Gear Reviews

Forza Horizon 3 Review for Xbox One

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I’m going to start this review off by saying that I like my video game reviews quick and to-the-point. I won’t fill this with fluff, because I really just want to let you guys know how the game is without any attempts at unnecessary quips. That being said, here we go.

Forza Horizon 3 brings video gamers into a virtual version of Australia that has been overtaken by a music/car racing festival. Players will spend their time in Forza Horizon 3 traversing across the world racing cars of all shapes and sizes, encountering environments that include a rainforest, cityscape, Australian Outback and more. Of course, to experience this you’re going to either need an Xbox One or a beefy PC.

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City Racing in Forza Horizon 3
City Racing in Forza Horizon 3

Visuals

First off, Forza Horizon 3 is undoubtedly one of the greatest looking racing games I’ve ever witnessed on a console. Yeah, Forza Motorsport 6: Apex may look better on the PC, but for Horizon 3 it’s more that just stunning graphics. While travelling you’ll bare witness to multiple environments, each beautiful in their own right. The attention to detail across this game’s map is utterly stunning, as is the lightning which will change as the virtual days progress. There’s no doubt in my mind that you’ll find yourself stopping during certain points of play to take in-game screenshots of your car against the backdrops Playground Games has provided us with. Along with the world, the cars look fantastic. Their exteriors are modeled perfectly, while their interiors are details down to the gauge clusters and carbon fiber trim.

When you combine the detailed cars with the seriously stunning world of Forza Horizon 3, you’re left with what I can easily say is one of the most aesthetically pleasing racing games I’ve ever played.

Jungle Trucks in Forza Horizon 3
Jungle Trucks in Forza Horizon 3

Gameplay

The game starts you off in a Lamborghini Centenario, then throws you into a trophy truck, eventually letting you pick your first car. From here, you’ll be opening up new festival locations and winning races along the way to create the ultimate festival in Australia. If you’ve played the past Horizon games, the setup will be familiar to you: drive to a race location, select an appropriate car and race to win. However, Horizon 3 allows you to create “blueprints” for races, meaning you can create your own races, on your own terms. For instance, I have the Ultimate Edition, which gave me the Koenigsegg Regera right off of the bat. Naturally, I wanted to race this beast, so I created a race that would allow me to use it. What I love about this feature is that it allows you to play the game your own way. Let’s say you’re in the mood for driving a truck. All you need to do is pick on of the truck classes and you’ll be racing trucks. Easy. What’s more, these blueprint races work towards your story mode.

The learning curve for actually racing in the game isn’t as great as it is in the Forza Motorsport series, but it’s enough to keep you wanting to master every type of car. And for those who are into taking off all assists and going manual with a clutch, you have that ability, too. What the Horizon series excels at is being able to be accessible to newcomers, while providing difficulty to longtime fans.

Festival Night in Forza Horizon 3
Festival Night in Forza Horizon 3

Sound

If you’re reading this because you love cars, you’ll be pleased to hear that Forza Horizon 3 will provide you with exhaust notes that will satisfy your needs. From the low notes of the Mercedes-AMG C63, to the high notes of the Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo, the cars give off a soundtrack all on their own. But, the issue is that the music soundtrack is so good, you won’t want to turn down the music to listen to the exhaust of the cars.

Beach Parking in Forza Horizon 3
Beach Parking in Forza Horizon 3

Car List

With over 350 cars found in-game, and more on the way via DLC, Forza Horizon 3’s car list is immense in variety and number. Most racing games tend to cater to one section of the automotive world, but this game has it all: trucks, JDM, buggies, hypercars, supercars, etc. It’s all there. If you’re a rally fan like me, you’ll be pleased to know that there are plenty of rally cars and dirt to keep you occupied.

Overall

I have been and will continue playing Forza Horizon 3 for quite some time. When I start up the game and the announcer says, “Welcome back, Abroham Lincoln (that’s not a typo, there’s a massive list of names to choose from, including Dark Lord and Twinkle Toes). From that point on, I’m in an automotive dream world where I can drive as I please. Hours can be spent exploring the massive world or racing the computer, and you can even do all of this cooperatively with a friend. If there was ever a game to set the bar for an open-world game, this would be it. If you happen to have a PC worthy of playing this game, the new Xbox Play Anywhere program allows this game to be played on PC.

I give this game a solid 9/10, nearing perfection and making it a must-buy.

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