Even though it’s months away, it’s not too early to get excited about the Forza Horizon 4 release.
The Forza Horizon 4 release is important for many different reasons. New games in the series normally mark the start of the busy fall gaming season for starters. That’s when most publishers – including Microsoft Studios – release their biggest games. Because Forza games are exclusive to Xbox, they are a part of the Xbox Play Anywhere program and have 4K graphics on Xbox One X. That’s two more reasons to get excited about the game’s launch.
Finally, the Forza Horizon 4 release is important because the franchise’ open-world arcade gameplay is a sharp contrast from the serious, professional racing league focus of the main Forza games. Since the Horizon series’ introduction, interest in Forza has skyrocketed, and updates like the Blizzard Mountain and Hot Wheels DLC for Forza Horizon 3 only make gamers love the franchise more. It’s fun to explore locations and street race in these titles even if you don’t usually like driving games.
Microsoft hasn’t confirmed the Forza Horizon 4 release yet, but we know it’s coming. Here are 5 things to expect from the game and the reveals leading up to its launch.
Expect the Forza Horizon 4 Release Date to Arrive This Fall
Definitely, expect Forza Horizon 4 to launch sometime this fall. Every recent game in the series has arrived around then.
How early or late in the fall is unclear because of how complicated Forza launches have become. Typically, Microsoft includes early access as a perk of buying an Ultimate Edition copy of each game. Everyone that pre-ordered a standard edition gets access to the game the following Tuesday. The Forza Horizon 4 Ultimate Edition release could happen in mid-September, with a general release date soon after.
We know a Forza Horizon 4 release is coming because Microsoft alternates between Motorsport and Horizon releases every calendar year. Last year’s release was Forza Motorsport 7, so it’s safe to assume we’ll get a new Horizon game in 2018.
Also, we know Forza Horizon 4 is coming because of a recent leak. Brazil’s government has already certified a game named Forza Horizon 4, according to Gaming Bolt. The listing didn’t reveal the game’s developer or an exact release date.
Expect Better Forza Horizon 4 Visuals on Xbox One X
All new games made by Microsoft’s studios are Xbox One X Enhanced. This means that their developers have created versions that use the full power of the Xbox One X’s processors, RAM and graphics card. Xbox One X Enhanced games almost always use that extra power for 4K visuals. 4K is short-hand for graphics that are four-times as detailed as a standard HD game.
If you don’t care about getting the best graphics, don’t worry. Forza Horizon 4 will definitely work on Microsoft’s older consoles. On the Xbox One S, expect high-dynamic range color contrast and upscaled 4K visuals if your television supports that.
Expect New Cars and a New Location
If past games are any indication, the Forza Horizon 4 release will take racing fans somewhere new. We won’t know exactly where until Microsoft announces the game and posts a trailer.
Eliminating countries the series has visited already points to a game set in Asia. Players raced around the United States in the first game, and the Horizon 2 featured Europe. Australia was the setting for the Horizon Festival in Horizon 3. Unless the franchise revisits those locations. That leaves just South America, Asia and Africa. Of these three, Asia seems like the most logical fit. Japan, in particular, has a distinct racing culture that could make for an interesting in-game Forza Festival. These festivals are why the series changes location with each release.
Expect Forza Horizon 4 to Come to Xbox Game Pass
Subscribe to Xbox Game Pass and you won’t need to pay for Forza Horizon 4.
Microsoft will add every new Xbox-exclusive game to the Xbox Game Pass library the same day that it arrives on store shelves, including Horizon 4. Phil Spencer, the head of gaming for Microsoft, specifically named the Forza franchise in the Xbox Wire news post that revealed the changes to Game Pass.
Xbox Game Pass is Microsoft’s answer to PlayStation Now and other digital gaming services. You get access to over 100 games on your Xbox One for $9.99 a month or $60 for six months with a subscription.
Expect to Hear About Forza Horizon 4 This June
Don’t expect more Forza Horizon 4 news until June.
Microsoft holds back on trailers and reveals for fall games until its Xbox E3 Media Briefing. This briefing is usually held one or two days before the Electronic Entertainment Expo starts, and that’s why we don’t expect any information about the game for a while. E3 starts June 12th this year.
Sea of Thieves – March 20th
If you’ve ever thought a pirate’s life seemed exciting, Sea of Thieves is a must-buy in 2018.
Developed by Rare, Sea of Thieves is an online role-playing game. You create your own pirate and act as captain or crew of a pirate ship. You’re free to explore islands and uncover lost treasures when you aren’t firing on or under fire from enemy ships. If you and your crew prefer structure, Sea of Thieves offers that too. Completing quests helps you improve your pirate and ship.
Sea of Thieves launches on Xbox One on March 20th. Because it’s an Xbox Play Anywhere game, buying a digital copy unlocks a copy on Xbox for Windows.