Forza Horizon 3 is absolutely fantastic, it proves to be the pinnacle of arcade racing and racing games in general.
Avaliado nos Estados Unidos em 4 de setembro de 2017
Forza Horizon 3 caught my attention from the moment it was announced.
I've been playing Forza since it's first release on the Original Xbox and it become my racing game of choice. That said, I've always enjoyed more arcade-y, do whatever you want racers. When I saw the first Forza Horizon, I was very excited, though I ended up missing it. Forza Horizon 2 though, really caught my eye. The beautiful and huge open world amalgamation of France, Italy and Spain, combined with Forza's stunningly crafted cars and handling made Horizon 2 a blast!
So of course, when I saw Horizon 3, I knew I had to have it. Where the Forza Motorsports half of the series signature is hyper detailed tracks, cars and simulation handling; The Forza Horizon half of the series has really been building their reputation for bringing you to breath taking locales to explore in beautiful cars while bringing that festival energy to the game. Forza Horizon 2 really did this well, but I have to admit, Forza Horizon 3 has hit it out of the park.
Forza Horizon 3 is the first full next gen title in the series. By that I mean Forza Horizon 2 was developed partially on the Xbox 360 and the Xbox One. My point is, it shows. Horizon 3 has amazing vistas, from flying along the beach watching the beautiful sky in a Lamborghini, ripping through the city in a Viper, sliding along the valleys and hills of farmland in a Ford Raptor, monster trucking in rally trucks through the jungle and leaping over red desert mounds in the buggies, you get to rip across all kinds of landscapes in any vehicle you want. It all looks fantastic, there is plenty to see and do in Australia.
These are all improvements on the formula of first two Forza Horizons, but what's new? Well, this time around you get to choose from various(limited) player models to appear in your car and an alias for your number 1 to refer to you as throughout the game. Oh and you are the boss of the Horizon Festival, this is a major change to the formula. In this case, you get the choice to modify each championship via what cars that can be driven, the time of day, rain or sunshine and name it. This is a cool feature I enjoyed as you don't have to worry about getting stuck racing C grade hatchbacks, I dunno, that was always boring to me.
While it's a cool feature, I did feel like it didn't make as big an impact as I'd hoped story wise, but experience wise, it does make it a lot more fun to choose your own races. Or you can just go with the options presented as well. You also get to choose how your festivals grow. You can choose what regions to expand too and upgrade each festival. It's cool to unlock more races and see visible upgrades to the festival Zone.
There are now 'street races' that you can participate in to build up to Midnight Battles, basically a one on one race for slips. It's pretty fun. I will say, when choosing Extreme Off Road races, I didn't feel like the race tracks were designed quite as well as I'd hoped, to utilize to rugged terrain.
All in the, the base game is fantastic. The cars look great, the weather and rain is a great edition and looks fantastic. Land is filled with beautiful vistas to see and roads and areas to explore. The cars also definitely all feel and drive differently as well. One of my only dislikes is that in Horizon 2 you got to see and drive around with the festival boss and they interesting conversations. The festival mechanic was also in some cut scenes that were neat. While you hear your number 1 a lot, you never see her. You also only get to see the back of your mechanic who helps you with barn finds, I feel like it takes from their character and from it feeling like a general interactions.
Going to the expansions, Blizzard Mountain and Hot Wheels, they are both great additions. Blizzard Mountain features snow for the first time in the whole Forza series and its very impressive. Seeing your tires leave imprints in the snow is satisfying and of course all the challenges of handling in that terrain. The area is nice to look at as well.
Maybe one of the biggest changes the expansion introduces is a new system to how you score on races. A 3 star system is introduced and besides winning the race, there are two other objectives to complete during the races. Say you win the race, but to get the other two stars in that particular race you must drift into 20 poles and also reach 120 MPH during the race. These accumulative stars unlock more races, so completing the secondary objectives in the race becomes crucial.
It's sort of a nice changes up for the game play, though I feel like it was done better in the expansion following it. I found Blizzard Mountain difficult enough with out the added game play mechanic. Blizzard Mountain is definitely the hardest section on Horizon 3.
The Hot Wheels expansion really takes the arcade racing genre to a new level. The tracks are absolutely mind bending and racing on them is always exciting. While you would think that Hot Wheels tracks could never be graphically impressive, Playground Games has definitely proven that wrong. Each track piece has grooves running through them and the massive posts and metal that connects them is jaw dropping when viewed from a distance. When the track has the sun directly behind it, whether blue or orange, it glows through the plastic track impressively. At night, there are either lights on small posts or embedded in the wall of the track to light the way.
Meanwhile the islands that are conjoined by the tracks and the beautiful water below all look great. The only thing downside I found to it, is I didn't feel the cities were lively enough. There's two parts of the Expansion that should have people partying, one of which is a large island with skyscrapers. The island with Skyscrapers basically has no one there visible. Besides the amazing loop de loop, twisting and turning tracks, you also get Animatronic dinosaurs blotting the islands and a few cool Hot Wheels cars to race with. It is a Gem and personally I think it could have been a game all to itself.
I was able to purchase the base game from Amazon for about $35 brand new during a sale. I also bought the car pass and expansion pass at discounted prices as well on Xbox Live with the Gold Membership. Forza Horizon 3 is absolutely fantastic, it proves to be the pinnacle of arcade racing and racing in general. From highly customizable and upgrade-able beautifully detailed cars, to the amazing vistas and varied races on changing land, this game has almost everything you need to have a great game. It is a must own Xbox exclusive and must own racing game.
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