Forza Horizon 3 Windows 10 Review
Forza Horizon 3 was initially released on the 27th of September this year, exclusively on the Xbox One. This is the first time a Forza game has been released on the PC, which is done by utilizing the ‘Universal Windows Platform’. For those unaware, this platform allows users to play exclusive Xbox One games on PC, such as Halo 5: Forge and Gears of War 4. When you purchase a UWP supported game on either Xbox or Windows, you own the game on both platforms. I myself am a fan of this and hope that Microsoft continue to support their PC audience further. Here is my review:
As of yesterday, I’ve had access to the Forza Horizon 3 Windows 10 demo, and I find myself pleasantly surprised after hearing some negative comments about the original release on the Xbox One. So, let’s hop into my review of the PC port.
Firstly, let’s look at the performance in comparison to the Xbox One. My home PC, which I played the demo on consists of a Nvidia GTX 980ti and an i7-4790k with 16GB of DDR4 RAM. Unsurprisingly, the game runs at a solid 60FPS at 1920×1080. I wouldn’t recommend going past the auto recommended settings unless your rig is fairly new. On my laptop, which consists of a GTX 960M and an i7-4720HQ, I was experiencing some stuttering and frame drops. This is a known issue that will be fixed in a patch at some point. Also worth noting, my main rig struggled to maintain 60fps at 1440p, which is disappointing, as I prefer to game at a higher resolution. For a new PC port such as this, though, it’s to be expected.
The graphics themselves, from what I’ve seen when I played with a friend on the Xbox One, look better than they do on the console. Most noticeable, in my opinion, are the quality of the reflections on the cars. On the Xbox version, the reflections look blurred and unclear, but on the PC version they look much more realistic and sharp. Another great addition on the PC version, in my opinion, is that the game looks much nicer in dark areas, such as forest roads. In dark areas on the console version, colors look very much smudged and faded, whereas on the PC version they look crisp.
The gameplay itself seems ultimately the same as the console version as long as you’re using a controller or steering wheel. While some people like to use keyboard/mouse on racing games, I myself do not. The lack of precise turning offered by a keyboard isn’t great, so if you’re looking to buy this game but don’t have a compatible controller to use with your PC, I’d suggest waiting until you get one or buying it for the Xbox One. That’s not to say that the keyboard controls are bad however, as they’re superior to a lot of racing games I’ve played on the PC. It’s just that no matter how good the keyboard controls are, on a racing game a controller will always be superior.
As for the substance of the game, Forza Horizon 3 is rather unique as far as racing games go, wherein racing seems to be only a single facet of the multitude of experiences the game offers. There are a large amount of skill-based minigames, challenges, and exploration activities to partake in. I myself found that the majority of my time playing the game was spent in free-roam, exploring the large map offered to me. The player hosts a festival where they showcase their racing abilities, from entering contests to racing against vehicles such as trains and helicopters.
There are hundreds of cars available in game now, and more will be added later as DLC. By default, the game turns on steering assist and other such options for lower-skilled players who just want to enjoy driving around. You can, however, disable these options for more of a challenge if that’s your style of playing. Personally, disabling these assists was the first thing I did. A unique feature added into the game is that your Xbox Live friends get AI avatars in your game, which change their style of driving depending on how your friends themselves drive. I can’t really tell how this system works and whether it’s accurate or not, but it’s a cool little feature that made me feel like I was kind of racing my friends.
Forza also offers online play, which I didn’t really bother with, but it does offer a co-op campaign of sorts, in which up to 3 friends can join you and help progress your game by completing challenges and races for you. Forza Horizon 3 isn’t the best racing game I’ve played, however enjoyable. It is, however, a very fun open-world game with a lot of activities to do. As the first Forza game released on PC, I’d say it’s very enjoyable and worth purchasing if you have friends to play with.
Image credit: PC Games Hardware on Youtube/Windows Central
Unique for a racing game
Too many lackluster minigames