Review: Forza Horizon 3

Sometimes, the best route in life is the road less travelled. That philosophy is true in Forza Horizon 3, a game that marries a variety of terrains and environments with high-performance sports cars to deliver unbelievable fun. The game doesn’t bring much innovation to the racing genre, but that doesn’t make the experience any less of a thrill.

Developed by Playground Games, the latest Forza instalment takes the series to the land Down Under, which allows players to explore a wide range of settings within an Australian sandbox. As an ignorant foreigner, I have to take the studio’s word for it when it says that the details are true to life. However, the environments match the tourist brochures for the country. There are a few sections of the map that feel flavourless, but most of the landscape is beautiful and seems to represent an idealized Australian motherland.

While the open world concept is now common practice in the racing genre, the rich Australian landscape still makes the game feel unique. Players are able to zoom through corn fields in farm country, take late-night strolls on sandy beaches, and race through city streets. Thanks to the terrain, the drive between races can be both arousing and exhausting. It’s great fun to discover a shortcut when you take a McLaren F1 off a hill at top speed, but it also results in some wonky crashes and unneeded stoppage time. It’s not the result of poor environment design or physics – it’s probably a rather realistic look at how that absurd situation would actually play out – but it’s still an unwelcome interruption during gameplay.

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