When Forza Horizon 4 first touted its ability to host 72-players simultaneously in a shared open-world environment, the possibilities appeared endless. In-game events such as Forzathon Live were designed to bring this massive community of drivers together, allowing them to show off their customized cars to one another and cooperate to beat various challenges. Over a year since its release, there’s still much spontaneity to be found in seamlessly encountering other players in the world – but there’s never been a competitive mode that brings everyone together and forces them to fight for survival, until now.
The Eliminator is an all-new take on Forza Horizon 4 that delivers “battle-royale inspired racing” in the shared open-world of beautiful, historic Britain across all four of its Dynamic Seasons, which like the main game, rotate on a weekly basis. Up to 72 players face-off within an arena, eliminating one another in head-to-head races to earn faster cars or steal those of their opponents. In true battle royale fashion, arena walls contract as the game progresses and more players are knocked out, forcing competitors to become ever so closer together until one final showdown race among the remaining survivors determines the winner.
Here’s how it all works: Matchmaking for The Eliminator can be initiated from either the Pause menu under the Horizon Life tab or by driving towards its unmissable blip marked on the map. Once enough players have been found, the game will commence. Everyone starts off in a Level 1 car – a classic 1965 Mini Cooper S. Drivers can “drop” at any position on the map, and once spawned, this is where all the fun begins. Competitors must then either scavenge Car Drops or find other players to challenge to secure better rides. Car Drops can be identified from the distance by their purple smoke and are scattered all around Britain. Should you locate a vehicle that’s of a higher level than the one you’re currently driving, it’s a no-brainer decision to take it. Level 10 is the highest car rank possible, so obtaining a ride of this calibre is certain to give you an edge over the competition. Vehicles acquired from Car Drops are also randomized, so you might find yourself with a Mercedes-Benz G63 6x6 off-roader ready to go cross-country or a Ferrari 599 GTO supercar eager to blast through those Autumn leaves.
Progressing through The Eliminator and scoring the best cars will require you to take on other drivers, however. Approach them and honk your horn to initiate a head-to-head race. The first one who makes it to the designated checkpoint will have a choice – to take a handpicked upgrade to their car that is at least one level higher, to steal their opponent’s vehicle, or to keep the one they currently have. It’s your decision. Finish last in a head-to-head race and you’ll be eliminated. Once a player challenges you, there’s no looking back – so if you see a driver in a car that’s a much higher level than yours, it’s best to stay away and find a more suitable opponent or scout for a Car Drop. Plus, don’t forget about the ring as it continuously contracts throughout the game. Listen out for its blasting sirens, as they’ll warn you of its looming proximity. Always drive fast and keep ahead of its purplish, colourful glow. Fall behind into its clench and you’ll be eliminated. Stay by the blimp located in the centre of the arena and you’ll always be safe, at least from the ring.
Once most drivers have been knocked out and there’s less than 10 players remaining, the game disables head-to-head battles in favour of a race showdown that sees all finalists attempting to reach an assigned finish line chosen by The Eliminator. The first player to cross the checkpoint wins, whilst the runner-up positions are determined by each finalist’s distance from it. Survive to this point of The Eliminator and you’ll be handsomely rewarded in Credits and Influence. This mode also naturally features its own progression thread and levelling it up will grant you access to some unmissable rewards. These include the 1998 Toyota Supra RZ, the 2008 Renault Mégane R26.R, the 1970 Mercury Cougar Eliminator, the 2018 Ford F-150 Derbiti Design and the 2016 Porsche 911 GT3 RS Pre-Order Edition, as well as several cosmetic items for your character with unique Quick Chat phrases to show off your dedication and skilful mastery of The Eliminator.
After given the chance to try out Forza Horizon 4’s newest update before anyone else, with a small group of handpicked players and developers from Turn 10 Studios and Playground Games, I can safely say that I’ve become addicted to The Eliminator. Its head-to-head races constantly keep you on the edge of your seat. I’ve never been felt more focused or exhilarated in Forza before, especially when trying to decide on the fly whether its viable to take a cross-country shortcut and risk the possibility of slamming face-on into a tree. It’s incredibly fun and constantly feels satisfying, especially because in true Forza fashion, your participation is always rewarded – regardless of your finishing position. You’ll just score a bigger pay-out the longer you survive.
My only real gripe with The Eliminator is that it can’t be enjoyed with friends. It’s purely a free-for-all mode, so I hope that developer Playground Games considers a squad-based variant in the future – one that would see teams of racers competing against one another. There’s also no way to spectate these matches, so if you want to watch a friend play, then they’ll need to livestream it. Regardless of these nit-picks, The Eliminator is arguably the most refreshing and electrifying addition to the Forza franchise in several years, and it certainly beats the repetitive nature of Forza Horizon 4’s traditional races and events. This is by far the best update the game has received since its release.
The Eliminator goes live in Forza Horizon 4 alongside the Series 17 Update on Thursday, December 12th, beginning at approximately 10am Pacific (1pm EST, 6pm GMT). I’m thrilled that this is mode is here and ready to be experienced by the entire Forza community, but I’m even more excited to see how it evolves in the future. There’s so much potential in The Eliminator and its gameplay style and I hope to see it iterated and improved upon going forward. This is a fresh way to experience Forza Horizon 4 and its excellent take on Britain, one that moves beyond the traditional methods of classic races and free exploration. With all said and done, the question that remains is simple for me to ask, but likely difficult to answer: Can you survive The Eliminator?
Alan is the co-founder and co-owner of FullThrottle Media. As someone who enjoys spending all his free time playing video games, he delivers the latest in news stories, reviews, and feature articles to the website, as well as videos on his YouTube channel and livestreams over on Mixer.