Forza Horizon 3 is a solid arcade racer, there’s no doubt about it. Turn 10 Studios took everything that was great about Forza Horizon 2 and made it even better in this new iteration. This time, you are the boss of the festival and you call the shots. Get ready to play Forza Horizon your way.
Personalize Your Drivatar
Forza Horizon 3 finally introduces a form of character customization. Your appearance is limited to a set choice of characters, however, they are quite diverse spanning over genders and origins. You can also pick what everyone should call you. Again, it’s from a preset list as the voice actors had to record each option, but it is quite extensive! I didn’t find my full name, but found “Cat” under the Nicknames tab. I can’t tell you how amazing it is for the NPCs and the GPS to call you by your name. “Hey Cat, we’re ready to expand the festival”. It’s honestly one of my favourite new features in Forza Horizon 3.
It’s All in the Details
Forza Horizons 3 also offers more when it comes to customizing your cars. Car customization has been vastly simplified, making it easier for newer players to adjust their vehicle’s performance. This game also introduces Upgrade Heroes, which are unique customization presets that will take 40-ish of the game’s stock cars and beef them up. For example, a 1970 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 can become a 1,000-plus horsepower drag racer with a massive hood scoop. Let’s just say you don’t see that everyday!
Cosmetic customization is essentially the same in Forza Horizon 3 (paint job, decals, etc.), but they’ve introduced 2 new features that take in a step further: vanity licence plates and car horns. I just love how my huge and luxurious Lamborghini Urus has a licence plate with my name on it and a “La Cucaracha” car horn.
Build The Festival Your Way
You da boss, so play like a boss! Forza Horizon 3 open world is yours for the taking. Complete races, stunts and challenges to gain more festival fans. Each milestone you reach will enable you to expand the festival: new routes, new sites, new stunts, new showcases, etc.
When you pull up to a route, you are asked to set up an event. You can either go with what the game suggests, which is something adapted to the car you are currently driving, blueprint your own event by choosing a car type, weather, number of laps, the whole gamut, or you can pick and choose between events blueprinted by fellow players. You can even create your own Bucket List Challenges! The game still offers a set list of challenges but you’ll have points on the map that will let you blueprint your own.
You also don’t have to play alone, as Forza Horizon 3 has a 4 player online co-op mode. I’m waiting on my friends to pick up the game so we can conquer the Australian roads together.
At first, I found all of this freedom a bit overwhelming as I wasn’t too sure where to go, what to do, which cars to get, but I quickly got into it. It’s not about how many races you win, it’s about hitting those milestones. Now, I drive around like a boss, because, guess what? Yeah, that’s right, I’m the boss.
I’m on The Wrong Side of the Road D: D: D:
This may sound stupid, but it happened, so I might as well share it! I spent the first 40 minutes of gameplay wondering why all the NPCs were driving on the wrong side of the road. Just… UGH! GET OUT OF MY LANE! Then it hit me – not an oncoming car, but a realization. Forza Horizon 3 is set in Australia. They drive on the left side. I’m the one who’s on the wrong side of the road. What can I say, I’m Canadian and I haven’t played a game where you drive on the left since Grand Theft Auto: London 1969.
Forza Horizon 3 on PC or Xbox One? Wait, Forza is now on PC? :O
Ah, the age old debate between the PC Master Race and the Console Peasants! I think it boils down to your preference and your means. I thought I’d make the comparison anyway mostly because a lot of console first game seem to have buggy and unstable PC ports.
Forza Horizon 3 makes its way onto PC thanks to the Xbox Play Anywhere feature enabling players to buy the game once and play it on both platforms. As I’m writing this, the game is still on early access and there are still a few bugs on the PC version. The game has been quite stable for me and gameplay felt mostly the same on both platforms, especially since I play with the XB1 controller on my PC as well. I haven’t experienced any frame rate issues after a simple GPU driver update.
As you can see in the above comparison, the car is well detailed and flawless in both but the environment is where the PC truly shines. You’ll notice that when it comes to the shading, water and general background details, PC blows the standard Xbox One right out of the water. (See what I did there? Because I took my screenshots while driving through water? …I’ll see myself out). Not to mention that the loading times are significantly shorter when I play on PC; fast travelling to a location is almost instant while it takes almost 30 seconds when playing on Xbox One.
I think the biggest advantage for PC players is that if your machine is already setup for 4K support, you’ll be able to play this game in glorious 4K without having to purchase the Xbox One Scorpio. I have a Day One Edition console and no plan to upgrade in the near future. As I upgrade my already beefy setup, I feel like I might end up playing Forza Horizon 3 exclusively on my PC.
Forza Horizon 3 is my favourite Forza game to date. It has everything that made the previous game great, like the weather and the Drivatar technology, and they’ve added new features that changed how I approach this game. I’ll see you guys down under!
DISCLAIMER: Forza Horizon 3 review copy provided by Xbox Canada. The opinions expressed in the article above have not be affected by, dictated or edited in any way by the provider. For more information please see Girls on Games’ Code of Journalistic Ethics.
All in-game images featured in this article were taken by author.