Forza Horizon 4’s E3 demo delivers a racing masterclass. Stunning visuals

We knew that Forza Horizon 4 would be coming to E3 2018, of course. After all, a new Forza game arrives without fail every year, and with Turn 10 revealing Forza Motorsport 7 at the last Microsoft E3 briefing, it would be Playground Games’ turn this year. And with that came some trepidation. Forza Horizon 3 was a brilliant game and a massive step forward for the series, but could the developers deliver the same level of technical brilliant and innovations once more? After the astonishing reveal and 20 minutes of hands-on time, the signs are all looking good.

Yes, Forza Horizon 4 is a natural evolution of its predecessor, but with a slew of new visual features and gameplay ideas – and from a technical perspective, there’s also the mouthwatering possibilities offered up by the fact that the game is the first in the series to have been created with Xbox One X in mind from the start. This is most evident in the announced frame-rate options. Playground’s Ralph Fulton proudly announced that the Xbox One X version of the game will feature a 60fps option which is something we hoped for when Horizon 3 was patched for Xbox One X – but the dream is set to become reality. Details are thin on the ground but logic suggests it’ll manifest as a lower resolution, high performance mode while the typical 30fps option goes for native 4K instead.

Unfortunately, 60fps wasn’t available in the E3 demo – it was locked down to 30 just like prior games. And that’s a bit of a shame, as the prospect of a full frame-rate mode has been enough to make our Eurogamer colleagues seriously consider investing in an Xbox One X, just for this title. In Forza Horizon 3, 60fps was a genuine game-changer, but it was an elite experience reserved for those with relatively powerful PCs. Still, even at 30fps, Horizon as a series has always managed to look and feel great in motion and curiously, Horizon 4 manages to feel decidedly¬†more¬†responsive than previous entries. Perhaps input latency has been reduced or maybe the handling has simply been tweaked? It’s not entirely clear, but the game felt remarkably responsive for a 30Hz title and that seems to translate into tighter handling.

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