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Why you should play Forza Horizon 4 if you don't like racing games


Come for the costumes, stay for the... everything?

I've always stood by the fact that both the Forza series puts something on the plate for absolutely everyone. That is especially true for Horizon, and to some extent, Motorsport. That being said I'm going to focus on Horizon here. First, let me explain the difference between the two series using my own interpretation. Yes, that means this will in no way be an official description, but instead what I personally see best fit to describe the collective titan that are the Forza series.

Forza Motorsport

Image description: Promotional artwork for Forza Motorsport 7. A person in a track racing outfit stands in front of the camera with crossed arms, while the pit crew works on their car behind them.
Source: Forzamotorsport.net

Briefly put, the origins of Forza. A serious racing semi-simulator for that professional track racing fix. It offers social track driving, casual track racing and also more serious competitive track racing across a huge variety of tracks, track types and vehicles. The rules are strict, and you're offered serious racing fun. A game that is built in a simulator.

Forza Horizon

Image description: Two cars driving at high speed side-by-side in a long tunnel.
Source: Forza Horizon 4, screenshot by author

After the success of Forza Motorsport 4, Horizon saw the light of day. Developer Playground Games rolled down the car window, and most things considered common sense was thrown right out of it. Here, instead of track racing you freeroam an open map full of collectibles, events that take place on said map be it in pre-made race routes on the road, off-road, "hush hush" street racing events, ramps for flinging your car off of at blistering speeds, and even minigames where you and other online players can play capture the flag, which is just one of the minigames featured in Forza Horizon 4. CTF, in your CAR, baby! There are barely any rules, just goofy yet simulator based driving fun. This time, they took the aforementioned simulator and put it in what is through and through, a video game.

Image description: A Lamborghini in mid-air after launching off a ramp, leaving sparks behind it as the underside had grinded against the metal ramp.
Source: Forza Horizon 4, screenshot by author

But what do they both have in common? Forza started as a celebration of racing and also car culture from all over the world, as well as the people who choose to partake in them. No matter what you enjoy they have something for you. Uh, sans Burnout because.. Forza is a simulator. Anyways I digress, my point is that Forza is so much more than just that now. Now, it is also a celebration of you, the player. As the series has evolved, so has it's accessibility. No matter what settings you play with, you are never shut out from any parts of the game. Furthermore, no matter what your interest in cars, racing, skill level or ability, you can most likely play the Forza games. I mean it!
As the Motorsport series developer Turn 10 said, "There should be no barriers to gaming" (click that quote to open the article it is taken from).

Image caption: Forza Horizon 4's difficulty settings. Difficulty set to new racer, assists difficulty preset on easy, braking set to assisted, steering set to assisted, traction control on, stability control on, gear shifting set to automatic, full driving line visible in-game, damage and tire wear set to cosmetic only, rewind feature enabled.
Source: Forza Horizon 4, screenshot by author

Why? Well, you could hook up an expensive racing wheel peripheral, turn off every single assist and play in first person or dash camera mode for a true-ish simulator experience, but you also have the option to just, not. For whatever reasons you may have, you can let the game brake for you, you can let the game help you steer and more, with minimal punishment and zero judgement. The game can be as realistic or as arcade as you wish it. This lets the player focus on what's actually important: Enjoying the driving, the cars, the welcoming community. This is true for Motorsport as well, so the reason I recommend the Horizon series as your starting point if you typically don't like racing games, is because it might just be the gateway to you taking an interest in and playing more racing games due to it's laid-back nature. I described the Horizon series as a simulator in a game for a good reason. Horizon uses the same semi-realistic yet intricate simulator engine that Motorsport uses, it just doesn't take itself seriously. You're encouraged to just have fun in your own way and at your own pace.

Image description: A car is driving at night with only it's headlights to show the road ahead, a festival area that has many vivid lights and fireworks in the sky is behind the car.
Source: Forza Horizon 4, screenshot by author

Thank you for reading, and I hope I could spark interest for you to try out Forza Horizon 4 if you get the chance!
Both Forza game series mean a whole lot to me, and will always have a place in my heart. Go forth, and have fun on the road.

- I'd like a victory royale, with cheese, thanks.

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About isoginchakuone of us since 9:07 PM on 10.02.2018

You may call me Aurora, but I also go by Sam. A little birdie may have told you that I'm a Norwegian, and that much is true.

Did you know I love tech? I love computers, hardware, software, really just about anything related to them. This means not just games and how they play but also modding of the actual hardware and the games. I've dabbled with pretty much all of the things I just mentioned above, to varying degrees of success. Hey, I'm getting better at it tho.

Even tho I see myself as being perfectly incapable of writing in a way that is engaging to the reader, perhaps I'll write something interesting related to these things sometime nevertheless. Critique me! Gently!
And then, maybe one day, Mr. Destructoid will even... gasp, notice me...
That's what I strive for anyways!

Side note, you may ask why I have two names? Well, I'm transgender. Specifically bi-gender, meaning I identify with both the male and female genders. Gender's messy like that, and if you came here only to tell me how much you disagree with my identity: I do not wish to debate or even hear how much you think that's totally obscene or stupid. I am comfortable with who I am and others should be too.
But if you care, referring to me with she/her and he/him pronouns as you see fit yourself, are both perfectly acceptable! Take a pick my friends.

Fun fact: "Isoginchaku" means "sea anemone" in japanese. Anemones are cool.