While the official release of Forza Horizon 4 is still a few weeks away, fans of the series can jump into the game’s official Demo right now. And it should come as no surprise to anyone, that it is absolutely fantastic.
The demo starts off in the very same way that all Forza Horizon games start, with a sprint to the Horizon Festival with a swarm of different competitors who, like you, are participants in the event. But unlike previous opening sprints, this one is divided into 4 distinct parts for each of the four seasons.
The race starts off in Autumn, as the light from a beautiful sunset gleams across the asphalt and auburn leaves populate both the trees and the roadside. You’re given control of a McLaren Senna as you join up with your competitors, twisting and turning alongside them on the countryside road. This doesn’t last for very long though, because you very quickly transition into the next season.
During Winter you take control of an off-road truck, as you jump off cliffs and skid across frozen lakes. The game looks absolutely beautiful in Winter, and the entire experience is completely different from what we saw before in Autumn. Snow makes it fairly challenging to race on both the roads and across the frost-covered landscape, and even the slightest miscalculation can send you whirling out of control. But this doesn’t last for long either, as you then transition into Spring.
Spring was the most visually striking of the four different phases of this race for me, and it takes the form of Forza Horizon’s signature Showcase Events as you race against a squad of motorcyclists in a forest road comprised mostly of mud and puddles. Water splashes across your screen as you drive through these puddles, and your opponents flaunt their skills by preforming flips over your hatchback. This section also had some very impressive slow-motion moments.
And finally we come to Summer, as fighter jets fly overhead preforming an airshow, and you scramble into the final section of the race. You have access to the McLaren Senna here again, and most of the section is straight open roads that allow you to push your car’s speed to the absolute limit. It is also in Summer that the rest of the demo takes place.
Now once you get to the Horizon Festival, players get to chose their own avatar from a set of 14 preset models. There are 7 female avatars and 7 male avatars, and they can be seen below.
You customize your licence plate as well and chose from three different starting vehicles, the Ford Focus RS, Audi TTS Coupe and the Dodge Charger R/T.
You then get to participate in 2 different races with your selected car, which were on fairly standard tracks, before you get access to 2 Dirt Races. As the name suggests, these took place off-road and were, in my opinion, the best part of the entire demo.
The tracks were well designed, the jumps were epic and the entire experience was so radically different from the previous 2 races, that I completely understand why Dirt races, among others, are assigned their own mini-category in the game that you have to level up in.
The three cars you get to choose from for Dirt Races are the Ford Escort RS Cosworth, Subaru Impreza WRX STI and the Lancia 037 Stradale.
Other than these four races, you get access to an event where you take on the role of a stuntman for a movie, and the final goal is to jump through a windmill at high speeds while the director shouts instructions in your ear. There was also a street race set during the night.
You also get access to a bunch of different Speed Traps and dangerous stunt jumps, but most of these are only unlocked once you finish the main races.
All in all, this was quite a meaty demo, and it more or less sold me on the game. You can check it out yourself on both the Xbox One and Windows 10, it’s only 27 GB.
You can also check out a bunch of in-game screenshots below:
Forza Horizon 4 is set for release on the Xbox One and the PC on 2nd October 2018.