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Luke Edwards
Luke Edwards

ABOUT Forza Horizon 3


Forza Horizon 3 is a racing video game set in an open world environment based in a fictional representation of Australia.[1] The gameplay world is about twice the size of Forza Horizon 2,[2] and the game contains locales and regions based upon their real-life Australian counterparts.[3][4] While previous Forza Horizon games have depicted the player as being one of the racers of the Horizon Festival, the player is now the director of the festival, and their role is to expand it throughout Australia by completing races, challenges, and stunts to earn fans.[2][5] If enough fans are earned at a certain threshold, the player can set up new festival locations and unlock more events.[6]




ABOUT Forza Horizon 3



Over the course of development, the team talked about and tested new technology prototypes for several months to help enhance the visuals for the game. Among these prototypes was an HDR sky system.[22] As an idea, the team thought of pointing a high-resolution camera at the sky for hours as a time-lapse. A test was then conducted in Leamington Spa, England. Lighting artist Jamie Wood admitted that during the test, there was more variety in shooting a camera at a sky than the sky design system that was used in Forza Horizon 2. Three teams of two were then sent to Braidwood, New South Wales to capture Australia's more distinguishing skies, clouds, and weather patterns. For a few months, the teams performed the shooting process using HDR cameras. The cameras took thousands of photos with frame interpolation over 24 hour periods, alongside the lenses and light sensors needing to be cleaned regularly. Videos of the sky were also taken, with the footage being about 30 days long overall.[30] The shooting process took place through various weather conditions and times of day to resemble a "dynamic weather system" in the game. This further meant that camera exposures and filters had to be changed frequently to adjust to each time of day. The footage of the sky was then imported into the game.[26] Because of the sky footage, days were longer in Forza Horizon 3 than its predecessor, and clouds also correlate with weather systems in-game.[30]


Ralph Fulton explained that "humans form their first impressions incredibly quickly", elaborating that the first few minutes of playing a video game can drastically change how a player thinks of it. Playground Games later conducting a study of first impressions before developing Forza Horizon 3. Two groups of test subjects both played the same Forza game for the same amount of time, except one group played in a sports car and the other played in a regular car. When asked about their experiences playing the game, the group that played in the sports car rated the game generally better. As a result, Playground Games spent a large part of their development cycle (about eighteen months) developing and curating the first few scenes of the game. In February 2015, it was decided that the first few scenes would be split between the opening drive and the first of the game's events, with the decided route for the opening drive being finalizsed a month later. By June 2015, the route was being tested and concept art was drawn for the scenery that the player would see during the opening drive, although some concepts had to be adjusted or removed, such as the rainforest being made less dense. Problems also emerged with the car that the player would be driving in during the opening sequence, the Centenario. The Centenario resulted in being too fast for the player to observe the scenery as intended, requiring changes in the route and terrain. As the opening drive also went off-road, a cutscene had to be instituted to switch the Centenario to a buggy to accompany the harsher terrain. Additionally, the first event after the opening drive had to be pushed back for further improvement, prompting modifications to be made to the opponent vehicle.[24]


There have been two crossovers between Forza Horizon 3 and other video game franchises. During the game's release, players were able to obtain Halo's fictitious Warthog if they played either Halo 5 or The Master Chief Collection on the Xbox One. Players may also win the car by completing challenges in the game.[54] On 1 August 2017, Forza Horizon 3 players received the Quartz Regalia from Final Fantasy XV through the in-game message system, while Final Fantasy XV players received an Xbox Live message with a code to redeem the car. The DLC was free for those who've played Forza Horizon 3 on Windows or either game on Xbox prior to that date.[55] It took about 1,500 hours to program the Regalia into the game, since there was no real-world data that the game designers could take reference from.[56]


And yet here it is in Forza Horizon 3. Why? I guess to delight people like me, who happen across it unexpectedly in a car list stuffed with esoterica, from dune buggies to wood-panelled station wagons to the three-wheeled Reliant van out of Only Fools and Horses. And because the developers at Playground Games really know about and love cars, which means knowing about and loving cars that are slow or forgotten or weird, as well as cars that are fast and glamorous and marketable.


The first thing about Forza Horizon 3 that will make you smile is its map. Like its two predecessors, this is an open-world racing game set in a fictionalised version of a glamorous real-word location; we've been to Colorado and the Côte d'Azur, and now we're off to Australia. Playground's artists have taken even greater liberties this time, condensing half this giant landmass into a map that's only a dozen miles from corner to corner. (It feels plenty big enough.) Diversity and epic scenery were their goals, and they've delivered. You'll drive over ochre sand dunes in the Outback, along brilliant white beaches, up thickly jungled hillsides, through rolling vineyard country and into a glittering modern city. It's a vivid landscape under huge skies, and it's quite breathtaking to look at. My colleague Ian put it best when he said that just watching footage of the game made him want to go on holiday. When you're away from it, you want to go back.


The competitive mode, Online Adventure, is very similar to Horizon 2's Online Road Trip, and quite right too, because that was a knockabout triumph. The only changes made are welcome ones, grouping events into themed playlists (asphalt only, playground games only, and so on) and allowing you to vote on these as well as filter according to your preferences.


The other major novelty in what is, in all honesty, a very iterative sequel, is the advent of a Windows PC version under Microsoft's new Xbox Play Anywhere initiative. Although we usually review games on a single format, I was curious to try out Microsoft's vision of a cross-platform future - and also aware that Horizon 3 will be an exciting prospect for the PC community, who are well served with driving simulators but haven't had a decent populist racing game since the last Criterion-developed Need for Speed. The news is mixed, as you might have gathered from Rich's report at the weekend. Downloading the game from the Windows Store is a painful experience, and it requires a beast of a PC to beat the visuals or performance of the superbly optimised Xbox One version. There are some reports of instability, too, although I've had no trouble with it. On the other hand, wider steering wheel support than the console game is welcome, the game is solidly engineered and looks beautiful, and Microsoft's cross-platform tech is seriously impressive. Your game save seamlessly transfers from one version to the other, and there's no segregation of the game's community at all, so you don't have to worry about which version friends are playing. This is how it should be.


We recently had a chance to race through the Gold Coast of Australia in Forza Horizon 3, but we also sat down with the developers to learn a little more about the game's deeper features and future plans. According to Forza developer Ralph Fulton...


Over 350 cars are included at launch, with more planned as DLC. Playing with an Xbox controller, I get an immediate sense of the weight and power of each vehicle, and can feel its limitations as I turn into corners. The feedback makes driving feel tactile and instinctive. This is a series about celebrating cars, with a handling model that makes each one a pleasure to race. The breadth of vehicle types, and the variety of the world, keeps thing fresh and exciting even tens of hours in.


Ultimately, I wouldn't expect to hit 'Ultra' unless your rig is pretty new, and I'd advise caution if you're only just scraping the recommended settings. A demo is planned sometime after launch. If you're at all concerned about whether you're able to run the game, I'd advise waiting for that. The upside is that the sense of speed feels exhilarating at 60 frames per second. Forza has always been good at selling the excitement of its fastest cars, but this is a clear step up over the Xbox One's 30fps. It's gorgeous too, from the lavish recreation of each car, to the vibrant colour palette of the Australian setting.


Phil has been writing for PC Gamer for nearly a decade, starting out as a freelance writer covering everything from free games to MMOs. He eventually joined full-time as a news writer, before moving to the magazine to review immersive sims, RPGs and Hitman games. Now he leads PC Gamer's UK team, but still sometimes finds the time to write about his ongoing obsessions with Destiny 2, GTA Online and Apex Legends. When he's not levelling up battle passes, he's checking out the latest tactics game or dipping back into Guild Wars 2. He's largely responsible for the whole Tub Geralt thing, but still isn't sorry."}; var triggerHydrate = function() window.sliceComponents.authorBio.hydrate(data, componentContainer); var triggerScriptLoadThenHydrate = function() if (window.sliceComponents.authorBio === undefined) var script = document.createElement('script'); script.src = ' -9-5/authorBio.js'; script.async = true; script.id = 'vanilla-slice-authorBio-component-script'; script.onload = () => window.sliceComponents.authorBio = authorBio; triggerHydrate(); ; document.head.append(script); else triggerHydrate(); if (window.lazyObserveElement) window.lazyObserveElement(componentContainer, triggerScriptLoadThenHydrate, 1500); else console.log('Could not lazy load slice JS for authorBio') } }).catch(err => console.log('Hydration Script has failed for authorBio Slice', err)); }).catch(err => console.log('Externals script failed to load', err));Phil SavageSocial Links NavigationEditor-in-ChiefPhil has been writing for PC Gamer for nearly a decade, starting out as a freelance writer covering everything from free games to MMOs. He eventually joined full-time as a news writer, before moving to the magazine to review immersive sims, RPGs and Hitman games. Now he leads PC Gamer's UK team, but still sometimes finds the time to write about his ongoing obsessions with Destiny 2, GTA Online and Apex Legends. When he's not levelling up battle passes, he's checking out the latest tactics game or dipping back into Guild Wars 2. He's largely responsible for the whole Tub Geralt thing, but still isn't sorry. 041b061a72


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