbox One has a system features, the excellent co-pilot share controls mode and adaptive controller support for all games... read more about system accessibility settings.
Supported by PlayabilityInitiative
The following games are like Forza Horizon. They address a similar topic or offer a similar way to play. They are good options to play next and also good alternatives to Forza Horizon for younger age ratings.
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