Wow, a day 1 review on CTG!  This summer, Xbox decided to close down Xbox Fitness and refund all of the money people had put into the game.  My wife and I had tried it when I got my xbox but I sold my Xbox over the summer, so when I got the refund I didn’t have much to spend it on.  I saw that Forza Horizon 3 was going to be one of the first cross-buy games for Xbox and PC and so I decided to use that store credit on the Ultimate Edition.  Little did I realize by buying the Ultimate Edition I would get access to the game 4 days early.  Boy am I glad I did.

Presentation

Forza Horizon 3 is gorgeous.  I am playing on a mid-range PC and it runs fairly well at 1080p 60 FPS with the occassional stutter (a known issue with the PC version).   The presentation is as flashy and stylish as ever but the big change is that the Horizon festival has moved to Australia this time around and the scenery is amazing.  From sweeping deserts to lush coastline to rainforests with streams and rivers, there is no shortage of variety in the visuals.  The cars look and sound authentic and the reflection effects on the car exterior, rain puddles, and mirrors are incredible.  The following isn’t my screen shot, but it really does look that good.

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Gameplay

The gameplay for Forza is largely unchanged.  This is still an arcadey racer at its heart.  The emphasis this year is on building your own experience.  You are in charge of the Horizon Festival and must expand the festival and earn fans along the way.  You do this by scouting out (and building) races.  It’s not all that different from Horizon 2, but it’s a neat idea.  The other point of emphasis is on off-road racing.  Australia is perfect for this.  The buggies and trucks feel great driving off road and there’s a sort of lunacy to the races that is so much fun.

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Horizon3 also features cross-platform play between Xbox and PC.  I have not been able to test it out, but those who have say it works flawlessly.

Verdict

If you missed Horizon or Horizon 2, this is a great entry to jump on.  Horizon 3 is a worthy successor to one of my favorite racing games and I know I will be sinking many, many hours into this one.

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