Playground Games are the primary developers behind Xbox’s finest open-world racing games.
After the release of Forza Motorsport 4 in 2011, Turn 10 Studios took a break while Playground Games took the franchise in a much different direction. 2012 marked the first time fans were treated to one of the best open-world racers of the last-generation – Forza Horizon. Instead of focusing on a sim-like approach to racing and automobile development, Forza Horizon threw digital racers into a vast locale and let them run wild and free.
After launching two quality follow up’s, it looks like it’s about time for Playground Games to introduce the world to Forza Horizon 4. Let’s get into what you should expect from this upcoming sequel, when you should expect to see it and get your hands on it, and most of all – why all of this will probably take place.
Note: This article is speculative only. We are not claiming to have any official Forza Horizon 4 news, we are making educated estimations and speculating about the next Forza Horizon game.
Why We Should Expect a Forza Horizon 4 Reveal
Ever since the first Forza Horizon landed on Xbox 360, a release trend began to develop in connection with the mainline and spinoff Forza games. Once a brand new Forza Motorsport sequel gets announced and released within the same year it’s revealed, a new Forza Horizon gets the same treatment the following year.
That release schedule has been intact ever since Forza Motorsport 4 released in 2011 – Forza Horizon arrived a year later in 2012. Then Forza Motorsport 5 came out in 2013, which was followed up by Forza Horizon 2 in 2014 and so on. With Forza Motorsport 7 being the latest game to launch in 2017 from Turn 10 Studios, it’s pretty clear to see that Forza Horizon 4 is on its way, and we wouldn’t be surprised if it released in 2018.
When You Should Expect It
E3 2018 will once again emanate from the Los Angeles Convention Center in just a couple of months from now. And, it’s scheduled to begin on June 12 and end on June 14. And as always, the biggest gaming publishers will be on hand to present their upcoming titles during live streamed press conferences. Microsoft will be among those major publishers, of course. They’ve already announced that their live media briefing will be held at the Microsoft Theatre on June 10 at 1pm PST/4pm EST.
As evidenced by the reveals of past Forza Horizon entries at past Microsoft E3 showcases, Forza Horizon 4’s announcement at this upcoming press event is a sure bet. The Forza series tends to release its latest mainline or spinoff entry around the fall. Forza Horizon 4 should stick to that schedule and be slated for a release date around late September/early October.
What We Should Expect From Forza Horizon 4
Forza Horizon 3 upped the ante for the series in several major ways. It transported players to a massive fictional recreation of Australia and placed the responsibility of “Horizon Festival Director” onto them. One of the best new features introduced in this sequel was the addition of a four-player cooperative campaign. Forza Horizon 3 maintained the series high quality and open-ended approach to progress by improving upon past mechanics and implementing new ones.
Playground Games is an incredibly ambitious development studio, so it makes sense that they’d want to go even bigger with Forza Horizon 4. This game should take players to an entirely new international location that can offer a nice variety of varied climate changes. Several candidates come to mind, such as Dubai, Japan, or England.
Seeing as how Microsoft is constantly promoting the Xbox One as a graphical powerhouse, Forza Horizon 4 will definitely be pushed as one of the best looking games on their mid-generation console. Everything that worked so well in Forza Horizon 3 should make a return. As for the game’s massive car lineup, I get the feeling that they’ll go above and beyond Forza Horizon 3’s final offering of 350+ vehicles.
As for the featured location that Forza Horizon 4 should focus on, I’d go with Japan. Japan’s racing scene is strong, plus the deep sense of culture present within that country would provide a nice backdrop for the next Horizon Festival. Imagine taking on rival racers during intense evening street races in Tokyo and competing in exciting drift challenges within Japan’s more rural areas.
Japan plays host to every season, so there would be a number of cool environments to take your vehicle into. The “Blizzard Mountain” DLC from Forza Horizon 3 should be implemented into Forza Horizon 4 in some form at launch – Japanese locations such as the Tohoku region of Honshu and events such as the Asahikawa Winter Festival could make winter racing destinations a reality. Judging by the leaked concept images for the game, Forza Horizon 4 may be heading to another Asian territory altogether – Hong Kong, China.
Forza Horizon 3 let players take the wheel in a hundreds of cars and trucks. For Forza Horizon 4, I’d be very open to the game featuring more vehicle options. Playground Games should implement new types of Bucketlist Challenges that showcase all these new on- and off-road vehicles. Getting the rip around the track in a motorcycle, quad bike, boat, or even a mobility scooter could add more variety to each event.
Player creativity has always played a huge part in keeping the Forza community active. The series’ fanbase has produced tons of incredible designs that have been shared and downloaded across the Motorsport and Horizon games. I’d like to see this concept get taken a step further by adding the option to create race tracks. I was a huge fan of Forza Horizon 3’s Hot Wheels zany track offering. Allowing players to create layouts that are similar to that DLC pack’s lineup of tracks would be amazing to see.
Speaking of the Hot Wheels DLC, I’d love to Forza Horizon 4 offer something just as imaginative as that concept. Maybe a Transformers vehicle pack with Cybertron-themed race tracks, perhaps? Or some sort of additional co-op campaign that relives the events of The Fast & the Furious: Tokyo Drift? The crazier, the better!