8 Reasons Forza Horizon 4 Is One Of The Best Racing Games Ever Made | PC Review

8 Reasons Forza Horizon 4 Is One Of The Best Racing Games Ever Made | PC Review


Hello and welcome to Rock Paper Shotgun! Recently, my fellow video person Noa took
a holiday to Dragon Quest 11, but I’ve decided to spend my virtual vacation closer to home,
in the countryside and highlands of Forza Horizon 4’s Britain. It’s as if I’ve opened my front door and
stepped into a videogame, the only difference being that I don’t have a Lamborghini Centenario
parked outside my house. Instead we’ve got a Toyota Aygo, which is
less impressive. OPENING But that’s what Forza Horizon is
for: it’s an automotive role-playing game where the role you play is a petrolhead with
a billionaire’s car collection and miles of open road to take them for a spin. Oh, and no traffic cops to stand in your way. It’s a game that puts fun before the automotive
fundamentals, and lets you scale it from daft arcade romp to something approaching a more
sophisticated sim. I personally play at the arcade end of the
spectrum – that’s the end where cars make stone walls scatter like freshly popped corn… …and I can paint a picture of Krusty Burger
on the bonnet of James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5. Imagine Bond’s face! He’d be livid! I think it’s important to note that I’m
not approaching this from the perspective of a hardcore sim player. I prefer it when cars leave the tarmac and
start bothering the sheep. And from that perspective, I think Forza Horizon
4 is one of the best driving games I’ve ever played. Maybe it’s a case of blind patriotism, or
maybe I’ve just always wanted to race a Hovercraft on the outskirts of Edinburgh. But i’m going to break down why this game
speaks to me, and why I think it’ll speak to you too. Before I do that, I have a couple of things
to flag. First of all, a spoiler alert: this video
does feature spoilers. They’re attached to the car. This stuff writes itself. Secondly, if you’re enjoying this video
as it goes along, please do press that picture of an upwards thumb, as it makes me feel like
I’m walking on air. And if you really enjoy it, why not subscribe
to rock paper shotgun. Because people who subscribe are sophisticated
like this avatar… And people who don’t subscribe are like
this dreadful human being… But enough of his idiot nonsense, let’s
go for a drive… The first reason I love Forza Horizon 4 hits
you on the starting line: few games introduce themselves as well as this one. Playground Games do this really special thing
where they hijack the opening ten minutes as a playable trailer for everything to come. In those ten minutes you’re whipped from
a tarmac-shredding road race… …to a mad checkpoint to checkpoint dash
across snow and ice …before ending up on a mud splattered dirt
track race against some bikers on a fast track to a hospital bed. You get a couple of minutes of each, just
enough to leave a butt imprint in the leather seat before you’re dropped behind the wheel
of a very different car. Playground famously spend about 18 months
working on these introductions, picking the routes and vehicles to capture the essence
of their new landmass. No surprises that Britain is represented with
mud, road works and sports cars stuck behind sunday drivers. This time, the opening also has to show seasonal
changes – more on those in a second – which flip the world from winter wonderland to waterlogged
spring in a blink of an eye. This doesn’t represent the flow of time
as it is in-game, but it shows the puppyish energy of a team desperate to show off their
new toys – the weather effects and the terrain changes. I wish all developers were this keen to put
their best foot forward. All this might sound like I’m going mad
for a glorified tutorial, but to me it crushes the entire philosophy of the game into ten
minutes. It tells you that this is a world where a
lot of different cars can have a lot of different fun. On the final straight you see cars of all
different kinds joining in to race to the finish line – this is Forza Horizon 4 in a
few seconds, a celebration of all things wheeled at the expense of realism or sense. If you only play ten minutes of one game this
year, make it this – you can even try it in the demo. It’s smashing. Of course, there’s more to this than a good
tutorial. The pitch of Forza Horizon is that you’re
competing in the Horizon festival – this is a massive party which looks more like Glastonbury
than a motorshow. It’s brilliantly obnoxious, with fireworks
at night and pounding music around the clock – one of the best bits of sound design is
the way whatever music you listen to on the car radio is played on stage, so as you drive
in you hear the music shift from inside to outside. It’s great, though I do feel bad for whoever
lives in this ancient cottage about two meters from the festival wall. This looks like where grandma lives – she
doesn’t want drum n bass in her back garden Ignoring the unlikely planning consent issue,
the festival has been improved over past games in one key way. Instead of unlocking new events by collecting
followers, you now level up each individual driving discipline by taking part in it. Want to unlock more road races? Compete in road races. Want to spend the game spraying mud? Focus on dirt tracks. It even extends to non-racing – you can level
up in car photography or custom race creation, – making sure people who dig user-generated
stuff have a path through the game. If you want to spend the whole game stamping
pictures of My Neighbour Totoro onto supercars, Playground have you covered. It’s a nice shift from Forza Horizon 3,
where you were forced to eat a more balanced diet of racing that sometimes sat at odds
with the ‘do as you please’ pitch of that opening tutorial. I’m terrible at drifting for example, so
now I can ignore drift challenges entirely. In fact, I’ve spent most of my time playing
it exclusively as a cross country game – just bouncing my jeep and buggies across hills,
ignoring the tarmac entirely. And it’s brilliant. Let’s stick on the cross country races for
a second because I really am obsessed with them. I’ve always enjoyed Forza Horizon most when
it goes off road – I spent most of the last game bombing around the Australian outback
in a Halo Warthog. But the British countryside is an even better
playground. As the owner of a Toyota Aygo I’ve come
to dread our hilly landscape – I associate it with creeping up steep roads as the car
creaks beneath us. But in the game, hills are become rollercoasters
for more able vehicles. The cross country tracks whip over ups and
downs, taking us up high to give us beautiful views of valleys and a patchwork quilt of
farmland, before the slopes kick in and pull you into screaming death plummet. Hills allow for epic jumps, but just in case
you don’t get the memo, Playground have littered with ramps for extra encouragement. Then there’s the fields themselves – as
unfair as it might be to the farmers, I love the feeling of punching through hedgerows
and stone walls and discovering what thing is going to get in our way next. Will I be swerving around hay bales or flocks
of sheep? When there are 12 jeeps all doing this together,
it looks brilliant, with piles of rocks and shattered fences flying all over the place. Even outside of races I’ve taken to going
off-road whenever I can – I just line up mission objective markers on the horizon and travel
as the crow flies. It’s not suitable for sports cars, of course,
but my trusty Coca Cola-branded Alumi Craft laughs in the face of GPS. For the record, it was was winter when I added
coke-swilling santa to my car. It just looks a bit odd now that it’s summer. On a tiny side note – it’s been rumoured
for some time that Playground might be rebooting the Fable series. I can’t be the only one who sees Britain
as a test run for an open world Albion, right? When you get up to the Scottish highlands,
where there are fewer roads, or the forests around the quarries, it’s easy to picture
yourself galloping around on a horse. All it needs is a few farting peasants and
the game’s pretty much made. You could even use this idiot as the bad guy. Just an idea. With changing seasons, this one lump of Britain
becomes four worlds in one. All the footage you’re seeing now is taken
from the same track, but played in four different seasons and weather conditions. Some of the changes are obvious – pools of
shallow water will freeze over in winter, creating routes that don’t exist at other
times and slippy slidey challenges that your favoured autumn vehicle might struggle with. Of course, if you played Forza Horizon 3’s
excellent Blizzard Mountain DLC, none of this will come as a surprise. Switch to the wetter seasons, like Spring
or Autumn, and you’ll see dirt roads getting churned into mud, giving them a very different
feel to the bone dry gravel you grind across during the summer. It would be laying it on thick to claim every
track is reinvented by a change of weather, but the alterations are substantial enough
that you’ll want to visit them at different times. Or you could skip the wait by using custom
blueprints to set the time of year. It’s a very romantic take on the british
weather. As we all know, summer actually means a terrifying
heatwave that turned our grass brown. And when it does snow, we can barely clear
the roads to our hospitals, let alone set up a massively indulgent racing festival. No, this is weather painted in broad strokes,
but it’s because of that you’ll want to take a proper tour of the world, just to see
the visual changes. Just to explain, when I say a whole year,
I don’t mean 365 days of real time. Seasons last for one real life week before
shifting – a big sign pops up saying Summer is coming in ten minutes, like a more accurate
version of the House Stark family motto. The first few hours of the game actually takes
place in an accelerated version of the seasons so you get a feel for different race types
– but once you win a place on the Horizon roster you’re slotted into the real-time
world. I’ve only played through one season shift
myself, but it’s exciting – it gives you season-specific events that only happen for
that week, which is a good excuse to check back in and hoover up some extra points. Forza Horizon has always done a great job
of fostering competition-slash-hatred between friends, whether they are actively playing
or not. For starters, you race in single player against
Drivatars, which are NPCs with your friends names and racing habits. I have a love/hate relationship with these
guys – they look like my friends, but they are horrible robot versions, designed to humiliate
me over and over. When a friend’s drivatar beats me on the
final stretch in Horizon, I end up liking that friend a little less in real life. I have similar struggles with leaderboards
telling me that my peers have discovered more roads than me. Congrats guys – you managed to find a massive
strip of tarmac. I’m in awe of you. Forza Horizon 4 does all this good Forza Horizon
stuff, but it also fills the world with other humans – it’s not unlike Destiny, if all
the Guardians were in Honda Civics. People mostly keep to themselves, though every
hour a massive blimp appears and everyone races towards it, like it was some mad helium
filled god. I love this bit, as everyone ends up in one
bit of the map like boy racers gathering in Tesco’s car park. Here you can ogle exotic cars and show off
your amazing novelty horns. Mine is Halo and goes like this: The blimp signifies a Forzathon Live event,
a team objective for all the cars on the map. Often it’s something bland, like doing lots
of danger sign jumps or drifting a collected distance, but it’s worth taking part for
the sight of tens of cars tearing across the world like Mad Max with more exotic motors. Handily, collision detection is turned off
to avoid pile-ups or griefers, though it can make it look like you’ve discovered a creepy
ghost race. Don’t get too freaked out. Of course, all these extra bodies can join
races, and playing with humans is recommended – they bring a hint of chaos and unpredictability
that feeds into Horizon’s more madcap take on the racing game – and a lesser role for
the rewind function means the results feel purer too. Another small but welcome tweak are Forza
Stories, which replace the random bucket list tasks from previous games. These are fixed challenges wrapped up with
some story – one group has you pulling off stunts for a man who sounds just like Sean
Bean. If it’s not actually Sean Bean, then he
should probably contact the police, because someone has stolen his voice with that magic
voice shell from The Little Mermaid. His tasks tend to involve dangerous driving,
though I’m not sure what films he’s making. This one is all about pulling stunts in a
rally car in a quaint English town – unless there’s a new Fast And The Furious meets
Miss Marple mash-up, it doesn’t make much sense. I’m also not sure I’d pay money to watch
a car swerving around shipping containers in a tunnel, but I enjoy the task. The pleasant surprise was the new Drift Club. As mentioned before, I tend to avoid drift
tasks as I struggle with the controls, but this chain of events does a great job of explaining
the basics – it’s the kind of drift tutorial the game has always needed. I’m not going to pretend that it made me
good at drifting – as this footage reveals, I’m a drifter and a part time hedge removal
man – but it gave me a feel for it that I haven’t had before. If anything, it’s a bit odd that it doesn’t
unlock until you hit level 30. If I’d had this lovely welsh teacher talking
me through drifting in the opening hours I’d probably spend more time travelling at right
angles. The best Forza Story involves working for
a popular YouTuber to help recreate her favourite racing videogames. She’s got a couple of hundred thousand followers,
so I’ll admit I was bit jealous of her to start with, but her missions are so good I
agreed to help in the end. It’s really great to see Playground openly
acknowledge the games that inspire them. This is meant to be a bit like racing around
in Edinburgh in Project Gotham Racing – Forza Horizon’s skill chains aren’t massively
unlike Gotham’s Karma points, so it’s a nice nod to those roots. Although project gotham racing would be less
impressed by my wiping out bus stops. And this is meant to be us jumping around
the Crazy Taxi from Crazy Taxi. The handling is slightly less comic book,
but the feeling of gliding through the air is right. Here I’m trying to slide a Ferrari Testarossa
around sweeping bends like in the legendary Out Run. Drifting is easier in OutRun, which explains
this sorry performance. Back to drift club for me, I think.. And with all that virtual countryside it would
be rude not to include Smugglers Run as you scream across bumpy fields in a buggy. It’s a such a lovely, respectful idea – packed
with nerdy in-jokes about each game that sound like the work of authentic fans. It shows a generous spirit that runs through
the entire game. Actually, generosity would be the perfect
word to sum up Forza Horizon 4. Everything in the game is big, from the ridiculous
blanket of icons across the world map, to the ludicrous showcase events that see tiny
cars racing against hovercrafts and trains. I mean, who would ever want to return to the
boring loops of Forza Motorsport after doing this! But it’s more than the amount of stuff. It’s the sense of discovery, that the more
you do something, the more you’ll get of that something. Even if you ignored everything and just drove
around you’d eventually start finding barns filled with classic cars to restore – a way
of celebrating forgotten gems and subtly filling your garage with beefier toys. It’s a generosity felt in the zip and buzz
of the wheelspins, a fruit machine that might spit out a supercar, or might just teach your
avatar to do an annoying dance. It’s the way the game plays with every feature
Xbox has to offer – from rewarding streamers who use Mixer, to sticking your gamerpic on
a massive billboard at the end of the race. I will never not laugh at my giant face. But it’s also a generosity towards racers
of any skill. To understand where I’m approaching Forza
Horizon 4 from, you have to know that in real life I failed my driving test 9 times before
passing. That’s right, only one in ten driving testers
think I should be on the roads. Forza is happy to let a maniac like me behind
the wheel, punching up all the assists until my car pretty much drives itself. But it does a lovely thing where it gradually
suggests harder driving – nudging down assists for better rewards, or nudging up the drivatar
difficulty if you make it look too easy. I can’t speak for how it holds up at the
technical end of the simulation spectrum, but as a more casual racing game fan, this
is a beautifully made game. I know it’s bold and hyperbolic to call
anything the best of its kind, but for me, Forza Horizon 4 is exactly what I want in
a racing game. Truth be told, I don’t play many of the
things – I find them drab and po-faced. Who wants to be limited to endless loops of
tarmac when you could be shredding someone’s back lawn? I’ve bought into Forza Horizons vibe for
many years now, but I really think this is Playground at the height of their powers. It’s bold, generous game, incredibly alive
despite starring a cast of metal boxes on wheels. I hope this list has helped explain the game
to you – if you have any questions let me know in the comments. And if you did enjoy this video, I’d love
it if you subscribed – we’ve got loads of videos on all things PC gaming related, so
hopefully you’ll find something else to enjoy. Thanks for watching and hopefully see you
again soon. Goodbye!

100 Replies to “8 Reasons Forza Horizon 4 Is One Of The Best Racing Games Ever Made | PC Review”

  1. Check out our graphics card testing to see how Forza Horizon 4 runs on different machines here: https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2018/10/01/forza-horizon-4-graphics-performance-how-to-get-best-settings-pc/

  2. The only thing that bothers me is how small the world is. Not long into the game and you'll have already seen everything there is to see. But on the upside, the world is filled lots of fun stuff to do.

  3. This is most dangerous game I know.
    I have a bad addiction and I'm not interesting anything, anyone anymore in reality – only spent all of time in FH4-world and getting it more..more and more….

  4. I heard a lot of disappointment about this game when it came out. I tend not to listen to the masses and form my own opinion, so I bought it, and I'm entirely glad I did. I hadn't played any FH games before. The graphics are phenomenal. The cars, the roads, and the skies look stunning. The surrounding scenery is solid, not perfect. The sounds are solid. The handling feels perfect with a controller. Sense of speed is spot on. When you're going 35mph, it feels like 35, when you're going 100, it feels exactly like 100. You can go from super cars to muscle cars to rally cars, and while they all handle differently, they're all controllable. The feeling on dirt is amazing. I'd love Forza to produce a game solely for rallycross. I watch a ton of racing, and I've played a lot of racing games, but FH4 is one of the most satisfying games I've played, and I'm surprised by that, because I prefer racing on tracks. I tend to play FH4 more as a driving game than a racing game, and I use the interior 2 view, and that makes it better. I do wish the map was bigger, and it'd be cool if the map included a race track or two to play around on, but it's a solid game overall. I'd highly recommend it to people who love cars, and there aren't many games that I'd openly recommend.

  5. The horizon festivals make me cringe. I would enjoy the series much more if it wasn’t tied to music festivals. Does anyone else agree? I can’t be the only one.

  6. Getting good on fh4 makes you insanely good at need for speed because the car physics in need for speed are doodoo and the cars are glued to the ground, need for speed is so easy it’s boring

  7. it would be perfect if you could buy clothes with credits instead of only getting them in precious wheelspins. The wheel spins are actually infested with clothing and it gets really annoying. Other than that its pretty god damn amazing. Fortune Island is also a really great expansion.

  8. Never played a driving game unless you count GTA thinking about picking it up, think I'd enjoy it not having played this genre before?

  9. Watching this now while mine Forza Horizon 4 is reinstalling after fatal crash or something on Xbox one s… Pitty. Shouldn't download the latest update…

  10. Forza Horizon 4 is THE game to get if you have a mild interest in racing games. It's a "play your way". Take a truck into an A-class race. Swerve around corners in a beetle. Punch LaRacer in her throat to fix that horrible noise.

    Ok, that ladt one is a joke, but her voice makes my ears bleed. And everyone has a weird obsession with crowns and googly eyes, for some reason.

  11. 8 REASONS FORZA HORIZON 4 IS THE WORST RACING GAME EVER MADE:
    1 It's a worse FH3 with a different map.
    2 There are few engine sounds used for a lot and totally different cars.
    3 Put a Ferrari V8 engine sound on a Maserati is a crime.
    4 RPMs decreasing to fast when you leave the foot from the gas.
    5 Cockpit view is often not centered well.
    6 Gear shifting animations are not synchronized well or inexistent.
    7 Every single worlds and topic in the Horizon stories chapters are stupid and boring.
    8 Micro Car.

  12. This is the biggest bs. The fact that ubeatable ai’s dont have the same physics as players is a game ruining feature

  13. Why FH4 is THE BEST Aracade game:
    1 Gameplay

    2 All the cars

    3 Paintings

    4 Open world

    5 The map (even if i'm not fan of the Countryside)

    6 Horns

    7 Different seasons
    8 The graphics
    Bonus: Wheelspins

  14. Honestly thinking of picking up a used Xbox one for cheap just to play forza at this stage it just looks so fun to play and the cars are beyond gorgeous

  15. horizon 4 is great, but i really enjoyed 3 a lot more. I dont know why, I just felt more in the actual game

  16. So well done! Probably the best game review I've ever seen. Very entertaining and I'm DL the demo for Forza now. Thanks so much, dude! Keep up the great work!

  17. At first I loved this game, but at moment when it began winter season I can't propper driving. I changed to propper car for winter and it doesn't help.

  18. For the love of logic, ANY racing game is one of the best if you consider all racing games ever existed are the BEST. That claim is just an obvious tautology, EVERYONE knows how good Forza is. Next time just say "the best". Period.

  19. Is it just me or does Forza Horizen 4 make Britain look like a really good place to live in because i live in Britain and it rains all the time !

  20. nice tribute , i loved and played at least + 300 hours on each , loved the 1st one, 2nd, 4th one, but idk why Forza Horizon 3 for me is still the best of the sequels… something's off about the location on this one… i was excepting Japan as a brand new location, or China , or India, but we had France in the 2nd one and to me the 4th location is too similar … i love the season's , and the devs keeps on adding stuff for free to the game, but i think they should split all players into 4 differents lobby styles depicting each season…

  21. Britain Heat Wave ~ Australian NIce Day 30 Degrees Celcius
    British Snow Storm ~ Australian Ski Day -5 Degrees Celcius
    Britain you are weak, I am Australian .

  22. OMG who want to buy xbox one to play only this game In turn left play fortnite and another free games recuring xbox live gold

  23. For me the gameplay is sooo bad… All cars understeers too much and they have no downforce. The sounds are a downgrade compare to FH3…
    A racing game isn't only about graphs kids…

  24. I actually really liked the getting followers but it might have been because of how simple it is. To me it felt like the reason to do the races

  25. It’s a game, you talk about it like it’s actually important. ITS NOT. It’s good fun but that’s what it should be. Fullstop.

  26. i really don't like those type of arcade racing games…with full of bright colors and huge arrows at every corners. you know like the dirt series…

    dirt 1 was awsome back in the days. Dirt 2 was awsome,
    dirt 3 : awful. With all that blind bling shit. Dirt rally was the return to the original roots. It was awsome.

    those arcade racing games are clearly for new generation teenagers and millenials. They ruin the racing games industry. Thank god Gran Turismo has not made that turn yet !

  27. forza horizon 4 is the first forza games i've ever played and ITS FUCKING AWESOME
    i've play almost all of NFS series but when i touch FH4 i think its 100% better than NFS and enjoyable to play

  28. How much better is it then FH3?? To me it's basically the same game give or take a few cars and a different continent to race on…

  29. I like to watch videos complimenting games that i actively play because it makes me feel good about buying games with the little money i have irl

  30. Forza horizon is a good game but I think it is a bit repetitive. Fairly quickly you conquer all the races and there isn't much motivation to carry on because gaining money takes forever and there aren't new areas of the map that open up. It could have been much better.

  31. I've played this game for over 130 hours in the past few months, and I'll probably play it for another 130 more. It's the only game I've turned on since the opening; it truly does draw you in and whispers to you, "there's so much more.."

    Very entertaining review. Lol'd quite a few times. Thanks for it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *