Forza Horizon 4 is heading to Xbox One consoles, Windows 10, and Xbox Game Pass on October 2, 2018. The news was announced by Ralph Fulton, Playground Games creative director, during Microsoft’s Xbox press event prior to the E3 2018 gaming convention. Along with the announcement, the studio also showcased live gameplay to emphasize how seasons will “change everything” in the upcoming game.
Set in Britain, Forza Horizon 4 will consist of a shared, open world with dynamic seasons, time of day, and weather conditions synchronized across the entire player community. These changes will keep the open-world racing game fresh, with new events taking place each season and world events signaled by a blimp floating overhead. You play with not only the entire community but with the development team as well.
During the Forza Horizon 4 reveal, members from Playground Games jumped on-stage to steer the new McLaren Cena, the Hoonigan Ford Focus starting in the streets of Scotland’s capital, an off-road buggy on Britain’s coastline, and a highly customized Nissan Silvia. The demo showcased the glorious visuals Xbox One X owners will experience with the game’s 60FPS mode, which renders a sharp, detailed world at a buttery 60 frames per second.
The demo also revealed how players can meet new friends and join teams. Simply pull up next to a car, select the quick chat feature on the D-Pad, and seamlessly enter into co-op mode. “Hello, wanna drift?” one message bubble asks another player. If the first player is also in a group, the second player will be asked to join the “convoy” and they’ll drive off together to watch the sunset.
According to the live demo, world events are dubbed as #Forzathon Live. While the live presentation didn’t really go into detail outside of highlighting the community-driven gameplay, it revealed the current event consisted of three stages, the first of which required players to race to the danger sign.
In addition to showcasing how the community populates virtual Britain, a big emphasis was placed on the changing seasons. Each season brings its “unique beauty and unique gameplay,” such as the golden leaves highlighting the rolling countryside during the fall. Leaves eventually drop while ice and snow cover the ground and roads once winter arrives, providing a completely new, slippery driving dynamic.
In the spring, the world is seemingly reborn with lush, green landscapes and new seasonal elements to completely change the driving experience. Throw in the changing time of day, and you’ll feel like you’re driving in a thriving, living world. The demo initially began in the summertime with lots of rain showers spattering on the windshields and roads.
The first Forza Horizon game launched on the Xbox 360 in late 2012, followed by the second installment in September 2014 and the third installment in September 2016. All three are based on an open-world design, although Forza Horizon 3 was the first in the trio to implement cross-platform play multiplayer support between the Xbox console and Windows PC.