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Forza Horizon 3 Xbox One Review

Reviewed by on Sep 30, 2016
Rating: 5 Star Rating

Xboxs classic racer has returned but this time to Australia. Check out our thoughts and 3 Xbox One Review on Forza Horzion 3 at Kidzworld.

By: Max Cannon

I've always appreciated the Forza series though I'm not necessarily a big racing fan, unless you count Jak X: Combat RacingForza Horizon 3 is the best racing game I've played in the last decade not because of its true to life detail, its wide roster of cars, or its gorgeous graphics and sound design, I love Forza Horizon 3 because it is just so much fun to play. Crashing through bonus boards, hitting dangerous jumps, and narrowly winning races against trains, boats, and helicopters feels thrilling in each and every second you have the game running.

Forza Horizon 3 - Video Review

If you're familiar with the Forza Motorsport series but not Horizon than you'll be able to expect cars and quality with an entirely different focus. While Motorsport is about professional racing on the track and playing by the rules, Horizon is an open world experience that encourages you to jump off the road and crash through fences. While I find the original Forza games to be difficult and unforgiving, aside from the rewind feature, its open world counterpart feels much more manageable.

It's definitely the prettiest game I've played on my Xbox One S and I'd be kicking myself if I didn't mention how stunning it looks on my 4K TV with the HDR turned on. As a color snob I absolutely adore the range of colors and the clarity that it brings with it. 

Racing against a train is one Forza's most exciting races.Racing against a train is one Forza's most exciting races.Courtesy of Polygon

Driving Down Under

Forza Horizon 2 took players to a gorgeous Mediterranean location and Horizon 3's trip down under blows it out of the water. The first couple of Horizon games had unique settings but took themselves way too seriously, though the gameplay was fun and frenetic the presentation made me roll my eyes with how melodramatic it seemed. Forza Horzion 3 immediately corrects the missteps of the previous games by embracing how ridiculous the world can be. And the world is ridiculous, I mean in the demo of the game you can race a car that's dangling from the bottom of a helicopter as the driver begs the pilot to avoid anymore oncoming trees. 

Variety is the name of the game in Australia. You'll drive through dense forests, cruise along sandy beaches, and bound over hills in the outback. To progress through the game you'll be opening up new locations for the Horizon festival and if you want to get approval to open up new festival locations you'll need to pick up more fans. The more fans you get the more locations you'll open up, it's introduction to public relations. If you want to get more fans you'll need to win races, dominate PR challenges, and get your name out there. There are challenges covering the open world, drift between these flags, launch through this jump, through this speed trap.

When you're not taking part in a race or challenge, taking a Sunday drive across the Australian landscape is equal parts thrilling and relaxing. Forza includes a combo system that gives you skill points that can be spent on getting new perks and stringing together long combos is easy enough that it feels fun to maintain them. Crashing through a fence may start your combo, then nearly missing oncoming traffic keeps it going, then hitting a series of jumps before narrowly missing a crash into a tree that would've brought your combo to an end brings an excitement that I couldn't have thought existed in a racing game. Forza Horizon 3 continues the series tradition of using Drivatars. A Drivatar will cruise around the map on other player's games and will drive just like you. So even though a friend of mine doesn't have the game yet his data form the previous Forza games is factored into his driving skills and I'll see him crashing into other players during races. 

Your opponents will race like your friends, even when your friends aren't playing.Your opponents will race like your friends, even when your friends aren't playing.Courtesy of Playground Games

Customizing Cars, Courses, and Catchy Tunes

If I haven't made it clear enough, I'm not a car guy. If you're looking to know how a Dodge feels vs a Chrysler you'll need to look elsewhere, but I can tell you that the roster of cars is enormous and every car has a distinct feel and just because a car costs more doesn't mean it'll suit your needs better. Each car you purchase can come in a variety of paint jobs or custom skins that each player can design, upload, and then share with the Forza community. 

When you're done designing cars you can also design challenges for other players. More jumps, races, and time trials - if that's your sort of thing. Xbox's Groove Music can also be integrated into Forza Horizon 3, I wasn't a huge fan of the game's soundtrack and having the ability to throw my own tunes into the mix definitely bumped up my interest. 

Halo's Warthog comes to Forza Horizon 3 as free DLC.Halo's Warthog comes to Forza Horizon 3 as free DLC.Courtesy of Xbox

Final Thoughts

Forza Horizon 3's fun-oriented focus has won me over when compared to the overly serious design of Forza Motorsport. It's my favorite racer I've played since the PlayStation 2 generation and I love it's gorgeous world. If you love racing games, pick it up. If you love any excuse to test out a 4K TV or HDR, pick it up. If you love fun, pick it up.


  • Fun Location
  • 4K/HDR Support


  • I'm Not Playing It Right Now

Forza Horizon 3 Game Rating:5

Available for Xbox One and PC

Forza Horizon 3 Cover ArtForza Horizon 3 Cover ArtCourtesy of Xbox
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