Forza Horizon 4 Preview: Britain Is Great Indeed (Video)

UPDATE 9-12-18 10am PDT: Playground Games has announced that the Forza Horizon 4 demo is available now AND have released details on the Day One Car Pack DLC. Information added below.

Day One Car Pack is called “The Best Of Bond” and includes all of the iconic cars from Bond films of years past. Here is the full list:

  • · 1964 Aston Martin DB5 inspired by Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), GoldenEye (1995), Skyfall (2012) and Spectre (2015)
  • · 1969 Aston Martin DBS from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
  • · 1974 AMC Hornet X Hatchback from The Man With the Golden Gun (1974)
  • · 1977 Lotus Esprit S1 from The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
  • · 1981 Citroën 2CV6 from For Your Eyes Only (1981)
  • · 1986 Aston Martin V8 from The Living Daylights (1987)
  • · 1999 BMW Z8 from The World is Not Enough (1999)
  • · 2008 Aston Martin DBS from Quantum of Solace (2008)
  • · 2010 Jaguar C-X75 from Spectre (2015)
  • · 2015 Aston Martin DB10 from Spectre (2015)

The pack also includes two Bond-inspired outfits and other in game items as well.

As mentioned above, the Forza Horizon 4 demo is out right now and if you play the demo at a Microsoft store or on your own console between now and October 2nd, you’ll be entered into a contest to win a trip to the Pure McLaren driving experience as well as an Xbox One X, Elite controller, and a copy of Forza Horizon 4. You can find more details here.

Ok before I get into this, I’m going to drop a few facts for those who are eager for more details on Forza Horizon 4 and need them quick:

  • Forza Horizon 4 will have adjustable resolution and frame rates on Xbox One X. Players can choose between 4K 30fps or 1080p 60fps.
  • The “route creator” is going to be ambitious and players can theoretically create a lap around the entire map. However, it won’t be available at launch but within “weeks” after.
  • Challenges in Rivals mode will have a specific season tied to it.
  • No Mitsubishi in the game due to licensing issues.
  • “ANNA” Will no longer interrupt you randomly.
  • RWB is coming to Forza Horizon 4

If you’d rather watch than read, I invite you to check out both of the videos below. The first is an interview we did with Playground Games creative director Ralph Fulton in which we ask him some of our Forza Horizon 4 questions and forum questions from the official Forza Motorsport community.

Ralph Fulton interview:

The second video is a brief impression after playing a near-finished build for a few hours. If you want to see new gameplay footage, this is the video to watch.

Forza Horizon 4 preview impressions:

If you’d rather do a long read then please continue!

About a week ago, I was invited by Microsoft to this really cool looking secret lounge area in Culver City to play a “near-finished” version of Forza Horizon 4.

While I technically had about 6 hours available to play, I unfortunately had to cut things a bit short. That being said, this is definitely not a full review of the game. That will come later

Instead, this is just a collection of my first impressions of the game and a chance to fill you in on a few previously unknown details I learned while I was there.

Once the game was booted up, it started off with a sequence which was nearly identical to the playable demo that Playground Games brought to E3 this year.

Essentially you spend the first few minutes of the game driving through all of the different seasons starting with Autumn and ending with summer. The main difference in that unlike the E3 demo, you don’t get to pick the car you start the sequence off with. Instead, you’re automatically started off with the McLaren Senna. Which was totally fine by me.

At the end of the sequence is when the real game begins. You’ll start off by choosing your avatar from a group of pre-made examples.

While I wish there was a full on avatar-editor, I do commend Playground Games as the roster of avatars was representative of many different races, skin tones, and it had a 50/50 gender split.

Once the avatar is chosen, that is when you will actually choose the car you want to start your journey with.

For me I was given a choice between the 2018 Ford Focus RS, 2018 Audi TTS Coupe, and a 1970 Dodge Charger R/T.

As I mentioned before, the build I played isn’t technically finished, so I’m not sure if these will be the same choices presented to players once the full game is released.

For my choice I decided to go with the Focus RS and I’m really glad I did. While the Audi TTS is cool and muscle cars are always fun, the Focus RS was perfect for exploring the new Great Britain map.

Though, first I did try a few of the scripted races just to see if anything felt different when it game to physics and play mechanics. I am happy to report that everything felt just as good as before, if not slightly better.

It was definitely easier for me to get a handle on the car on different terrains but I’m not confident enough to say that it is because of the re-vamped physics or if it was because there were driving assists turned on. I’ll know better once I get the game in for review.

Once I got a few races under my belt, I did some exploring. One of the first things I noticed while driving around is just how damn pretty this game is. The environment really emphasizes just how good the lighting effects are. The colors were also incredibly vivid.

Although I should mention that I was playing on a very high end Samsung 4k HDR screen so obviously depending on your display set up, your results may vary.

That actually brings me to one of the big scoops I got while at this event. When the game was revealed at E3 it was confirmed to run in 4k resolution on Xbox One X but the frame-rate was still somewhat ambiguous.

Well at this preview event I received confirmation that the game’s frame rate and resolution will actually be adjustable. On Xbox One X players can choose between “Quality” mode which will run the game in 4k resolution at 30fps or “performance mode” which will lower the resolution to 1080p but boost the frame rate to 60fps.

Xbox One S consoles will likely run the game at 1080p at 30fps.

Getting back to exploring the map, one of the first hoon-worthy spots I discovered was a rock quarry which had tons of elevation changes and massive conveyor belts that made perfect ramps if you’re good enough to keep the car straight; which I’m not.

Regardless, I was able to have a lot of fun here as there were tons of obstacles to jump over, drift around, or just run into. I also had a lot of fun just kicking up gravel and mud.

After some further exploring I found an air strip which was very clearly set up for drag racing. Although the actual drag strip was pretty short. On the bright side, there were some crazy jumps in the immediate vicinity, including one that encourages barrel rolls.

While I had a lot of fun with that jump, I was admittedly disappointed that the air field drag strip seemed so short. Then, I went to the beach…

Yes, if you venture all the way to the east coast of the map you will find a beach and on that beach is an absolutely massive dragstrip that is right next to the water. Not only did it look amazing it had plenty of space to do some top speed testing.

There were also plenty of sand dunes near by to play with.

That isn’t even all the spots I discovered during my time with the game but you’ll see more of that in other videos coming up on this channel. I will say that it seems like there may be an endless amount of cool location discoveries to make and I’m looking forward to digging up more.

After doing some exploring I decided to continue the narrative which led me to my first showcase event and it was a pretty cool way to start off. Basically, you get hired as a stunt driver for a film that’s shooting near the Horizon Festival. Next thing you know you’re driving a Bugatti Chiron while a Harrier jet flies over head and it all ends with an insane jump.

And that was just the first showcase!

Again, this is not a review but I have to admit that after playing the game albeit briefly, things are looking promising. Stay tuned for more Forza Horizon 4 coverage in the coming days.

For now just click any of the images here for a 4k sized screenshot.



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