Survival of the fastest
Forza Horizon 4 is taking cars down a proverbially treacherous road, where a single wrong move spells doom and defeat. Playground Games is turning its racing sandbox into a battle royale.
Dubbed “Eliminator,” this battle royale coheres to genre standards while adding its own Forza Horizon racing twists. Every player starts in a red Mini Cooper, a level 1 car that’s neither fast nor flashy. There are randomized car drops around the map that contain new and better cars. Denoted by plumes of teal smoke, players seek these out to drive around in something more capable. Think of it like parachuting completely unarmed before finding armor and a weapon.
The game begins with a maximum of 72 players, and they’re all eliminated one by one by head-to-head races. When near another person, you click the right thumbstick to initiate a race. There’s no option to decline the race; if someone starts it, you gotta go. Forza Horizon 4 sets a waypoint in the distance that you both have to race toward. Whoever finishes last is done. The winner gets to either hop in the other player’s car, or upgrade their current car by adding the loser’s vehicle to their car score.
Interestingly (and maybe counterintuitively), camping seems to be a semi-viable strategy. If you have a car you’re content with, you don’t need to get into risky races. You can hide out and hope no one finds you. However, the mini-map shows nearby players, which means that someone can track you down and start a race while you’re parked.
Like other battle royales, Eliminator funnels players into smaller and smaller locations via an ever-closing wall. Because there’s no health to keep track of, Forza Horizon 4 uses a “timeout” meter that gradually fills up as you’re outside the wall. Fill it all the way up and you’re eliminated. Also, getting inside the wall doesn’t reset the meter; going back outside causes it to continue filling from where it left off.
Once the field has been whittled down to 10 players, Eliminator switches to a winner-take-all mad dash. This final race is how Forza Horizon 4‘s battle royale ends matches. It’s sort of disparate from methodically taking people out one by one, but a “final circle” is probably tough to reconcile in a game that hinges on cars going fast and far. Eliminator can’t really lean on the super slow cat-and-mouse loop that other battle royale endgames facilitate.
Eliminator is being added to Forza Horizon 4 tomorrow as a free update. Diehard petrolheads may not love popular video game fads creeping into their racing games. However, they’ll probably feel compelled to at least give it a shot. That’s because Toyota returns to Forza tomorrow, and the 1998 Supra is locked behind early progression in the new Eliminator tree.