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The Charm of Forza Horizon

An online writer who is also an avid geek to automotive, video games, and anime. Have a soft spot for racing games


The Forza series is originally created as the rival to Sony’s series of racing game Gran Turismo. With the first game released in 2005, the series is still spawning sequels and spin-offs. It grew the beard with Forza Horizon spin-off with the first installment issued in 2012

There is something charming out of Forza Horizon installments. First, the series came with drastically different presentation from the Motorsport series. The serious atmosphere of motorsport is gone, being replaced by hip and colorful tone of Horizon festival, a music and automotive-themed festival.

Closed racing circuits are replaced with explorable places. Each places in Forza Horizon installments has different scenery. Take a look at Forza Horizon 3, for example, where desert-y dry reservoir appears contrasting the urban landscape of Surfers Paradise. Or in Forza Horizon 4 where you can drive up the mountains and in the town of Edinburgh.


The environment of Forza Horizon is not only introduced in the main game. It is also extended to its introduction. The Horizon 4 demo, for example, introduces players to the game’s world by exposing the players to the season change feature and the opportunity to drive powerful cars before starting from zero. The demo also serves as the tutorial before players start their progress.

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Most importantly, Forza Horizon comes with open-world gameplay. The first Forza Horizon tries to combine Forza’s driving elements with wide-open environment, a staple for the later installments.

You also got a variety of activities available, further strengthening the open-world aspects of the game. You also got not only races but also campaigns and multiplayer-based events. The peak of this is The Eliminator, a player versus player mode which was released in wake of battle royale game trend.


Now the cars. Horizon has variety of cars supporting activities doable within the free roam environment. Take an example of off-road vehicles which you can use to climb the map or drift-spec cars like Formula Drift DLC cars if you’re into drifting and pulling some slides.


Still on cars, the Horizon series also add cars from non-racing games, adding fanservice to fans of certain franchises. Notable guest rides are Quartz Regalia from Final Fantasy XV as well as Quadra VTech from Cyberpunk 2077.


If there is a thing or two that defines Forza Horizon’s own charm, it would be the vibrant atmosphere and the sense of freedom. The idea of combining automotive and music festival is somewhat unthinkable. Yet, it resulted in cheerful vibe that defines Horizon, making the series distinctive from Motorsport mainstays and other racing games. The open-world environment, on the other hand, helps players immerse in the environment offered by the game.

© 2021 Muhammad Azka Prasetya

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