I don’t get hooked much on games, but when I do they involve open maps, loads to do and no strict path to follow through the game.  My recent history with such games includes just two.  Forza Horizon 3 and Far Cry 5.  This Christmas it’s all about Forza Horizon 4.

There’s no doubt I loved Forza Horizon 3 more than “usual” because it was based in Australia – Aussie locations, scenery, cars, themes.  It’s for this reason the Poms will love Forza Horizon 4, but having played it now for 2 and a half hours it seems the location being “home” doesn’t much matter.  This game is utterly brilliant fun.

Horizon 4 is similar in so many ways, yet new in many others – just enough to keep the enthusiasts excited, and not too upset either.

It’s one big map, but instead of introducing an additional snow map for ice racing and other such challenges, this entire map can progress through four seasons of weather.

The huge lake will ice over in Winter tempting you for a speed run, the leaves will fall in Autumn making for a very nice scene, yet the whole place is the same – just like real life actually.

There is just one festival site – so you’re not building new festivals, you’re just unlocking new seasons, and new challenges.

Speed cameras are littered across the map, as are the sign boards to knock over – in this game there are “fast travel” boards as well as “influence” boards.  No more XP here – this game is all about the influencer.

Earn influence, you progress in the game.

In a nod to the viral nature of the dances in games like fortnight there are dance moves to own, there are clothes to buy and wear – that’s all for the kids to get excited about, but spinning up a pair of rare pink boots doesn’t do it for me.

I’m here for the cars.  And in a taste of reality –  you get to own a house in Horizon 4.  I’ve got two – but hey, It’s all about the property market right?  This is a place to keep your cars – virtually, as well as modify and tune them.

The festival site is a place to buy and sell them too – like before, but save your coin there’s some pricey models in there.

Driving style is much like Horizon 3, not quite SIM like, but still the variation in the cars and performance is staggeringly realistic. Damage is cosmetic and watch out on the roads for Buses and Tractors too.

While I didn’t get much into it, it seems the game is far more social than ever before too – I’m always online – as part of “Horizon Life”.  Other cars I pass I can “chat” to using the D-Pad commands, looking to co-op or challenge as you choose.

All in all, the map is similar – with hills, a quarry, worksites and other random areas.  No long airstrip this time – a short one, plus a very short drag-strip at the festival – the high speeds in this game come on the open motorway.

There is so much to see, so much do to.  “Areas” to find, “Sights” to discover, boards to smash, races to run, and yes, barn finds to be uncovered.

I love it – a lot.  It’s as compelling as its predecessor, but with an all English look mixed with country villages too.

I’ve no doubt a more comprehensive reviewer will pick the life out of this game, but for me, it’s relaxing, enjoyable and good glean fun.  You’re in for about an hour of gameplay to get through the introductory “stuff” which is great anyway, then it’s off on your own to roam and enjoy.

Forza Horizon 4 is out in October – pricey stuff as always, but worth it for any lover of cars and car games.

[schema type=”review” rev_name=”Forza Horizon 4″ rev_body=”Great game, new location, same concepts with some new little twists” author=”Trevor Long” pubdate=”2018-09-24″ user_review=”5″ min_review=”0″ max_review=”5″ ]