The Forza Horizon series has become the ultimate destination
for racing fans and car enthusiasts alike as the definitive celebration of
cars, music, and freedom. It has pushed the boundaries and limitations for what
we expect from an open-world racing game. Given the success and
critical-acclaim for Forza Horizon 3 and the recent positivity from its
One X Enhanced release, expectations have been set high for its successor.
Expected to make its debut at E3 2018 in June before
launching towards the end of the year, Forza Horizon 4 has a lot to live up to.
From the biggest and best open-world in the series to the largest car roster
yet, as well as a variety of features to elevate the series even further,
there’s a large pile of fan-demanded requests for Forza Horizon 4 and we’re
here to share ours in our official FullThrottle Wishlist for the upcoming
open-world racing game.
With Microsoft’s Six-Year,
Multi-Project deal with German automaker Porsche, we anticipate the
manufacturer will have a large presence in Forza Horizon 4, both within the
game itself and the events that will lead up to the game’s launch. It’ll be
interesting to see whether Turn 10 and Playground Games opt for another cover
car from Porsche for this year’s game, which means we’ll have Porsche on the
cover of Forza for two subsequent years.
It’s also worth noting that developer Playground Games
a second studio alongside its main Forza Horizon development team to work on
an open-world, action-adventure RPG project, which we believe to be a return to
the world of Albion in a reboot of the acclaimed Fable franchise on Xbox One
and Windows 10. Details about this project remain slim as it’s still early days
whilst the team continues to staff up, but we do know it’ll be a story-driven game
with a vast open-world to discover. However, Forza Horizon 4 will be the star of the show at E3 2018.
Both Forza Horizon titles on Xbox One launched as instant
hits, so as I mentioned already, expectations have been set high for the
successor to Forza Horizon 3. With the Forza franchise having all kinds of
players, including casual drivers and competitive racers, professional drifters
and incredible painters, talented photographers, career enthusiasts,
customization lovers, and so on – the
game needs to appeal to a lot of folks.
Playground Games always delivers when it comes down to the
Horizon series, but naturally, there’s a lot of features across all aspects of
the game we’d like to see introduced or improved upon, so our wishlist will
focus on everything we want to see in Forza Horizon 4 when it launches in 2018
on Xbox One, Windows 10, and of course, Xbox One X – the
development platform for Forza Horizon 4.
Forza Horizon has always focused on the Horizon Festival.
You worked your way as a rookie from the bottom to top in Colorado in Forza
Horizon, retained the crown in Southern Europe for Forza Horizon 2, and then
led the Horizon Festival as the boss down under in Australia in Forza Horizon
3. We’ve had our trilogy of titles based on the Horizon Festival, and perhaps the
time has come to perhaps move away from that concept to focus on something more
Music should retain its role and importance in the game,
however, with curated radio stations, and a customizable radio station powered
by Spotify or Apple Music now that Groove Music has deceased since Forza
Horizon 3’s launch. Likewise, the festival doesn’t need to be removed entirely,
but should be more in the background as the narrative takes the forefront. It
would be a little like Forza Horizon, where players worked their way to the top
to take down the notorious Darius Flynt. A new infamous driver to take down in
the campaign of Forza Horizon 4 would be a nice return to that story-driven style
from the original game, giving each race its own purpose to fulfil rather than
simply gathering more and more fans.
The story of Forza Horizon 4 needs to be engaging and
compelling to play, with more varied events that keep the player focused, but
also allows them to have more fun. For example, you could be an up-and-coming
street racer who has moved to Japan in pursuit of a new life, where you go from
iconic cars like the Ford Focus RS, Toyota Supra, and Subaru BRZ to the latest
and greatest hypercars and supercars, such as the McLaren P1, Bugatti Chiron,
and the Rimac Concept One. Japan, the land of the rising sun, would be the
ultimate car enthusiast home for the street scene, as well as all forms of
automotive and car culture, naturally including racing and drifting, and of
There should also be characters to meet who we can learn and
care about, allowing us to become more attached to the overall experience. Forza
Horizon 3 also allowed players to choose from a selection of 12 pre-made
characters to present their racer in solo and online events. With the
introduction of Driver Gear in Forza
Motorsport 7, it’s time for Forza Horizon 4 to feature deep character
customization elements with unique options for clothing, model features,
hair-styles, accessories, race helmets, and so on. If by chance the story has a
main protagonist, customizable clothes in campaign and perhaps a separate,
fully-customizable character in online co-op and events would suffice, just
like how it’s handled in Grand Theft Auto V and GTA Online.
The storyline could also take inspiration from the likes of Need for Speed
Payback, which featured Heists and dedicated set-piece moments as its
answer to Forza Horizon’s Showcase events. It also made a big push for both
storyline and interesting characters, and for some, it did the trick, but for
others, it did fall short and oftentimes felt cheesy. Regardless of where you
stand on this one, featuring more showcase events and set-piece missions would
work well in the Forza Horizon series, making the gameplay even more unique and
interesting, whilst offer a greater variety of different types of events.
Showcase events in Forza Horizon 4 could see you racing
against the famous Bullet Train and boats off the coast of Tokyo, presuming the
game is indeed set in Japan as anticipated. More events featuring jets, planes,
helicopters, and blimps would also be welcomed. These events should also be
more dramatic and feature more surprises to make the outcome less predictable.
Once completed, they should be replayable in either solo or Campaign Co-op, and
allow players to choose whatever car and daytime conditions they desire for the
event, which could be customized in a similar fashion to Horizon Blueprint.
Speaking of Campaign Co-op and Horizon Blueprint, these features need to return
in Forza Horizon 4 as they each offer an excellent way to experience the game.
Forza Horizon 3 reintroduced illegal street racing events
back to the series after their absence in Forza Horizon 2. These events took
place after hours outside of the official organized races within the Horizon
Festival, and saw players racing each other between dusk to dawn with obstacles
such as traffic. There were also Midnight Battles where players could win the
car of their competitor in Pink Slip-style races. The return of Outposts from
Forza Horizon scattered across the map with their own dedicated race events and
side challenges would also make a nice touch.
More of these across the board would be welcomed in Forza
Horizon 4, but a deeper, more engrossing side-narrative that sees you as an
up-and-coming street racer who participates in illegal events to win cars,
cash, and aftermarket parts would make these street race events even more
enticing to play, especially with the addition of cops exclusively for these
races. Perhaps a side-storyline in Forza Horizon 4 could see you as an
undercover cop outside of official race events? There’s a lot of routes Playground
Games could take for optional events and side missions in the game, so we hope
they consider something more story-driven, addictive and exciting for them, as
seen in the campaigns for the original Forza Horizon and of course, Need for
Speed Payback. Even the Street Races in Forza Horizon 3 felt edgy with a different vibe to the rest of the events found in the game.
PR Stunts should also make their return in Forza Horizon 4
with more interesting, unique, and downright crazy challenges for players to
complete. Perhaps earning three stars could increase your in-game reputation as
a racer. These events should be more enticing to complete in co-op as well, potentially
offering additional bonuses for doing them with a friend. Furthermore, by
utilizing less of the overused ‘drive here, race there, drive there, race
again’ mechanic, it will allow players to be more immersed into the game
without the issue of repetition occurring after a few hours of game time. More
events with interesting opportunities that can keep the player engaged are
simply a must.
Like Forza Horizon 3, the campaign should be as expandable
and customizable as before, allowing players to be always able to compete in
new events and championships in the cars they enjoy racing with the most. Even
after the main story has concluded, additional event unlocks and the ability to
replay events as ‘Championships’ as found in Forza Horizon 3 would work well.
Playground Games could perhaps also add more event story-based events and class-based
championships for free in post-launch updates, as well as additional side
missions and even showcase events. These would see players continuously return
to Forza Horizon 4 to not only beat the latest round of Forzathon events but engage
with the overall game itself by continuing to progress whilst unlocking new
Colorado was the debut location for the Forza Horizon series,
followed by Southern Europe in Forza Horizon 2 and Australia in Forza Horizon
3. Each of them brought something new, special and unique to the franchise,
and now fans expect the series to head towards Japan for Forza Horizon 4. It’s
a location that’s likely, and one which has been highly-demanded for
the successor to Forza Horizon 3, but a return to America or Europe is also
possible given the colossal amount of different countries and regions developer
Playground Games could allow players to explore.
Wherever Forza Horizon 4 is set, two key areas that need to
be a priority are the map and driving roads. Specifically, a location that’s
bigger and more diverse than Forza Horizon 3’s Australia, with more regions to
discover, including elevation changes and mountainous locations, as well as
more pleasurable driving roads. Examples include the Hafeet Mountain Pass in
Dubai and the incredible roads and vistas offered by Fujimi Kaido in Japan –
both locations which feature in the Forza Motorsport series. Forza Horizon 4
should also feature a bigger city, more countryside, and more diversity
overall, with longer roads and a memorable, but unique map that you always want
to return to and a place where you can always find something new to discover.
Forza Horizon 4 should also deliver less ‘invisible walls’
and barriers, allowing the open-world to feel truly open to discover. As well
as that, there shouldn’t be any blocked off locations that require ‘glitches’
to access, though some hidden areas can make a nice surprise to find too –
depending on how they’re accessed. Better roads and experiences for rally,
drifting, and drag racing would also be welcomed, as well as more iconic
locations such as the dam located in the heart of the Yarra Valley in Forza
Horizon 3, the vast docks and European coastline from Forza Horizon 2, and the
Colorado mountains and canyons with the rally stages from the associated
expansion in Forza Horizon.
As well roads for cruising, racing, drifting, and rallying,
it would also be great to see a fantasy track or real-life circuit added to the
game as an official race course. For example, if Forza Horizon 4 was set in
Japan, you could have the fan-favourite Fujimi Kaido track in Japan, or license
the likes of Suzuka, Twin Ring Motegi, or Fuji Speedway, which is at the
foothills of Mount Fuji in Oyama. These would be perfect for drifters and
racers alike, where players could race and drift on the track, then head to the
mountain for more sideways action or simply participate in a hillclimb to see
who can reach the top the fastest.
Another track that would work well in the game with all its
unique configurations is the highly-requested Ebisu Circuit, or even the Ohi
Racecourse – which is built into the city of Tokyo itself. However, if Forza
Horizon 4 isn’t set in Japan, the team are still spoiled for choice when it
comes to tracks. For example, you could have Maple Valley in the United States,
Rio de Janerio in South America, or the Hafeet Mountain Pass in Dubai. There’s
also Imola and Mugello in Europe, two favourites of our very own Tom Matthews.
Forza Horizon 4 could even take things a step further and
integrate real-world rally courses into its open-world as well, including Monte
Carlo in Monaco, Hell in Norway, and Pikes Peak in the United States. We’d also
like to see a proper salt flats area, like Forza Horizon 2 but expanded upon
even further for even more straight-line car testing alongside the usual airfield.
In addition, some large test tracks and airport locations combined into a main
hub of drag racing and car testing brilliance would be a pure treat for fans.
Perhaps it might even be time for Forza Horizon to feature
an entire continent or country like The Crew, including all major cities and
landmarks in that location. Japan as one whole location, or even North America
or mainland Europe would be incredible, though an entire continent as large as
either of those two is a little unrealistic given the game’s two-year
development cycle. Still, it’s a nice thought nonetheless, but the idea of the
entirety of Japan as a country within the game, like how Australia was
implemented into Forza Horizon 3, would be doable, and even seems likely.
The idea of two combined countries like Forza Horizon 2’s
implementation of Southern France and Italy would also be welcomed. More scenic
locations, such as waterfalls and large mountain peaks that look down onto the
entire open-world would look stunning. Despite being a little unrealistic, we’d
also love the ability to revisit Australia, Southern Europe, and Colorado in
Forza Horizon 4 with all the new cars and feature available in the game, as
well as their expansion locations like Blizzard Mountain, Hot Wheels Thrilltopia,
and Storm Island. One can always dream.
Overall, there’s a lot we want to see from Forza Horizon 4’s
location. Whether it takes us the street racing home of Japan or the supercar
haven of Dubai, or perhaps even a revisit to North America or Europe, there’s a
lot of choice here for Playground Games in its next entry in the open-world
racing series. From beautiful rides through vast mountainous landscapes to
street racing in major cities, we hope to see an even balance of topography,
landscape, and elevation to create the best open-world yet in a racing game in
Forza Horizon 4.
Gameplay is one aspect of Forza the teams at Turn 10 Studios
and Playground Games always get right. Whether it’s the physics and simulation
of Forza Motorsport to the open-world brilliance and off-roading excellence of
Forza Horizon, the gameplay and handling model of Forza is world-class, and
simply nothing else comes close. Obviously, we want this trend to continue,
with Forza Horizon 4 delivering the best gameplay of any entry to-date in the
open-world racing series.
Following on from the excellent Xbox
One X Enhanced update for Forza Horizon 3, which saw the game running in
Native 4K resolution with improved details and draw distances on Microsoft’s
latest console, we anticipate Forza Horizon 4 will be the most beautiful,
detailed, and stunning racing game yet in native 4K resolution. However, with
some users preferring to play in 60fps – especially those still on 1080p
displays, it would be brilliant to see modes for Native 4K 30FPS and Dynamic 4K
60FPS in Forza Horizon 4.
The latter of these would see the resolution scale between
1080p and 4K to deliver rock-solid smooth performance, whilst also offering the
benefits of an increased resolution via super-sampling to 1080p owners. It
would be a win-win situation. Who knows, with the technical innovation and
brilliance of the ForzaTech engine, not to mention how customizable it is to
configure, we could even see Forza Horizon 4 output a Native 4K image at 60fps.
Now while that would be incredible, you have to remember the CPU architecture
of the Xbox One X. It seems unlikely in an open-world racing game with the
visual quality and excellence of Forza Horizon, but only time will tell.
We’d also like to see Forza Horizon 4 make a push for High
Dynamic Range. The implementation works wonders in Forza Horizon 3 and Forza
Motorsport 7, but to see those city lights and colourful regions really shine
in crisp-clear detail on Xbox One X in HDR would make a nice bonus. A better
optimized PC release over Forza Horizon 3 is also a must, but given the vast
improvements made to Forza Motorsport 7, this seems likely. Better support for
wheels and accessories would also be welcomed, especially improvements made to
force-feedback across Xbox One and PC.
In terms of visuals, Forza Horizon 4 should use better
textures across the open-world than its predecessor, especially on Xbox One X,
where shadow resolution should be also bumped up whilst distant objects display
less noticeable pop-in and render in at higher quality. It’s worth noting, the
Xbox One X Enhanced version offered many welcomed improvements across all these
areas, and we hope to see Playground Games continue to refine them for Forza
Forza Horizon 3 really set the standard in open-world racing
gameplay when it launched in September 2016 – it’s hard fault it in this area.
It’s more improvements we want to see to the overall experience rather than
substantial changes, and that’s something you’ve probably noticed throughout
our wishlist so far. Rather than completely revamping the series, we mainly
want to see improvements and refinements across the board to make Forza Horizon 4 a better
experience for everyone.
The dramatic skies and dynamic weather effects from Forza
Motorsport 7 and Forza Horizon 3 should make their way over to Forza Horizon 4
with snow and ice added to the mix – depending on the region, as well as
greater rainstorms, puddles that grow and expand based on the current
conditions, as well as the intense thunder and lightning storms from Forza
Motorsport 7, bringing the world of Forza Horizon 4 – wherever it’s set – to
Horizon Blueprint should also return to Forza Horizon 4, but
this time offering players the ability to create their own race courses and
themed events to share and use both offline in single-player and online with
friends. Players could add checkpoints, barricades, and change nearby
surroundings to their liking, and even create drift trails, streets races, and
tag zones whilst setting the weather conditions and time-of-day to their liking.
This continues to allow players to race the cars conditions
they enjoy the most by offering the choice to the player in terms of what they
want to do. Players should be able to make multiple blueprints within each
event included in the game, and easily browse those made by friends and the
wider community, search for others online, and follow their favourite blueprint
and track creators, like the race events integration in GTA Online.
Drone Mode should also return in Forza Horizon 4. It was a
nifty feature introduced in Forza Horizon 3 where you could fly a drone all
over the map to find Barn Finds and Bonus Boards easier. It could even be used
in online to capture cinematic-style videos with your friends. However, it
couldn’t keep up with some of the more faster cars in the game. Subtle
improvements, such as a faster speed limit and an increased height distance
would help creators drastically. It would also be great if we could access
Photo Mode in online freeroam as well.
Furthermore, the ability to create cinematic 4K video clips
that could be edited within the game itself to create unique films would be
incredible. The recording tools from Grand Theft Auto V, including the Rockstar
Editor and Director Mode, would go down a treat in the Forza Horizon series.
The ability to curate your own custom weather effects and skies, traffic
vehicles, and camera angles would simply help creators massively. To be able to
record whilst playing Forza Horizon 4 for editing afterwards would also make
Forza Horizon 4 a paradise to content creators who want to create fully-shot,
edited videos with the full cinematic treatment.
Those who’ve played Forza Horizon 3 will know of its
incredibly-long loading screens. Whilst the Xbox One X helped reduce these
loading times, it still doesn’t come close to Forza Motorsport 7’s interactive
loading menus where players can browse their car collection, adjust race
settings, create a tuning setup, open Prize Crates and enable Mods, and more.
In fact, Forza Motorsport 7 has virtually no loading
screens, as there’s always something on-screen you can engage with – a first
for the franchise. Forza Horizon 3 uses a seamless loading screen when loading
into select online events, and it’s something we’d love to see expanded upon in
Forza Horizon 4 with more interactive loading screens instead of the cycled
screenshots for up to a minute. These are fine occasionally, especially when
initially loading into the game, but can become a little tiring when loading
into race events or fast-travelling to another location on the map.
Overall, the technology implemented into Forza Motorsport 7
to create its persistent experience to eliminate loading screens was a welcomed
addition to the franchise – even with some of its slowdown issues, and it’s
something that could work very well in Forza Horizon 4. Other features we’d
love to see in the game include the option to turn off traffic and Drivatars
for single-player and online freeroam. It would also be great if we could
enable Drivatars for drift and drag events in offline modes. Improvements to
the AI for better on-road and off-road racing is also a must, and I’d love it
if two or so Drivatars didn’t always shoot ahead of the pack in race events.
ANNA should also be retained for Forza Horizon 4 with Kinect
and controller support, and offer the ability to change radio stations and set
map waypoints using voice control. It would also be neat to see Forza Horizon 4
include the optional mid-race objectives as found in Forza Motorsport 6: Apex
and Forza Horizon 3’s Blizzard Mountain and Hot Wheels expansions. Even the
Mods system that pushes players to disable assists for bonus Credits and XP
could be useful here. It’ll be interesting to see if Prize Crates also make
their way over to Forza Horizon 4 given the recent controversy surrounding
microtransactions. Personally, if they don’t include cars that can’t be found
anywhere else, I don’t mind their presence in the series at all.
Forza Motorsport 7 has the largest roster of cars in the
series yet with more than 700 Forzavista cars and the biggest collection of
Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and Porsches ever assembled. It has a colossal line-up
of cars, and we’d love to see them all in Forza Horizon 4 with a bunch of new
additions in the process. Given how the subsequent Horizon title has always had
less cars than the Motorsport title it follows, this might be an unrealistic
expectation, but if Forza Horizon 4 can push beyond 650 cars, that’ll be a nice
boost over the 350 cars shipped with Forza Horizon 3.
Naturally, all cars in the game should be fully-detailed
Forzavista models, that can be explored, upgraded, and painted. In Forza
Horizon 4, Forzavista should be ‘complete’ with voiceovers, at least on the
more special cars in the game. Voiceovers in Forzavista were oddly removed from
Forza Motorsport 7, but were present in Forza Horizon 3, so hopefully we see
In addition, Forzavista should be useable anywhere in the
open-world of Forza Horizon 4, including in single-player and online with
friends. Imagine how awesome car meets would be if you could pop up the hood on
your ride in front of your mates whilst checking out their cars in the process.
It would be work so well if the game is set in Japan, as it would align with
the street racing and tuner culture in that region.
An improved, more realistic damage model would also be
welcomed, as well as further refinements to audio and engine notes. For the
record, Forza Horizon 3 and Forza Motorsport 7 are by far the best-sounding and
most realistic sounding Forza games yet, so hopefully Turn 10 and Playground
Games continue to keep up that trend in Forza Horizon 4.
Purchasable Garages to store the cars you own in Forza
Horizon 4 would be an incredible addition. These could showcase and highlight
your vehicles, and the more you have, the more rides you can have on show at
once. Walk up to your cars and enjoy using Forzavista features to explore their
every detail before driving them out of the garage. You could even show them
off to your friends! As usual, players should always be able to store an
unlimited number of cars in their virtual in-game garage as well.
Forza Motorsport 7 placed an emphasis on Car Collection, and
this should be retained in Forza Horizon 3. I loved the idea of building up a
garage of more than 700 incredible cars, and seeing them marked in the Car
Collection stickerbook-style screen in the game. It was fantastic, and it kept
me engaged – working towards unlocking every car available Forza Motorsport 7.
This feature would go hand-in-hand with multiple garages and car showcases in
Forza Horizon 4, and the more cars you own, the more of a respected car
collector and tuner you would be in-game, thus resulting in better rewards.
Forza Horizon 3 made a big push for customization, but Forza
Horizon 4 should make an even bigger push for it. That includes more ‘Upgrade
Hero’ cars in the game, as well as additional bodykits and more ways to
customize your car with individual parts to make it feel personal and unique. As
well as real-world aftermarket brands like RWB, Liberty Walk, and Rocket Bunny,
there should be additional Forza Aero parts – more wings, bumpers, fenders, and
so on – all with multiple customization options like Need for Speed Payback.
Customizable tire lettering and unique tire brands, plus the
return of personalized horns and number plates with unique designs and more, as
well as customizable neons, underglow, taillights, and headlights would all be
incredible additions, especially for a street racing-themed Horizon game. Not
to mention optional air suspension and nitrous/nos. Swappable exhausts and
customizable steering angle for drift cars, as well as adjustable wheel offset
and tuning options for camber and ride height would offer far more freeroam for
tuners to create the perfect race car and drift ride. Forza Horizon 4 should
also reintroduce the basket for buying car upgrades, which was introduced in
Forza Horizon 3 but is mysteriously missing from Forza Motorsport 7.
The Homologation upgrade system from Forza Motorsport 7
wasn’t perfect, but a step in the right direction – and I wouldn’t mind seeing
a more refined version in future Forza titles. Whilst it could act as a totally
optional feature in Forza Horizon 4 to create even class-based racing events
with Horizon Blueprint, it could work well for career and select online events.
They’d be optional, but fun to experiment around with. Just so long as it isn’t
a pain to manually upgrade cars to whatever class and stats you desire when you
don’t wish to take advantage of Homologation. That’s when it often became
problematic and somewhat confusing in Forza Motorsport 7.
Forza Horizon 4 should also offer more Barn Finds and hidden
cars in its open-world. Perhaps offer unique bodykits and a chassis to find,
like the Derelicts feature in Need for Speed Payback, allowing the player to
rebuild and retune the car as they please. Forza Editions should also return to
Forza Horizon 4 with additional ‘exclusive cars’ as unicorns that should be
Whilst Forza Motorsport 7’s ‘exclusive
cars’ added replayability to the game and kept players engaged for months
after release, it has an issue where too many of the 700 cars in the base game
are locked, such as the Koenigsegg Regera and the 2016 Porsche 911 GT3 RS. I’d
rather see ‘exclusive cars’ added as free post-launch DLC and rewarded to
players for participating in community events, beating Forzathon challenges, or
finding new Barn Finds.
Forza Horizon 3 kept players engaged for months after launch
by adding new unicorn cars via Forzathon events and Barn Finds, including
returning fan-favourite Forza cars such as the Nissan S14, the Ferrari 599XX,
and the Lamborghini Sesto Elemento. Hopefully Forza Horizon 4 follows in the
footsteps of Forza Horizon 3 here, by keeping a few cars exclusive to beating
career mode events, but allowing the rest to be purchased within the game –
with the unicorn cars added in post-release content updates and rewarded to
players in exclusive events.
If Forza Horizon 4 is set in Japan with a focus on street
racing and the tuning scene, then Toyota is a must. However, their production
cars were missing in Forza Motorsport 7 and Need for Speed Payback, with the
Japanese manufacturer believing that games could be reducing their sales... An
odd one for sure, but we hope to see Toyota back in the Forza franchise soon,
regardless of where Forza Horizon 4 is set. It’s worth noting that Forza
Motorsport 7 does still feature Toyota race cars, however.
With the classic Supra
having made its way into Gran Turismo Sport recently, one can hope that Toyota
has changed their stance on games, but with Sony being another fellow Japanese
company and Microsoft being American, that can only make the situation even
more complicated. Only time will tell of course. Let’s just say we hope to be
enjoying the Supra and all of Toyota’s iconic cars once more in Forza Horizon
Volkswagen should also be featured in Forza Horizon 4 after
being missing from Forza Horizon 3. The German manufacturer did return in Forza
Motorsport 7 with a large collection of cars, so hopefully they’ll be back in
Forza Horizon 4 now that the whole diesel-gate emissions scandal has blown
over. It would also be nice to see Lexus and Tesla back in Forza Horizon 4,
both of which are missing from Forza Motorsport 7. Whilst the reasoning for
Tesla remains unknown, Toyota is the parent company of Lexus, which explains
their disappearance from the game.
Overall, more JDM cars should be present in Forza Horizon 4,
especially if the game’s location happens to be Japan. We’d also love to see
concept cars introduced into the game, and of course, the ability to control
convertible tops. Fun cars are also a welcomed addition to Forza Horizon, such
as game-themed cars like the Warthog from Halo, the Quartz Regalia from Final
Fantasy XV, and the Rocket ’69 from Fallout 4. The Cadillac Limousine,
Mercedes-Benz Racing Truck, Reliant Robin, and BMW Isetta have delivered hours
of fun already, and each deserve their place in the Forza series.
Forza Horizon 4 should also introduce the improved car
selection screen from Forza Motorsport 6 and 7, which features a horizontal
list of manufacturers and a vertical list of the cars featured. This is a much
quicker method of finding cars than the clunky never-ending horizontal list
that’s currently used in Forza Horizon 3. Customizable folders to store cars in
different categories – such as circuit racers, drag rides, and drift cars –
would also be welcomed, and would make life a lot easier when selecting cars as
Forza Horizon 4 shouldn’t deviate too much from the already
established and excellent online experience that Playground Games has already
created. For example, the Online Adventure, Campaign Co-op, and Online Freeroam modes are
all excellent and should absolutely return, incorporating and taking advantage
of all the improvements and features introduced in Forza Horizon 4.
Where some new modes would be extremely welcomed are in the
‘Playground Games,’ which are getting a little repetitious for my liking. New
mini modes, such as Car Football, Hide & Seek, Last Man Standing, and British
Bulldog to join Infection, King, and Flag Rush would be fantastic! Of course,
the cross-play integration between Xbox One and Windows 10 PC should be
retained – it’s completely and utterly brilliant how seamless it works in Forza
Horizon 3, and hopefully it continues that same trend in Forza Horizon 4.
With Forza Horizon 2 and Forza Horizon 3’s online modes
being capped to 12 players versus the 24-player cap in Forza Motorsport 7, it
can leave lobbies feeling a little empty sometimes. With an even bigger
open-world expected for Forza Horizon 4, it would be great to see that
player-cap increased to either 16 players or 24 players, if the framerate and
visual fidelity can be retained.
There’s also a bunch of new features we’d love to see added to
Online Freeroam in Forza Horizon 4, including the ability to create custom race
events, which should feature custom markers placed on the map, multiple
checkpoints, and the Horizon Blueprint features already found in Forza Horizon
3. It would also be nice to customize traffic, time-of-day, and weather effects
outside of race events, so you can enjoy Online Freeroam with your mates
without any distractions or issues.
For example, Private Lobbies could have its own dedicated
settings menu accessible by the host to limit cars players can use by class,
make, model, and so forth. They could also turn traffic off, set the in-game
weather conditions, limit the number of players who can join the game, and
create Club-only online sessions. These could also be configurable in Campaign
Co-op, which should absolutely return as it was seriously the definitive way to
enjoy Forza Horizon 3 with your friends.
The ability to access Photo Mode, Drone Mode, and capture
features in Online Freeroam is also a must, especially given some of the
incredible community-created content we’ve seen from Forza Horizon 3. Car Meets
should also see an upgrade in Forza Horizon 4, and this is where the tuning
scene would really be emphasized, as players could walk around everyone’s car,
explore them in Forzavista, purchase cars from each other, and even download
tunes and paints that catch their eye. It would be the definitive type of Car Meet in Forza Horizon 4.
Before we move onto the more community-driven online features, it
would be interesting to see Playground Games experiment with a casual
Leagues-style mode. Here, a selection of in-game tracks and routes could be
used with designated car classes as players compete against each other to win
in-game prizes, such as credits, rare cars, and if character customization is
present, then outfits. This mode could also offer competitive racing and drift
events in Forza Horizon 4 with live scoring and ranking, and it could also act as the ‘Recreation Series’ for future
seasons in the Forza Racing Championship.
Forza Horizon 4 should also see the return of fan-favourite
community features, including the Auction House, Storefronts, and Clubs. Let’s
start with the Auction House, which returned in Forza Horizon 3 and Forza
Motorsport 7, but with limitations. For example, only painters or tuners with ‘legendary’
status could sell cars at any price tag. This limit should be removed, at least
for VIP members, to give more freedom to players when auctioning rarer cars.
Clubs should also have an increased limit rather than just
being capped at 1,000 users again, and there also needs to be a shared garage
as in Forza Motorsport 4. Players could also receive additional bonuses for
racing with fellow club members, encouraging more players to join clubs. Club
members should also be able to easily share designs, tunes, and credits with
each other as well. In fact, players should be able to gift cars, credits,
designs, and tunes to anyone they desire in the game, helping newcomers to the
Forza series. They should also have the option for selling designs and tunes
for credits via Storefronts.
Forza Horizon 3 also needs to either remove or increase the
cap on the number of paints, photos, vinyls, tunes, and replays saved and
shared. It’s tiresome having to constantly delete photos in the game whenever I
want to save a new one, and to have this cap removed or increased would be
greatly beneficial to folks in the creative side of the Forza community. If
sever capacity is an issue here, then this benefit could be reserved to VIP
Forza Horizon 4 should improve its livery editor, which has
remained almost untouched since 2013’s Forza Motorsport 5 – bar some recent
improvements added to Forza Motorsport 7’s livery editor in the game’s March
Content Update. Ideally, we would see improvements here to bring it on par with
what Polyphony Digital has done in Gran Turismo
Sport, including its brilliant website upload feature that easily allows
painters to import logos into the game without having to remake them using
Painters should also have the freedom to paint on vehicle windows,
as well as the option to mirror one side of the car to the other. Livery
quality should also be improved and pushed even further on Xbox One X and
high-end PCs. In addition, there should also be the inclusion of influencer,
community, and media logos in the game as decals for all players to use
Forzathon events will most likely return in Forza Horizon 4,
and hopefully with some improvements. Forza Horizon 3 had some fantastic prizes
with the Porsche 918 Spyder, Ferrari 599XX, and the Lamborghini Sesto Elemento,
and the challenges usually weren’t too difficult either. As long as there’s no
forced online challenges where you have to compete against other players in
races, it should be all good.
The Forzathon events in Forza Motorsport 7 have a nice
layout and structure to them, but they don’t update right away, and they can be
a little finicky. Plus, the prizes used are the game’s locked ‘exclusive cars’
whereas Forza Horizon 3’s prizes were added in post-launch updates. Ideally,
Forza Horizon 4 wouldn’t have any locked cars at release, instead adding them
in post-launch content updates and offering them to players in community events
Finally, the ability to hire Drivatars was a niche, but cool
addition in Forza Horizon 3. I loved the idea of finding friends in the
open-world and hiring them to earn credits for me, but it was a shame we
couldn’t choose which friends to hire – it was done randomly based on who the
game chose to spawn onto the map. It would be nice if you could hire any
Drivatar from your friends list who has played Forza Horizon 4 to form a race
team or street crew for single-player, allowing them to compete in events on
behalf of you. As always, you would earn credits based on their performance and
the number of races they’ve completed in each time you log into the game.
Partnerships and Forza always go together, especially with
the recent success and growth of the franchise. From the recent Six-Year,
Multi-Project deal with Porsche to the long-running Top Gear agreement since
Forza Motorsport 3, there’s been a lot of partnerships between Microsoft and
automotive brands when it comes to Forza.
It makes us speculate about the cover car we could
potentially see for Forza Horizon 4. With Porsche debuting its 2018 911 GT3 RS
at the Geneva Motor Show in Switzlerland earlier this year, and Lamborghini and Ferrari also expected
to launch their latest supercars later this year, there’s a lot of choice for the
next Forza cover car. The partnership with Porsche doesn’t mean every cover car
has to be from the German automaker, but if Porsche has anything big upcoming,
then you can expect the spotlight to shine on that.
Whilst a Porsche cover car isn’t the most exciting thing in
the world, if the manufacturer has something unique to offer, then sure, it
would be welcomed on the cover of Forza Horizon 4. Though personally, it would
be nice to see an automaker like Ferrari or Lamborghini featured on the
front-cover once more, or perhaps even two cars as seen with Forza Horizon 3’s
Lamborghini Centenario and Ford Raptor. Only time will tell.
Partnering with Amazon’s The Grand Tour would also be a
sensible move for Forza Horizon 4. The sense of adventure paired with the most
exotic supercars is applicable to both and integrating the trio’s voiceovers
with an appropriately-themed Car Pack would be sure to make fans of both
extremely happy. Not to mention the integration of the test tracks used in the
show if the game was somehow set in England – those of course, would also be
fantastic in Forza Motorsport 7.
As for their other deals with Fast & Furious, Hoonigan,
and Hot Wheels, it would be great to see this content featured in Forza Horizon
4, but it’s not the type of stuff I’d like to repurchase over and over.
Instead, this content would be great if it was added in VIP or as Day One DLC
as seen with the Hoonigan and Fast & Furious Car Packs for Forza Motorsport
Then there’s also Top Gear. The deal has never been too
prominent in Forza Horizon besides the Car Pack in the first two Horizon
titles. Perhaps now is the best time for Turn 10 to refocus its efforts here on
The Grand Tour instead, which has saw a lot of success for Amazon, and if the
third season of the automotive show later this year is the final one, then
now’s the best chance to secure that partnership, even if it’s only for Forza
Forza Horizon 4 will undeniably have post-launch add-on
content, but when it comes to the monthly Car Packs, it’s time for a change
here. The Car Pass needs to include all Car Packs for the game, not just the
first six monthly packs.
Day One Car Packs should also be featured in the Car Pass,
and it’s also time we saw more themed Car Packs, including a Supercars Car
Pack, JDM Car Pack, and so on, with less sponsored packs like Totino’s, Samsung
QLED, Doritos, and Mountain Dew – they’re unrelated to racing games and are
beginning to feel far-fetched. Sponsored Car Packs should focus on gaming and
automotive brands as seen in past Forza titles with Top Gear, Jalopnik, IGN,
Hot Wheels, Mobil 1, Alpinestars, Meguiar’s and so on.
VIP Membership also needs more benefits in Forza Horizon 4,
such as the removal of caps on sharing photos, tunes, and liveries as mentioned
earlier, as well as additional pricing options in the Auction House. There
should also be exclusive cars included in VIP that have never been featured in
the franchise before, with Forza Edition variants also included to result in a
much better VIP experience overall with the usual double credits in race
events, and perhaps even a cool 1 million credits for all members, giving
players a nice bonus when starting Forza Horizon 4.
Post-release expansions also need to flow better into the
main game in Forza Horizon 4. You shouldn’t have to start an entirely new
freeroam session and face a massively long loading screen when switching
between expansion locations. If they’re integrated better into the main
open-world, they’ll be used more often after release and as a result, it will
see more players in online sessions on these expansion locations.
Forza Horizon 4 should do the monthly Barn Finds and free
cars as saw in Forza Horizon 3. These were fantastic, and something the
community really appreciated. Even more of this with free bodykit parts added
in monthly updates would be a huge bonus for players and makes obvious sense if
the game is set in Japan as well.
Then we have the topic of Prize Crates and
Microtransactions. As you’ll most likely remember, these caused a lot of
controversy when Forza Motorsport 7 released – even though it still doesn’t
feature microtransactions as I write this more than 5 months after release. I
saw them as a fun experiment in Forza Motorsport 7 and an interesting way to
unlock Mods and Driver Gear, but overall, it’s not something I typically take
advantage of, and I’d like to see everything in Forza Horizon 4 purchasable
with in-game credits, including character customization items if present.
Overall, there’s a lot we’re hopeful for and eager to see
from Forza Horizon 4 when it launches, presumably later in 2018. From an epic
single-player narrative-driven campaign experience to a diverse and beautiful
open-world location that begs to be explored and enjoyed backed by brand-new
cars with customization options near the level of Need for Speed
Payback – not to mention all-new capture and cinematic recording features
for content creators, there’s so much we’d love to see from Forza Horizon 4.
Of course, it’s Playground Games, and knowing the extremely
talented folks at the studio, we’re also expecting some awesome surprises that
we didn’t even think of for this wishlist, because honestly, nothing beats a
good surprise – and the team had many of them for Forza Horizon 3, with
Campaign Co-op and Forzathon being two standout features that were simply
Expectations have been set high for Forza Horizon 4, and
it’s no surprise given the success and the absolute excellence of Forza Horizon
3, but if there’s anyone who can top the current kingpin of the racing genre,
it’s Playground Games. Forza Horizon 3 was a success across the board and
remains the highest-rated Xbox One exclusive on Metacritic. Will it be finally
topped by this year’s Forza Horizon? Naturally, it depends on the overall
ambition of the game, but I’ve a lot of faith in the studio and team working on
the Forza Horizon series.
Likely to be the next
big visual showcase for racing games on the Xbox One X in
4K HDR, Forza Horizon 4 should be announced at E3 2018 with its worldwide
trailer and gameplay debut, where we’ll learn so much more about the game, including
its headlining features, release date, and so much more, and of course, we’ll
be bringing you everything you need to know on Forza Horizon 4 here on
FullThrottle. So, buckle up friends, because the year ahead is sure to be one
exciting ride for Forza fans.
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.