'Forza Horizon 4' Is a Living Impressionist Landscape


#1

On Waypoint Radio 193, Austin, Danielle, Rob, and Natalie discuss Rob's recent reverie in Forza Horizon 4, Natalie had her dessert first in Super Mario Party, Danielle is catching up with Kassandra in Assassin's Creed Odyssey, and Austin has a surprising amount to say about Xbox Game Pass.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/qv9xa5/forza-horizon-4-podcast-xbox-game-pass

#2

I haven’t seen the podcast in the rss feed or itunes yet and the player on the page isn’t loading for me but the direct download link works.


#3

Same, on Android using pocketcasts


#4

On the paid cheats (give more money, skip the boring parts you don’t want to do in the game you already paid for) - Hello my friends, I would like to tell you about our lord and saviour, Cheat Engine.

Buy the game, you now own the game. Now open up an inspection view into your RAM, that you definitely own, and look at all the numbers here. You can change some of these. You might even look up where Odyssey stores your XP number and tell your computer to detect when it changes and then put a multiplier on that change to give you an XP boost. Your game, your PC, offline thing that doesn’t affect anyone else. Definitely nothing morally dubious about it.

Maybe you don’t actually have to read the filler chapter of the book that you’re not enjoying and could just skip forward to the next chapter with the characters you do care about. Anyone who tells you you don’t have the right to do that probably can’t claim that you ever really purchased the book in the first place (and should definitely never use language like “buy” to describe a transaction that looks like it is selling such a book if they don’t wish you to be able to do so).

Also I note that Forza Horizon 4 has a paid cheat too (which forever marks every player who uses it with the little crown icon). So reviewers (who got given the $100 edition) are going to be thinking that the game gives you a 5,000,000 credit home and more credits for completing each race than the actual $60 game provides. And players are upset… because the paid cheat used to give them even more of a boost than this in previous games (they also got very annoyed when the same happened for FM7 - the paid cheat got less good and they got so mad Turn 10 eventually gave them a load of free cheat credits and stuff to say sorry for the paid cheats not being cheaty enough or as cheaty as in previous games). So that’s good and fun: the angry gamers don’t seem angry that you can pay for cheats and this is changing the design of games to try and push cheat sales but that the value of those paid cheats may go down in some annual iteration of a series. Everything is fine!

On Game Pass - It’s worth saying this is all about the Xbox Game Pass on actual consoles. On PC then you do get the new stuff but lots of things you’d expect (like some games developed/published by MS and in the service on console) may not be there on the Windows 10 Store. Quantum Break is on Game Pass… except if you look at the Win 10 version on the Windows Store as that’s not. Gears 5 is on both; Gears of War: Ultimate Edition is only on consoles. And the Windows 10 Store page for Game Pass lists every game, including the Xbox ones. There isn’t actually an easy way on that store to just get a list of Game Pass games that run on Windows 10. It’s clunky (but also is definitely the cheapest way to play FH4 and if you expect to chew through all that content and then move on to something else, it’s probably not a bad idea).


#5

I’m on pocketcast on iOS and I haven’t seen the podcast in my feed either


#6

just popped up for me when I refreshed.


#7

Can we get a Rob FH4 stream? I just want him to gush over the game while cruising the English countryside in a supercar.


#8

Gotta say, it’s really frustrating to see the gang fall for the ‘You need the XP Booster’ rumor. As Jason Schreier, Mike Mahardy, and Paul Tassi have pointed out, it’s not nearly as pervasive as Austin or others are making it sound. Shitty youtubers have perpetuated this rumor, and has created a toxic atmosphere around the game. I think a big part of it is Jim Sterling’s awful video… Shit, I’ve been watching Schreier get bombarded on Twitter because he’s defending the game. I am an Assassin’s Creed apologist, but these are the EXACT same microtransaction features that were in Origins, XP Booster and all, and I didn’t see the kind of fervor build up around that game like it is here. It really isn’t that bad.

I totally understand and agree with Austin’s take on the meaningless war systems, the nothing side quests, how long this game is, and his reasons for being frustrated with the tone and messaging of the game, but a lot of what he says in this episode is based on misinformation.


#9

Assassins creed has had bunches of extremely optional micro transactions for… like at least since black flag, if not even before that. They barely touch the experience. I think the one real thing you could say about odyssey and probs origins if it has an xp thing is this will let you mainline the story and probably not have to touch side quests nearly as much.


#10

Yeah, which is why the microtransactions use terminology like ‘Time Savers.’ They aren’t being obtuse about this… I’m seeing people compare it with Battlefront II, as if it is that nefarious.


#11

Y’know what could help fill Natalie’s Mario Party loneliness?
Gather together Austin, Danielle, Cado and Natalie on the couch to stream a full game of Super Mario Party (Party).
It’s not 50 turns, but I’m sure it would be fun.


#12

As much as I’m scared of invoking the spirit of Ryckert , I’d watch the heck out of this.


#13

First mockup for The Zacny SchoolZacnySchool
(White text on a blue background: reads The Zacny School, with the latin motto in italics beneath: “Ars, Fors, Caseum”)

There are several latin words that I could have gone with for the first two words of the motto, the translation I intend is “Skill, Luck, Cheese”.

Keep the peace,
-Mendon


#14

Allegedly a Drifter in a purple cap kidnapping various gaming media personalities along the east coast and forcing them to “Join his party”. IS WAYPOINT NEXT?

Also on the Paid single player MTX. We’re getting creepily closer to obsessing over other people do in their Single-Player games and that doesn’t sit right. Multiplayer stuff like Lootboxes and progression MTX is absolutely not on and I can understand a community backlash there because it effects us all. But a single player time skip feels inane. Especially because I’ve seen a lot of people on my TL say they don’t need it and the leveling curve feels in line with other genre games on normal. But I mean, it’s there if you want to burn through it. There feels like a psychological effect going on with the idea of its existence making some people feel you will underlevel and have to grind because it exists even though we have multiple reports saying its not an issue.

I kinda appreciate Ubisoft’s final word on the issue to Kotaku being “You can always turn the difficulty up and down at any time” though. It does signal that a lot of youtuber “Wolf!” criers are more concerned with how much rage they can manufacture and convert into patreon donations than actually investigating the game. There really is a lot of appeal into decrying anything that ruins the “Integrity” of a game. Its the “Dark Souls shouldn’t have an easy mode” episode on re-run.


#15

Hey, to be clear, none of my opinion was informed by the YouTubers you’re talking about here. I’ve seen specific colleagues (like Arthur Gies) say that purchasing the XP booster has given them a much better time. And I know that my own time with the game has been exceedingly negative, for all ther reasons I’ve explained over three podcast episodes now.

The bulk of 30 hours of Odyssey I’ve played is incredibly dry, but also (due to the difficulty gates built by the game’s leveling system work) incredibly necessary if I want to advance down the main narrative path, where the occasional good mission or NPC is. Which, as I laid out on the podcast, is something I could avoid if I didn’t need to grind.

I didn’t have this problem with Origins for all the reasons I laid out about why I like Origins better: I think that the writing and world building are better per part compared to Odyssey. The microtransactions might have offered a similar shortcut, but I didn’t feel like I needed one because the game was something I wanted to experience more of already.

None of this is me repeating shit I’ve heard from a YouTube video or from Twitter strangers. These are my particular experience. That isn’t something that can be argued with any more than someone saying “Actually I really liked all 30 hours I’ve played so far.” Cool! I’m glad for those folks, but it isn’t my experience and knowing that about theirs doesn’t shift mine in any way.

In any case, please do not jump to conclusions about what we’ve “fallen for,” and always consider the breadth of the argument at play before dismissing it.


#16

I really wanted to like Forza Horizon 4, I played through the whole demo and it never grabbed me unfortunately. I’m not sure if I have just lost the taste for racing games or if my tweeking of the super adjustable difficulty settings made the game too easy for me.

The game is super pretty though.


#17

I emailed this question in and I hope they talk about it, but regardless I’d also like to hear what everyone else thinks.

I thought it was really interesting that you seemed to be in unanimous agreement that Xbox Game Pass is a cool thing. My first reaction was that it’s kind of like Spotify or Apple Music for games, which are extremely pro-consumer services that are also extremely anti-labor. Artists have been bemoaning the cut they get from streaming services for years, and my fear about Xbox Game Pass is that it would do the same thing to game devs. Studios are already having trouble staying afloat when people are buying their games directly at full price. Is there something that makes Game Pass different?


#18

I definitely wonder about this now that I see it brought up, but I have no idea if there’s any research or journalism on this yet. I think the way music industry works, with royalties and cuts and studios and individual artists, is super different from the economics that work with lots of AAA game developers right now. Like unless you’re an indie you’re probably not getting a specific cut from a sale of a game, you’re getting a salary. For the Microsoft games that are coming to Game Pass day 1, there’s probably some financing coming from Microsoft that buoys their studios, and the rest of the games on there are old enough (even a year or two) to where the income they’re getting from the game is probably super low. Tons of speculation here, of course, but I’d love to see some research done on how this stuff works. Exact numbers are rarely obtainable, but a better general idea would be great to get.


#19

I’m curious about this as well. I wonder if it is more like film, where this is potentially just an additional revenue stream, the way that movies get revenue from initial theater release, then rentals and VOD, and then through syndication on cable tv/availability on Netflix. Outside of MS first party stuff, there isn’t much that is launching on Game Pass, it’s more stuff that has been on sale for quite a while. So this might be a way studios/publishers just get an extra bit of cash from MS to allow it to be on Game Pass after they’ve made the bulk of the sales that they were going to make.

Plus, I know there are a number of games that get released on Game Pass that don’t include any DLC. So I’m sure there are plenty of developers that would view it as a chance to have people treat the base game as a demo, to see if they want to splurge on the DLC attached to the game. Kind of like how Destiny 2 got put on PS+ last month, but you still needed to shell out $60 if you wanted everything through Forsaken.


#20

It’s important to make a distinction between Spotify etc as services built on top of exploitative contracts that tie sales to remuneration for artists (and not how much music is digitally streamed) and streaming as an industry income. As I’ve written about here before, the total income possible from streaming service is not an issue for the music industry, it’s the contracts.

The total revenue you can see for perpetually renting your content to the billions of consumers of mass market media is not less than you get from selling things (at least this appears to be what we see in the industry data). People generally spend their entertainment budgets and giving consumers more options just means they spread their money slightly differently and consume different content (if you pay for Netflix not Amazon then you can sample into anything on one not the other while buying it per-season or per-movie would lead to a different viewing pattern that ignores the differentiation between platforms). The issue becomes fairly compensating artists.

So Game Pass would seem to only be an issue for studios who have large bonus structures built around sales not studio revenue or independent developers who have long-term contracts written in similar terms (and so affects their ability to pay salary workers).