Forza Horizon 4 Catch-All

Too much work for me today, so media dump now, thoughts later.

From the Forza blog:

Today, during the Xbox E3 2018 briefing, we showed how seasons change everything in the worldwide debut of Forza Horizon 4, the latest entry in the award-winning Forza Horizon series. This highly anticipated follow-up to 2016’s breakout hit Forza Horizon 3 brings players dynamic seasons in a shared open-world that change every week. Experience beautiful, historic Britain in spectacular native 4K and HDR, collect over 450 cars, and become a Horizon Superstar. Forza Horizon 4 will launch worldwide on Xbox One, Windows 10 and Xbox Game Pass on October 2, 2018 as an Xbox Play Anywhere title.
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Featuring a shared-world experience with dynamic seasons in stunning native 4K and HDR, Forza Horizon 4 reimagines open-world driving with new features, historic locations in Britain, and more choice and customization than ever before.

· Seasons Change Everything – Forza Horizon 4 features dynamic seasons that change gameplay, unlocking new events and routes, impacting driving conditions, and transforming open-world exploration – all in native 4K and HDR. Players will be able to master driving in dry, wet, muddy, snowy and icy conditions in a shared world where everyone experiences changes in time of day, weather and seasons together.

· Open-World Freedom – Forza Horizon 4 allows players to choose their path to becoming a Horizon Superstar. We’re proud to introduce two of our most fan-requested features – a brand new Route Creator that lets you design and share your own custom race routes anywhere in the open world and the option to play at 60 frames per second for players on Xbox One X.

· Collect Over 450 Cars and Customize Your Horizon Life – With over 450 cars from more than 100 licensed manufacturers, Forza Horizon 4 features the largest and most diverse Horizon car roster yet with all the customization options Forza players love, like new Drift Suspension upgrades and driver personalization with character clothing, accessories and emotes. And for the first time in the Horizon series, players can own property that unlocks new items and gameplay perks.

· Go it Alone or Team Up – Players can choose to play alone, cooperatively or join multiplayer for casual fun or ranked teams. In addition, integrated Mixer broadcasting and spectating features add to an already fun and rewarding experience.

FH3 is the only game in the series I've played since the first two didn't come to PC. Appreciated the graphics and car selection but not much else. Found it very empty and dull. The events weren't fun and I couldn't care less about the story/lifestyle aspects. The game seemed to really be designed for a multiplayer group who think tearing through the jungle off-road in 200mph supercars and plowing into trees is WOOHOO CRAZY SICK RANDOM FUN BRAH? *Shrug*

Anyway, the rumored Japan setting was the only way I would have considered buying FH4. The UK is a strange choice I think. I'm sure the game will be gorgeous but I'm not sure what the setting brings to the table for really unique scenery, nor do I see what unique aspects of British car culture there are to shape the gameplay. (Being careful how I phrase that because I got in trouble on another forum for saying the UK doesn't have any notable car culture. )

Sounds like this game is definitely not for you! =)

I am terrible at racing games and find the standard Forza games to be a little dull and unforgiving. FH3 was just the right amount of arcadey driving for me, I’m not competitive in multiplayer but had a blast racing against AI and collecting cars. Really love that game and couldn’t get into FH2.

This game sounds fantastic but I hope not all the races will be against real people. It would not be fun coming in last every time.

The kind of racing game I'd really like to play doesnt seem to exist anymore. I like cars, but I won't want to have to set up a wheel and pedals and think about gear ratios to play. On the other hand, I couldn't be less interested in having some Fast-and-Furious-but-less-intellectual "plot" shoved down my throat or earning more fictional "fans," either.

The seasons feature sounds great! It looks like this has everything I loved about FH3 and more, so it's a no-brainer for me. That only gives me 3 months to scour every inch of The Crew 2. Yikes!

Only thing about the UK setting that disappoints me is no deserts. Being a desert dweller there was just something fun to me about zipping around the Outback at breakneck speed in an off-road vehicle. Ah well.

Only thing about the UK setting that disappoints me is no deserts. Being a desert dweller there was just something fun to me about zipping around the Outback at breakneck speed in an off-road vehicle. Ah well.

Understandable, but even still I think you might be pleasantly surprised by just how much geographical variety they'll have to work with, both on road and off. While there might not be anything as directly similar to North American desert as was provided by the outback in Forza Horizon 3, the UK actually offers a lot of varied terrain that will be fresh, new and exciting not just within the context of Horizon 3, but the whole Horizon series in general.

Over on the Forza Reddit there's a nice catch-all thread summarizing information shared so far from various different interviews, etc, which includes the following list of regions so far confirmed to be part of the condensed version of Britain in the game:

Scotland
Edinburgh
Cotswolds
Lake District
Welsh Countryside
Scottish Highlands
Bamburgh Castle

Also, I could swear I heard the Yorkshire Dales mentioned somewhere (and really, it would be insane to not include that region).

Anyway, having personally driven in all those places and in much of the countryside between them, I'm super excited at what even that partial list promises. Schmoona loves drum and bass, so we've taken a disproportionately large number of vacations that have included various parts to the UK so that we can go to music festivals. One of the highlights of every trip we've taken is just driving from place to place and enjoying the densely packed variety of natural beauty and interesting driving roads. In fact, as much as I would have loved to see the oft-rumored Japan as the setting for this game (and very much expect it to be the setting for Horizon 5), the only setting I would have been more excited to see than the UK would have been California (seeing as I live here, and it offers a similarly impressive density and variety of interesting terrain and roads).

Horizon 3 was my first Forza game. It looked amazing and it felt pretty great driving around. The killer for me was the absurd amount of traffic. It annoyed me so much as I was trying to complete drifting challenges that I had to stop playing and I never went back. I wonder if it's any different in Horizon 4.

Also, I've never been able to get Windows 10 cross play to work with my xbox friends. Not really a Forza thing but that factors into it.

Explanation about the new opt-in multiplayer world stuff:

Big things: you get ghosted on contact(unless you're in a convoy or with friends)
The world's set to keep each zone with a consistent number of visible players
Seamless transitions between online and offline

Lots of really great B-roll footage in that video as well -- the new environment is looking really, really good.

Forza Horizon adopting more of the good bits from Test Drive Unlimited. I'm totally in for this unless it runs horribly on the PC.

FH3 ran really well on my PC... after I stopped trying to get it set correctly and just left it to the adaptive 30 FPS cap.

Maurice LaMarche!

4izon!

Sooooo pretty.

I'm having serious sound issues with the demo, though. I read some threads on the official forum, and the things that worked for me were disabling spatial sound on all devices, making sure that "Disable enhancements" is unchecked in the Sound Control Panel (which is now a Related Settings link in the Sound Settings window). I also had to set sound output to 44.1 kHz (CD Quality).

Only problem is that I still have really bad crackling noises at all times while I play. Music, voice, and driving sound effects all have this weird static.

Despite the sound glitches, it's a joy to be driving in Horizon again. I had a stupid grin on my face the whole time I played!

Yeah the demo is stunning. That first moment as you crest that hill in the Senna.... So much fun so far. Feels smoother than 3 as well. Such fun smashing into the stone walls too. Seeing the sheep in the hills. So much fun to be had.

Now I'm reading that 44.1 khz sound *causes* the crackling, and that 48khz is the solution. I'm going to have to fiddle with it some more I guess.

The sound via the headset is goddamn amazing. I would check and see if you have the Atmos app, which does all the spatial stuff. If you have Atmos speakers, it works forth, but it also does the digital effect in headsets.

The Atmos app does cost money, but does come free with some headsets. I think it is worth the money if you have the speakers or use a headset often.

Otherwise, I'm really happy with the demo.

I don't know if it was restarting Windows or messing with the sound control panel, but now everything is working great. I agree the spatial sound with headphones is fantastic. Especially noticeable in the Spring section of the intro when the bikes are weaving back and forth and jumping your car.

For the record my current settings are: Realtek mobo audio via headphones, 48 khz 24 bit, enhancements enabled but none checked, Dolby spatial audio with 7.1 enabled. Also Nvidia HDMI audio, stereo, full range speakers set to L+R, same audio settings but no spatial audio.

How do you guys play the game? Camera behind the car or cockpit? I thought I liked cockpit mode but man the graphics is definitely not as good I think compared to the camera behind the car. Maybe that's why I haven't been able to finish the last few games.

For me, it’s cockpit 100%.

Forza games (Horizon and Motorsport) find the perfect mixture of close-enough simulation and well refined pick up and play mechanics for my tastes, and when paired with my racing rig offer me exactly what I want in a driving game. I come home at the end of the day, sit down and spend however much time I’d like at the wheel of an interesting and/or exotic car driving in ways I never would/could in the real world. As such, in most cases I make the choice that increases the sense that I’m sitting in the car itself, and that starts with using the cockpit view and usually includes turning off as much of the UI as possible while still keeping the game playable. Like, I do usually keep the lap counters on (better when they fade in and out contextually, but that’s not always available as a choice), but I almost always just use the speedometer modeled in the game’s cockpit rather than using the UI element for that.

I’m actually even more excited than usual for this year’s Horizon game though because I’ve just added the last missing piece to the rig I’ve been slowly building on each year around Forza season, being a nice handbrake. I passed on it last year because Motorsport games just don’t have that much use for it, but oh man am I excited to have it available for driving around the backroads of England like a nut. (And it might finally be time to dig back into Dirt Rally once I’ve thoroughly played Horizon 4.)

Balthezor wrote:

How do you guys play the game? Camera behind the car or cockpit? I thought I liked cockpit mode but man the graphics is definitely not as good I think compared to the camera behind the car. Maybe that's why I haven't been able to finish the last few games.

In Forza proper, it’s all cockpit. But in Forizon, I go back and forth. Cockpit is tougher, and I like seeing the bigger picture.

But for some races, particularly those that go off-road, I often go cockpit. I might not do as well, but that visceral feeling of bouncing around and trying to pass cars is pretty awesome.

So really, I just choose what feels like the most fun. On playground games I almost always go with far behind. Playing tag is easier with a bigger view.

Is there any way on the demo to not have to replay the intro sequences every time you run it?

Not that I've seen. It looks like it doesn't save any progress.

That's right, no saves in the demo. Mostly to get people to buy the actual game, I guess. I have no idea how far the demo lets you go.

Not very. It gives you a few more events but a lot of the roads leading out of that first area send you back and there are unbreakable walls in the forest areas.

That is included with the ultimate version, btw. DB5, baby!

Of course Forza fanatics are complaining that the gadgets and accessories don't really work, that we already had some of these in previous games, and that a couple of Bond cars are missing. Pfft. I'm just happy to get a cool batch of cars!

Agreed. More cars, more fun. I've pre-ordered the ultimate edition simply because I know how much I'll be playing. I put countless hours into 3, so it's a no brainer for me. The hardest part right now is not playing the demo again and again and waiting for next week.

Would be cool if the Lotus submarine actually let you go across water though in Summer so you could get the Island Barn find a bit sooner