If you read my Forza Horizon 3 review, you know that FH3 was/is one of my favorite games of all time, and guess what? Forza Horizon 4 is more of what made Forza Horizon 3 great! So, if you loved Forza Horizon 3, you will probably find a lot to love in Forza Horizon 4. It is not a re-invention of the franchise, but no one wanted that anyway.
In Forza Horizon 4 you are no longer the ‘boss’ for the Horizon Festival, you are just another racer, so you are no longer trying to level up Forza event locations. What are you trying to do is win all the races, so you can become a British Real Estate Tycoon. Which is to say that without event locations, you need to buy houses for fast travel locations, and the houses you buy come with perks like more wheel spins, fancy clothes or extra cars, so you want those houses (and castles).
You also need those houses, story wise, to stay in because you now live in England through the changing seasons, and if you are going to live in the UK for foreseeable future, you will need a few places to lay your head and store your cars. The seasons are fun: Things are frozen over and thick snow blocks your progress in the Winter, mud and rain ruin your traction in the Spring, conditions are perfect in the Summer, and you get Spring with leaves in the Fall. It is always a challenge to retune your skills with each change of the season (seasons change every week).
The other big change is that Forza Horizon 4 is online by default now. Instead of Drivatars racing around, they are real people, and they are also ghosts. Spooky! It makes sense, you don’t want people purposely being able to grief each other while going from place to place, I mean that is what the races are for. It is fun to watch other people screwing around at least as much as I am.
Besides the Forza Event locations, the only thing Forza Horizon 4 lacks from 3 is the event Blueprint system. You can’t plan out your own jumps or speed traps anymore. All you can do is tweak existing races. I am guessing this had to be done so the game could always be online, and I don’t really miss it that much. Mostly because I am leveling up all the time, and I don’t just mean my overall level, but you level up in types of races, car collection, photo mode, skill points and just about everything else. I am pretty sure the only way not to progress in FH4 is to just sit still, but even then, there must be some bar going up somewhere.
Mostly, FH4 is just more Forza Horizon, and I love it. I love driving a Lamborghini off a cliff and in to a pond below, or racing a Willys Jeep across the country. If I don’t want to do any of that, I can just mess about, and the game pats me on the head and tells me I am its favorite and hands me some points. It is all so good. Even if some may call Forza Horizon 4 an expansion for 3. It is a vast expansion with a lot to do, and it expands on a wonderful game, wonderfully. Buy Forza Horizon 4 (or get it with Game Pass) it is more fun than just about anything else out there.