Your Game, Your Festival
Science & Tech Editor
Forza Horizon 3 is the third game in the spin-off series of the Forza Motorsport franchise, published by Microsoft Studios. The game is being advertised with the tagline “your game, your festival”. For the most part, this statement is an accurate description of the experience. The most recent entry is a big change from the first (where players assumed the role of an ordinary person racing for wristbands to rise to the top in Colorado), and the second, where the premise was racing in a cross-country road trip through France and Italy. This game places you at the helm of the entire festival.
Tasked with running the festival Horizon Australia, your goal is to gain supporters and expand. To do so, the player must partake in events and races, performing in publicity stunts and taking part in ridiculous showcases which involve racing against a plane or a train. Eventually, rumours surface about vintage cars hidden in barns, you will discover bucket list challenges and unofficial, illegal street races will begin to appear, providing more choices than time allows for.
The game’s developers, Turn 10 and Playground Games, have introduced a drastic amount of changes. The first, and most noticeable, is that you’re given the option to select your own avatar. There will no longer be the same generic white male representing every player. You’re given the chance to be whoever you want with preselected character models. In terms of customization, new body kits were added, including some from famed brands Rocket Bunny and Liberty Walk. As far as gameplay, a new “blueprint” feature was introduced to allow further customization and individuality: selection of the race, car type, car class, number of laps, time of day and the weather. Most surprisingly, this is the first full Forza game to be released on Windows 10, barring Forza Motorsport 6: Apex which was more of a tech demo. In fact, the launch has been smooth on both console and computer, which is rare considering how often games are released broken and butchered, bordering on unplayable.
Dan Greenawalt, the creative director at Turn 10, has been quoted many times saying his goal is to get gamers interested in car culture, and gearheads into video games. Driving around and exploring the world is as important as racing. The amount of detail and thought put into every aspect of the world and each car is a sight to behold.
It is important to remember that at the end of the day, it’s your festival. You decide what you want to do. You can choose to crash through the Australian outback in a modern race car that has no business being off-road, roll through the city in a Stadium Super Truck while listening to Mozart and Beethoven, enjoy a nice drive in a 1940s Ford De Luxe Coupe, slide around in a comically over-modified Mini Cooper or attempt to control the infamous Reliant Supervan as seen on the television show Top Gear. The game’s motto is to let go and simply enjoy yourself in whichever way you prefer.