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Jan06
My 2020 GOTY
GOTY for me, 2020 Edition.
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Gee another year in the books huh. Hmm, so with what game will I give my choice for GOTY... Forza Horizon 4! Yes yes, technically it came out in 2018 but it's gotten a surprisingly decent amount of support afterwards that's actually kept me playing for some time and the changing seasons along with the weekly challenges is a nice touch to change things up. As well as the next-gen feature updates and adding the game to Xbox Game Pass I feel a lot of players are still enjoying or just getting into this game as well. It doesn't hurt that it's a lot of fun with lots to do, either.

Something for everyone.
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This, this is a huge in any video game or entertainment product in this day and age. You have to have something that'll be easy to pick up and also hard to master. Striking that balance plagues many development studios but here it looks like Playground Games nails the formula. Forza Horizon 4, via assists/difficulty adjustment, pretty much allows anyone to race and enjoy Forza Horizon 4 but it's when the game really shines when you have the challenges - daily and weekly - along with beating rivals, finding hard to find collectibles, acing all the PR events in the game, unlocking more of your vehicle's perks from all the acquired skill points and having a competitive multiplayer experience. Forza Horizon 4 is a really fun and great arcade racing experience and with Playground Games being a Xbox Game Studio the Xbox Play Anywhere feature really lets players take advantage of the game on either system with cross-play/cross-saves compatibility.

Gotta have content
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Games are good interactive mediums but they only work when the player has something to do in them. In this, Playground Games, have added a few DLC packs with the expected additional cars for those that have the Ultimate Edition or pony up for the extra add-ons. After a slight but neat add-on of Fortune Island allowed racers to go on a hidden treasure hunt and zoom around hilly terrain during a compelling acclimate weather system, Lego throws their hand in the mix with Lego Speed Champions for the next DLC pack. This gave players more races, new collectibles, achievements, new cars as well as Lego cars this time around. The new Lego influenced and themed island is akin to the Hot Wheels DLC player's got from the previous Forza Horizon title with FH3. Still one of my favorites because, come on, you can't beat corkscrew loops and turns.

Then the studio added a new game mode called The Eliminator, a 72 player Battle Royale DLC completely free - what game doesn't have this mode added in or modeled the entirety of the game around these days? Battle Royale, it's the new "Doom", that game that everyone is cloning it seems. This has a bit of a spin to your typical Forza Horizon racing experience with the game having a competitive arena like challenge where you know the deal, the last one standing will be the winner. Challenging players to a PvP race or hiding out in the woods while grabbing Airdropped car upgrades is actually a fun diversion from the typical racing experience you get out of Forza Horizon 4. It didn't hold my interest like the other modes or DLC for the game but like I said the developers added it in for free.

Added in just recently, Super Seven, another update free gives players a great little "Blueprint Builder" which gives players the ability to generate some neat user generated challenges - aside from having this ability with races via custom checkpoints - stunt/drift routes/parks to complete in a row for a specific reward. You can have anywhere's from getting from Point A to Point B the fastest or seeing who can launch their car the farthest. The update recently got added so it'll take some time before some really creative user content comes into play with the racing community. Although the last challenge I played I had to luge down the mountain in a makeshift bobsledding themed stunt using the Ariel Atom while listening to a Reggae song on a user generated stunt/series half-pipe. headspin

The tweaks and the tuning
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Aside from tuning your car, truck, van or buggy the little things the developers were able to tweak and tune with the game have gone a long way. In one update the ability to fix players just riding along the walls for corning and eliminating freak collisions/dumb driving/online trolls via ghosting each player's car has been a huge welcome in the crowded multiplayer race events. The calculated prediction will shelter a rage filled section of a heated or contested race. The other big update would be getting Forza Horizon 4 in the 4K resolution running at 60 fps on next-gen consoles. I have the game on the OG Xbox but I've seen it running on PCs. It's downright gorgeous to watch in motion, super jelly. An arcade racing gamer's dream where it's pretty easy to join a friend's game, join up with a club, join with random competitive strangers all gunning for the finish line or just messing about in a virtual open world. Messing around with others online reminded me of great online moments with Burnout: Paradise but that's due to the challenge feature in that game. Forza Horizon 4 hit Xbox Game Pass too so if you by chance haven't picked it up yet, that's a great way to sample what you're missing.

Car... Game On! OK, time to ride off into the sunset.
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