Forza Horizon 4 on Xbox One X – Four SEASONS why this could be Playground’s best game yet | Gaming | Entertainment
With Playground’s excellent track record on the Forza Horizon series, it won’t surprise you to hear that the studio’s next Xbox One release is shaping up to be an absolute corker.
After stints in Colorado, France, Italy and Australia, Forza Horizon 4 shifts the action to Britain, where players can speed through the English countryside, visit quaint villages, cruise along stunning coastal roads, and even race around iconic locations such as Edinburgh.
And because it wouldn’t be Britain without unpredictable weather, Forza Horizon 4 introduces ever-changing seasons.
Ahead of the Forza Horizon 4 release date, Express Online chats to Playground boss Ralph Fulton about the game’s best new feature.
Seasons have a transformative effect on the Forza Horizon 4 map, not just in terms of the way things look – autumn is very leafy, for example – but also how cars handle and where you can explore.
“There are gameplay changes with every season,” Fulton explains. “The lake freezing is probably the best possible example of seasons changing the world.
“More subtly, water levels move up and down during seasons. In spring and autumn you can get higher river levels, but in summer some of the rivers actually dry up entirely and just become a dry riverbed.
“With heavier rain in spring and autumn, mud turns to deeper deformable mud, and you’ll feel that as your tires cut through it.”
Things are so different from season to season that one race could require four different strategies depending on the time of the year.
“On the same route you have to have four different strategies based on what season you’re in,” Fulton continues.
“Your lines change, your corner space changes, and because our players love to replay content – they’ll play the same race many times – they’ve always got it four ways now.”
With Forza Horizon 4, Playground is also embracing the live service model, and seasons are a big part of that. Each season lasts for seven days in the real world, so all of your races will take place in spring one week, summer the next and so on.
It’s part of Playground’s promise to continue supporting the game for a longer period of time, and to entice players back on a more regular basis.
“Definitely our intent is to support this game for a long time, to continue supporting, developing and evolving it post-launch,” he continues.
“The way the seasons work once you get through the prologue is that they change on a weekly basis. So a season lasts a week and then it changes for everyone and you’re into a new one.
“We’re going to use that as a device to bring new content to the game for everyone, every single week.
“We have a bunch of championships which are only in a season, and they will be gone at the end of the week.”
The end of each four season stretch will also coincide with a big new update, complete with fresh content that’s available for free.
“We’re also using this concept of the Horizon year, so four seasons, which is to say four weeks. Every Horizon year we’re going to be bringing a new update to the game, which will introduce new features, new gameplay, new customisation options for free, for everyone.”
You can check out Forza Horizon 4’s new seasonal features when the game launches on October 2, exclusively for Xbox One and Windows.