Microsoft’s Forza and Halo franchises will become even closer
in Forza Horizon 4 with the reveal of a special ‘Halo Showcase Experience’ that’s
being highlighted to members of the press at Gamescom 2018 this week. The
behind-closed-doors demo for Forza Horizon 4 features a brief walkthrough of
the Halo experience, and as reported by Windows
Central, this unique showcase event even sees Cortana make an appearance –
with Banshees chasing after you whom you’ll need to escape from.
Forza Horizon 3 featured the Warthog M12 from the Halo universe,
as well as a piece from the score of Halo 5: Guardians on the Timeless FM radio
station. Forza Horizon 4 sees all this return, but with a dedicated Halo showpiece
mission that acts as one of the game’s epic Showcase events. Past titles have
you seen you racing against jets, trains, boats, hot air balloons, blimps and
more – whilst Forza Horizon 4 will see you take on a team of stunt motocross
racers in off-road dirt bikes, a hovercraft by the Scottish Highlands, and of
course, a classic-style steam train at the Glenfinnan Viaduct.
But the Halo Showcase Experience is a little different to
all the rest. In this one, you’ll be playing as the Master Chief – the lead
protagonist of the Halo franchise, whilst driving a Warthog with a Pelican
aircraft following behind. According to Windows Central, the mission presents
itself as “a training exercise,” during which you’ll be chased by Banshees –
the small aircraft used by Halo’s main enemies, The Covenant. In fact, you’ll
find all kinds obstacles from them throughout this special event, such as
energy shields, and you’ll even see the Halo ring ahead of you as drive your
Warthog as fast as possible from those pesky Banshees alongside the beautiful,
historic British countryside.
There’s also one other bonus in this event, too – and that’s
Cortana, the AI assistant who helps Master Chief massively throughout the Halo
franchise. For this special mission – which appears to be almost a tribute to
the fan-favourite Silent Cartographer level from Halo: Combat Evolved, her
voice acts as a narration of the experience and replaces ANNA, the GPS assistant
used in the Forza Horizon series. Whilst it might not sound like a whole lot of
content overall – it is just one mission at the end of the day, it should be
enough to please fans of both the Halo and Forza franchises alike in the run up
to Halo Infinite, the next official entry into the long-running first-person
shooter franchise from Microsoft and 343 Industries.
Speaking of 343 Industries, Playground Games did collaborate
closely with the Halo developer on this special mission, likely to ensure it
fit naturally into both the Halo universe and that of the Forza franchise. Who
knows what teases or little pieces of lore could be hidden within the mission,
left to be discovered by eagle-eyed fans once Forza Horizon 4 launches
on October 2nd. Maybe there will be some hints towards Halo Infinite,
or perhaps it’s nothing more than a crossover as a treat to fans of both series
– we’ll have to wait until later this year to find out.
It’s worth noting that Microsoft hasn’t shared any official
images or video footage of the mission just yet. For now, this one is exclusive
to those who attend the behind-closed-doors demo of Forza Horizon 4 at Gamescom
this week. Expect to see it showcased in action sometime in the future, but for
Halo fans who want to replay this mission over and over – there’s even more
good news. Ralph Fulton, the Creative Director of Forza Horizon 4, told Eurogamer
that the mission can be played repeatedly. Simply navigate to its icon on the
map and you can enjoy it as much as you desire.
The Halo Showcase Experience will be available to all
players in Forza Horizon 4 from launch. It’s not the only thing Playground
Games is discussing for its new open-world racer at Gamescom, however, as there’s
new Xbox One bundles packing in the game, as well as fresh
details and footage from the new competitive-inspired Team Adventure online
mode. Forza Horizon 4 is also playable at Gamescom this week – with the E3
demo experience available to all attendees on the showfloor.
Alan is the co-founder and co-owner of FullThrottle Media. As someone who enjoys spending all his free time playing video games, he keeps the website updated with new and relevant content, including news stories, reviews and opinion pieces for the games he likes writing about the most. He also tweets too much, probably.