The Forza Horizon 4 Thread: Please Drive on the Left!


#1

I’ve been waiting for a Forza Horizon 4 article to sort of be the thread to talk about this game, but figured I should just make it!

I’ve been really enjoying this game. It certainly has issues, but overall it’s a very good open world racing game! Not much has changed since Horizon 3, but the new map is fun to traverse, the season changes are interesting is not significantly different (minus winter), and the seamless multiplayer is cool particularly for the Forzathon events!

How are you enjoying it? Have a favorite car? Emote? Pair of pants?

Also there is an unofficial Waypoint Forza Horizon 4 group! Look up “Driftcourse”!


#2

I’ve been loving it. I really like the little “horizon story” races to break up doing other stuff. I adore making a character and taking time to choose “what car am I gonna tool around in for a while?” I got an old VW bug and upgraded it a little ways and really like being in that little thing. Last thing - the current weekly challenge, centered around retro hatchbacks, is super cool. I bought two 90’s hatchbacks and threw a bananas engine in one to hit the “ultimate speed” skill and just drove up and down the highway in it - that was fun as heck, and it got me in the upgrade menus to try doing weird stuff in order to accomplish the weekly goals.


#3

I was expecting the full game to run worse than the demo (FH3 was not great at juggling data in/out - the full game is more world assets to juggle with the full map to travel, probably more cars too as the demo likely only could load from a more limited pool of vehicles) and with FH3’s city being the real performance hole then it was likely that Edinburgh would also be where FH4 was strained the most.

So I’m extremely happy that everything actually runs better (I even ended up tweaking my settings up and went from 2x to 4xMSAA as there was enough room while still targeting 60fps). The Windows 10 Forza curse is broken (at least for me) - no weird assets totally failing to load as a race progresses (hi FM7 at launch) and no terrible stutter (FH3’s infamous launch issues with scaling to more than a couple of CPU cores and reaching beyond 30fps).

I’m not sure I like the way speed traps and stuff unlock (I seem to remember FH3 was similar in that it added them in tiers but it feels like in FH4 they’re being added in even smaller increments) as it seems like it’d be better if that stuff was just out there to discover rather than doing stuff in the open world in an area for a while only for the unlocks to later come in and fill in things to do there that you’d rather have experienced while driving through the areas getting to the events you’d already unlocked. Lots more to play but I’m already getting the feeling that all the various unlock systems are somewhat of a “unlocking content is good” without much of a thesis behind why it’s good to unlock things and so a lack of design around what order they unlock (especially in relation to how one unlock system could interact with another).


#4

Everything unlocks by doing that thing - so speed traps are added when you do speed traps, road races when you do road races, etc. For the actual races it’s made more explicit, since after every race you might level up and a person says to you “nice, you made it to the next round!” but every content type unlocks this way. I really dig this, because it feels less like a sudden smattering of new stuff is added (except maybe in the tutorial parts? Can’t remember now) and instead you’re given more of what you show interest in.


#5

But not boards. The collectables are all in the world from the start (or at least get added all at once during the tutorial when unlocked).

I like to do the open-world mini-challenge things because they are there. But they’re not there in an area if I don’t synchronise manually my unlocking of events in an area of the map with progressing all the different mini-challenge things as they seem to roughly unlock on splotches that focus on a certain area of the map.

I vastly prefer the idea that you can stumble upon mini-challenges like you can boards, maybe on top of a system that puts them on the map to make them easy to locate as an unlock mechanic. But right now they don’t appear in the world at all until you unlock them. You can have driven a length of road going to events time after time but your top speed is never recorded because you happened to not have unlocked that tier of the speed camera unlocks.

Edit: I’d probably describe them as ambient challenges - they exist in the open world bit between events (see The Crew’s use of mini challenges in the open world spaces between events for the same idea - there even more clearly designed as something to do as you travel rather than something you are meant to be spending much of the game actively seeking out). Except, if you fail to do enough of them in FH4 when in one area and end up moving to the next area before it unlocks them, you’ll then rarely bump into more of those challenges. Which builds a feedback cycle where the game continues to not unlock more in the new areas you’re pushed to spend more time in as the events progress and fill in various areas more densely. This seems like a bad interaction between unlock systems.


#6

For anyone interested, there is a unofficial Waypoint group that was made on the discord! It’s called “Driftcourse” with the shorthand [WAYP]


#7

Yeah, this is one of these things that I’m less than enthused about. The progression seems paced so that you’re seeing things unlock too frequently. I keep accidentally opening the map during Forzathon challenges and needing to wait 15 seconds for some really cheerful person to tell me I’ve unlocked more speed traps. It’s annoying


#8

If I remember right on the Danger signs, drift zones and speed traps in FH3. They were added as you found them but it made late game a huge slog because the entire map was covered in them and you’d have to hit them all. I’d imagine they made a call that you only unlock more by hitting the current objectives to prevent it being overwhelming. I respect the rationale even if I don’t agree with it. Especially since with early game cars you aren’t going to be pulling much in them unless you get lucky and the game throws a hyper car at you because you earned a wheel spin for just breathing and leveling up your breathing skill. But then progression is weird in it because you are just constantly filling meters without realizing you are doing anything. I leveled up just because I did a photo session with a really nice Jeep Wrangler Rubicon paint. Turns out you can level up just on creative stuff like painting, tuning and photo taking even.

But then the pacing and progression in the game seems just to be balanced towards getting out and telling you to do what you want to do rather than hit every objective and race like previous games. Especially with the shared world aspects where you can goof off with other people or do the Forzathon live. I really hope they iterate a bit on that. I had a really cool moment when I was travelling to a Forzathon event, I caught up with another player who saw I had a RWD Integra asked me to drift with them. We started tandem drifting in the summer evening sunshine while “Clair De Lune” played on Timeless over to the event. It was marvelous and something The Crew never really landed that I hoped it would. The event and track design is really well done as well and has much better checkpointing than the previous games. It just all feels so good to play you can’t help but melt in.

The only real complaint I can level at the game other than the weird progression is the Radio stations aren’t as great as the previous games which had some real bangers you would always leave the radio station on for. I would hope with the newly “Live” nature of the game they could add more songs, new radio stations or build Spotify integration in because the current soundtrack is a bit weak. But I mean, thumbs all the way up otherwise. This really is the best racing game since Project Gotham Racing 4 and I don’t say that lightly.


#9

Why oh why did I decide to be responsible and go into work today? :joy:

Seriously, I cannot wait to get deep into some FH4. See you folks in the Waypoint group!


#10

There’s a co-op only summer event that I look forward to doing with Waypointers!


#11

So here’s an interesting wrinkle on the unlock of the speed traps, danger jumps, and so on: #Forzathon Live hacks it. Whenever you’re sent to an area to do various of the mini-challenges, when the timer runs down on the Live period then your scores are obviously there (because Forzathon places most mini-challenges around an existing one of these ambient challenges) but you haven’t necessarily unlocked it via progression. So the game just does the unlock on that region’s local ambient challenges of that type. Bang, on the map forever more; presumably because players wouldn’t be happy to do a danger jump online and then come out of it and not be able to even see the leaderboards or continue to improve.

Which does somewhat make me wonder why they are committed to a strict unlock cadence based on completing previous ones for the normal progression of ambient challenges (with no directed discoverability - once again the RNG of the Forzathon picking mini-challenge locations defines how things unlock for you if you engage with that system), when they can shortcut it at will for their online stuff. (I did check and it isn’t just that completing one more event unlocked the next batch - I’ve had it unlock a batch from the Forzathon and unlock through progression at the same time, doing two unlocks on the map as soon as the Forzathon finished; once for the “next” area and once for the area including the ambient event the Forzathon has picked.)


#12

I came here to post about the unoffical in-game group but I see its already covered! (I usually tend to stay on the community discord and don’t visit the forums that often).

Please! Join us! Drift!


#13

As a Brit, I’m looking forward to all the youtube tutorials on roundabouts.


#14

Wait, I said previously that wheel spin cars are at least a bit like credits for cars of your choice because you can sell them, assuming this was like other Forza games and you get half price for selling cars. Only… there’s no sell button, “remove from garage” deletes the car for no credits, even if you paid credits to buy a car.

Unless you find someone who wants the car on the AH (and if you’ve got a non-FE variant and can see the plentiful supply of FE variants on the AH then you are not going to find bidders anything close to half the sticker value of that car) then you are in fact stuck with no credits and no path to that expensive car you actually want.

Of note, as it always should be, the $100 edition of this game comes with that VIP badge and a coin doubler so people who have that version get more credits for playing the game (on top of a freebie 5,000,000 credit house that non-VIP players will need to buy).


#15

Ugh, yup. That’s scummy. I’m VIP this time around so Ive had cars coming in left and right, but my friends have the standard edition and I’ll be curious what the cash flow is like. In 3 it wasn’t that bad, but with wheel spins now having clothes, horns, and cars on top of cash, that seems like recipe for some real bullshit

And that lake house is 5,000,000 are you kidding me?


#16

If you drive up to one of those time-limited seasonal events (which also includes a not-that-well-flagged DLC-only set of events that opens up the store page for those without the Day-1 DLC) which have specific vehicle requirements then it’ll offer to sell you a car to qualify if what you currently own doesn’t match (more great news: if you would need to upgrade a car you already own then it isn’t on the list as available because you can only buy/apply upgrades at home/the festival base) and obviously there’s no AH access there. So it seems like the buying/selling is being pushed towards the AH and yet it’s not actually integrated into the open world areas where you want to grab a new car right at that moment.

It seems like friction that doesn’t need to be there. Clearly they didn’t want people flooded with credits inflating AH prices for rare stuff so took out the money tap of selling cars (back to “the dealer”) but it feels like they need to make the AH something you can access anywhere to actually replace that functionality (and maybe make buy-it-now prices the norm?). Heck, the inability to buy parts anywhere also feels like a huge oversight in a game where people are going to be playing for quite a long time before finding all the boards to remove the credit cost of fast travel (a cost that starts out often more than you win from finishing an event).

Great open world I enjoy driving round but if I want to do something then I’m ready for it then. I don’t want to drive back to base to buy a car part then drive back out again (or even have to put it off to wait for an AH bid to complete). We can get a car we own delivered anywhere but that’s not much good without the parts shop and a mechanic.


#17

Coming from previous Mainline and Horizons with the Ultimate Editions. The VIP is pretty much useless in this game. Previous games it would give you a bonus on your difficulty settings, festival boss perks and a 2x Double cash bonus on wheelspins but in this game, It only gives you a bonus for the race. No Difficulty bonus, no perk bonus and no wheelspin bonus. At best you’re just making 3-4k credits over what you would normally get for a race which is super paltry compared to leveling up activities. It’s a huge change to the other games and deleting cars seems to be in reaction to the new Auction House as FH3 and FM7 had some really wild prices (But then if you knew how to do your mod loadouts right in FM7, 500k a race wasn’t uncommon)

Forza economy can be hilariously broken. If you’ve played the previous games. You can download the Forza Hub app on Xbox/PC. Log in and get free in game credits for logging in and eventually your cash builds up over time. My top tip if you want a car that is out of your range is to start experimenting around with the mountain of free cars it gives you or the cheaper end cars to do races and events (Don’t forget your offroad tyres if you do dirt or cross country) and you’ll find the cash starts building up fairly quick to what you want between race payouts, wheel spins and leveling up different attributes without having to get rid of whats in your garage. It also helps you find cars that you like that you would probably overlook otherwise. I got a classic Alfa Giulia from a wheelspin and its a tremendous amount of fun to hoon around in. Will probably fit some dirt tyres on it when it rolls over to autumn tomorrow.


#18

The thing is, there are plenty of multi-million credit cars (not to mention the extremely expensive property). Why is this progression gate there? What’s the point of earning credits and having random rolls give you random super-high end vehicles as you play but basically being locked to them by how the economy is shaped (making the other high-end vehicles off limits)? Do they need 10 locations to buy with bonuses tied to them and exclusive clothing?

I have played a lot of Forza over the years (more earlier where the Hub reward points were less generously given out so I’m tier 8) but that 200k credits I get each week from the Hub means it’d take 10 weeks to earn enough to buy the location that unlocks fast-travel anywhere. That really doesn’t feel like it moves the needle. Especially in a game where influence (which can be earned via idling in Mixer) leads to level ups and that leads to more wheel-spins as a primary driver of new stuff - they opened a big tap to push their streaming service so I think we should talk about how big the sinks they put in the game are.

Why is there not a button you can click at the start to just make your garage filled with every car? Or to make it so that there is an actually progression up the tiers (which is how the golden days of 360 Forzas roughly built the progression systems, with enough freedom and events picked based on what you wanted to drive but also a curve of advancement through the total range of vehicles - with stuff like the linear cadence of the championships at the end of each season in FM4 going up the performance groups while also allowing the selection from a huge range of events between those season-enders; it was a smart mix of constraints and freedom). None of this feels tuned around giving me a satisfying progression curve or just letting me do whatever I want. It’s like Forza as a series kinda figured it out by the end of the 360 generation and then have spent all this generation trying to find a different design that’s even a quarter as good just because different is seen as differentiating (especially with a game that is incremental in closed courses & cars included and that ditched a lot of those at the generation transition in order to restart with higher fidelity - not to mention the now constant licensing issues they’re having simply retaining all the brands from previous games).


#19

The last driving game I played for any significant length of time is NFS Underground, so ITS BEEN A WHILE (a few hours of GRID Autosport last year I don’t really count). But damn, this game is a ton of fun. I hear that it’s similar to the previous ones, so I can’t really judge that, but coming in to this game after a LONG time not playing driving games, this is great.

This is the perfect mix of “serious” driving that also lets me drift my way out of trouble at times. The character and car customisation is deep and cool (while I love the dances, seriously we need to have a conversation about studios acknowledging where they took them from). I love the presentation, the goofyness, the earnestness of all these presenters that are trying to tell me how great this whole festival is while I terrorise the locals by destroying every single fence I can find and doing donuts outside their fancy houses.

I joined Driftcourse yesterday and look forward to playing with y’all if/when I can. If you see MarxistMuesli that’s me, hit me up.


#20


Wheeeeee!!!

After an unexpectedly busy couple of days, I finally got to put in some time with FH4. I’m still not passed the intro seasons stuff, but so far the game is doing everything I want in a Horizon follow up. Can’t wait to dig in more!