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OS Scores Explained Forza Horizon 3 Overview (Xbox One)
Pros
Genre-defining graphics; beautiful environments and car models; incredible amount of content.
Cons
Handling is twitchy at times; music selection is limited; limited character creations.
Bottom Line
Forza Horizon 3 is everything an open-world racer should be, and so much more.
9
out of 10
Forza Horizon 3 REVIEW

Forza Horizon 3 Review (Xbox One)


 
Pack your bags and make sure to include a lot of sunscreen because we are heading down under folks. Australia is the location for developer Playground's newest Forza title, and it’s the studio's best yet. Forza Horizon 3 is back, and it slowly rolls by its competition while taking off its sunglasses to say, “We both know I'm better than you.”

Whether blazing down a highway of Australia’s Pacific Coast, or taking on the natural elements of the Aussie Outback, FH3 puts you behind the wheel of some of the world’s most exotic and not so exotic vehicles, and every single one of them is a new adventure in waiting.
 
 
Gameplay

It is hard to describe FH3 as an arcade racer or racing simulation, because part of its charm is that it draws heavily from both genres and styles of racing. Real-world physics apply to the vehicle of your choice, but real-world rules and ramifications do not. If you are someone who adheres to the rules of the road in a high-performance vehicle, you can find some incredible AI racing and have an absolute blast with this title. If you would rather hop into an off-road buggy and explore the vast openness that Australia offers up, go for it. The level of authenticity and excitement applies to both styles so have no worries.

The handling of the vehicle is all dependent on what type of machine you select. I can absolutely feel the power and precision underneath the hood of a high-octane racing machine, which means you have to approach your driving style accordingly. On the flip side, I can hop into an off-road vehicle and abuse the terrain, and yet feel in much more control at times. The fact is that Forza Horizon isn’t a racing game, it isn’t an off-road game; it’s an open world adventure that hands you the keys.

What FH3 does so well here is the fact that it combines street racing, off-roading, story, and adventure, and it did so in a way without beating me over the head with its variety. Every part of this title is blended together perfectly, and it left me feeling like I was playing more of an action RPG-type of game, and less of a racing title. But don’t let that scare you away as there is plenty of racing to be had -- it wouldn’t be a Horizon game without it.

 
Story Mode

The story will feel familiar to those who played previous versions of Horizon. Once again you are a newcomer to the festival, and you are burdened with having to prove yourself to the locals, and the fans that have made the trek to view the awesome spectacle that is the Forza Horizon Festival. You will find yourself again trying to gain fans, help promote, open up new locales, and this time around, actually help with decisions like what the festival will actually include.

The amount of content that is included and created within FH3 is almost overwhelming at times, but the good news is you can do it all at your own pace. While the game does provide a path of advancement, it is anything but linear. This world is yours, and the game screams at you to take advantage of that freedom, and rewards you for doing so. In other words, FH3 is at its best when you treat it like an open-world game.
 
 
What is so remarkable about story mode in FH3 is that the story is one you actually create. You have the ability to challenge rivals, look for spectacular jumps, raid barns, create events at different locations, as well as a plethora of other options. But, as stated before, the story is what you hunt out because the game leaves it up to you.

Visuals

Forza Horizon 3 looks beautiful on Xbox One, but if you have access to the Xbox One S and an HDR capable 4K TV/monitor, then FH3 takes everything to a whole new level. The environments are dense and at times breathtaking. The attention to detail on vehicles and the landscape is equally impressive, and flying through a riverbed is nothing short of spectacularly beautiful and exciting. What Playground Games has created here is truly a spectacle to behold, and rarely has a game provided this type of immersive living and breathing world as a backdrop to one’s adventure.
 

"...if you have access to the Xbox One S and an HDR capable 4K TV/monitor, then FH3 takes everything to a whole new level."

 
Online

Forza Horizon 3 online will feel familiar to people who have played previous versions. It offers up multiple ways to enjoy the social aspect the game, whether it is a private session, online free roam or co-op campaign. All of these things are seamless once again and easy to arrange.

FH3 also offers up “Online Adventure.” This mode allows you to either find a created session, or create one of your own, that includes racing only, games only or collision-free racing only. Once again there is a Forza Hub that contains all the important information about you, your drivatar and friend’s accomplishments. While it may feel familiar, that doesn’t mean it’s lacking or poorly executed, because the options are robust and provides plenty of fun and longevity.
 
 
Final Thoughts

Forza Horizon 3 is good. Really good. The game provides an enormous amount of longevity due to its sheer size, massive mountain of content, lifelike environments, and this all makes it hard to put down the controller or wheel. FH3 doesn’t ask for conformity, in fact it pushes you to do the exact opposite and be who you are in a racing game. This game is about grabbing the wheel, looking out your windshield and telling the world “let’s do this.” This is the rare type of game that blurs the lines of sport and adventure, and it does so in amazing fashion.

Score: 9.0 (All-Time Classic)

Member Comments
# 1 ckarlic @ 09/21/16 04:48 PM
Thanks for the review. Looking forward to playing this game tomorrow night!
 
# 2 porkys8077 @ 09/21/16 04:51 PM
I loved the demo and I know I'm going to love the full game when I pick it up next week.
 
# 3 The JareBear @ 09/21/16 11:41 PM
This game looks freaking amazing
 
# 4 kwebbvols4423 @ 09/22/16 07:44 AM
Nice review. Can't wait until Friday.
 
# 5 bluengold34_OS @ 09/22/16 08:04 AM
I can tell you first hand that the retail version is amazing. Even more so than in the past, you find yourself exploring the landscape for hours. The story becomes absolutely secondary, and by a long shot.
 
# 6 Footballforever @ 09/22/16 08:34 AM
jesus forgot about this, i'm getting broke from all these games lol , cant wait
 
# 7 jrdsvtk @ 09/22/16 10:31 AM
Will there be a Club created for this? I'll gladly do it if no one else wishes to do so.
 
# 8 brandon27 @ 09/22/16 12:59 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrdsvtk
Will there be a Club created for this? I'll gladly do it if no one else wishes to do so.


We had one last year called OSOS. I hope it's back this year. I made the stupid mistake of pre-ordering the regular edition. I called today to see if I could change it, but I'm too late


So, I may decide to go digital with this. I'll play it so much that I won't trade in the physical copy, and that's usually my reasoning behind going digital. I may just wait though, I'm going to be out of town this weekend, so I might as well save myself some cash and wait until Tuesday. But then what do I do Monday night when I'm home and having to read about all of you guys with it...


Review makes is sound just as incredible as we all assume its going to be. Can't wait.
 
# 9 jrdsvtk @ 09/23/16 06:34 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by brandon27
We had one last year called OSOS. I hope it's back this year. I made the stupid mistake of pre-ordering the regular edition. I called today to see if I could change it, but I'm too late


So, I may decide to go digital with this. I'll play it so much that I won't trade in the physical copy, and that's usually my reasoning behind going digital. I may just wait though, I'm going to be out of town this weekend, so I might as well save myself some cash and wait until Tuesday. But then what do I do Monday night when I'm home and having to read about all of you guys with it...


Review makes is sound just as incredible as we all assume its going to be. Can't wait.
I believe I joined the OSOS group in Horizon 2 but didn't know if those groups/clubs moved automatically from one game to the next or if it needed to be created. I can not wait to get home today and fire this puppy up. Many hours will be lost over the coming weeks.
 
# 10 brandon27 @ 09/23/16 09:39 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrdsvtk
I believe I joined the OSOS group in Horizon 2 but didn't know if those groups/clubs moved automatically from one game to the next or if it needed to be created. I can not wait to get home today and fire this puppy up. Many hours will be lost over the coming weeks.


I bit the bullet yesterday and bought ultimate digital. Unfortunately for me the 48gb download takes a long time with only a 5/mbps connection. Combine that, with my XB1 doing something funky last night. I had 15 "installation stopped" notifications. Not sure if it was the XB or my internet, but that killed my progress. It was only 40% this morning. If it's done by the time I get home, I'll try and create the club, or someone else can. I'd be shocked if it carries over, although that would be cool if it did.


If I can't get a bit of time in with it today, I wont be able to until Sunday, or Monday.
 
# 11 mestevo @ 09/23/16 12:34 PM
Game is so much fun.
 
# 12 ThrowBack @ 09/23/16 01:29 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by mestevo
Game is so much fun.
Are you playing on PC? If you are, how is the performance?
 
# 13 CAMPBLACKMAMBA24 @ 09/23/16 01:36 PM
If only I was good at racing games. What else is there to do other than racing??


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
# 14 bluengold34_OS @ 09/23/16 01:46 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by CAMPBLACKMAMBA24
If only I was good at racing games. What else is there to do other than racing??


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


This an adventure game with racing in it -


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 
# 15 mestevo @ 09/23/16 01:52 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThrowBack
Are you playing on PC? If you are, how is the performance?
Played it on both, ran great on both.

Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk
 
# 16 kwebbvols4423 @ 09/23/16 08:20 PM
As expected, this game is amazing.
 
# 17 Cubfan @ 09/24/16 03:03 AM
Must stay strong and wait for my copy to get here Tuesday. You jerks aren't helping!
 
# 18 Scott @ 09/24/16 12:14 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cubfan
Must stay strong and wait for my copy to get here Tuesday. You jerks aren't helping!
Tell me about it. I canceled my Ultimate Edition order because I couldn't get it Friday and didn't want to wait until Saturday lol...Now I found out I have to work tomorrow anyway, so I saved me a little cash.
 
# 19 CAMPBLACKMAMBA24 @ 09/24/16 07:46 PM
Purchased this last night after messing around with the demo and I'm just overall impressed. I've never played a Forza game or any other racing title for that matter but this one just left me in awe.

Just a quick question, do you guys use a controller or racing wheel? Thanks in advance.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
# 20 kwebbvols4423 @ 09/24/16 08:03 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by CAMPBLACKMAMBA24
Purchased this last night after messing around with the demo and I'm just overall impressed. I've never played a Forza game or any other racing title for that matter but this one just left me in awe.

Just a quick question, do you guys use a controller or racing wheel? Thanks in advance.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Controller for me.
 

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