Finally, after much speculation and teasing, Forza Horizon 3
has finally been confirmed by Playground Games during Microsoft's E3 conference. Boasting the largest ever Horizon open-world environment and the largest roster of cars, and featuring the most diverse landscapes and roads of Australia.
The new title is set to have over 350 of the world's greatest cars, which can be raced in a world that promises to be twice the size of that featured in Forza Horizon 2
and feature the massively diverse environments of Australia, including caves, beaches, rain forests, and urban streets. The level of detail extends further than the just the ground. Cameras were setup to capture the sky in all of it's glory during the day and night; drivers will be racing under authentic Australia skies.
Featured within the massive garage of cars will be some making their debut to the franchise, including the new cover car, the Lamborghini Centanario and the brand-new Ford Raptor. Additionally, there will be new barn finds and new vehicles such as the Ariel Nomad that are especially suited to the rugged environments. For those that are coming from the previous titles, there are further additional cars that will be awarded as part of the Forza loyalty rewards and previous VIP status, all of which could expand the player's garage by another 12 cars. Pre-ordering will also grant another car depending on the retailer, and those pre-ordering digitally via the Xbox Store will receive two further car packs.
Naturally, as with previous titles, all of these cars can be tuned and upgraded and kitted out with different liveries and paint jobs, and for the first time, trading via the auction house and storefronts will work seamlessly between players on the Xbox One and Windows 10.
But this just scratches the surface of the title. The player is no longer just a participant in the Horizon Festival; he or she can now become the boss. The whole festival falls under the player's control, from deciding when and how to extend the festival sites, configuring the individual events, through to selecting the soundtrack, all of this with the aim of creating the most popular festival in the world. All of this can be created and stored in a Horizon Blueprint which can then be shared among other players in the real world.
Blueprints can be created from any of the hundreds of pre-created events in the title which can then be configured in the way that the player wants. This can be selecting the route to the event, the weather conditions, available cars, and even restrictions. Between the pre-built events, customized events, and user-created blueprint events, the scope is almost limitless. Players will also earn rewards for participating in any user-created blueprint events in the same way that any game events would award points. Bucket lists also make a return, and players will have access to the same tools as the designers to create brand-new challenges; these, too, can be shared with friends and fellow players.
Drivatars also make a return but with an expanded role. Players will be able to hire and fire their friends' avatars and earn rewards based on their performance in the festival. There are only a limited number of team slots available, so you'll want to keep your highest performing friends on board and release those that are not quite keeping up with the pace. Meanwhile, in the real world, players will be able to team up with four-player campaign co-op to tackle various challenges with the added advantage that players can play together regardless of the platform, using the cross-play feature that links the Xbox Live experience across Xbox One and Windows 10.
Last but not least, Horizon Radio is back with some of the favorite radio stations from previous titles, but now it has been expanded with additional stations, including music from cutting-edge Australian label Future Classic. If that wasn't enough, players will be able to create their own playlists through the cloud using Groove music.
With all of these things taken together, this is quite simply shaping up to be one of the biggest racing titles on the console.
The Pre-order for Forza Horizon 3
has already been announced including the ultimate edition, which bundles the VIP membership, car pass, and the bonus car pack, plus early access. Forza Horizon 3
will be launching for early access on September 23rd and available for general release on September 27th.