Forza Horizon 3 is enhanced for the Xbox One X – and it’s never looked so good

Forza Horizon 3 2012 Hot Wheels Rip Rod

The latest game in the Forza Horizon series has been enhanced for the Xbox One X, Microsoft has announced.

Forza Horizon 3 can now be played in native 4K on Xbox’s new console, and will feature improved car reflections, shadow resolutions and texture detail.

Ralph Fulton, Creative Director at Forza Horizon 3 creator Playground Games, said the off-road racing title’s Blizzard Mountain and Hot Wheels expansions would also be improved.

“These enhancements are all about the visuals.  We know that our fans really value great image quality, so we’ve taken this opportunity to deliver that to them with this update on Xbox One X,” he said.

“On top of the obvious enhancement to native 4K, there are a number of other improvements we’ve made that really take advantage of the added definition 4K brings. Reflections are sharper and clearer, environment shadows are crisper and better defined, the quality of motion blur has been increased to make the driving experience significantly smoother, and better anisotropic filtering improves the detail visible in environment textures, particularly on the roads themselves.

“For me, the biggest improvement is in the combination of 4K and HDR, especially in Forza Horizon 3‘s dynamic time-lapse skies. The sky is such a huge part of nearly every scene in the game that it affects the feel of the game a great deal, and the improvements we’ve made to reflections and shadows really complement it.”

Shortly before Forza Horizon 3 was released, it emerged that Playground Games had built a revolutionary new camera, shipped it across the world and slept in the wilderness with deadly spiders to film the sky. The result is that the sky you see in Forza Horizon 3 IS real-life sky that was filmed in Australia over several months.

The Playground team took “hundreds of thousands” of photos of a range of weather conditions in Australia and physically shipped a terabyte of data a day back to the UK. Once back in the studio, the data were worked on by lighting artists and rendering engineers to stream it into the game.

Enhanced games are updated or built specifically to take advantage of the console’s 4K UHD and HDR capabilities, and often feature improvements such as higher resolutions and steadier, smoother framerates.

“More and more people are trading up to 4K TVs and want native 4K experiences to show what their new TV can do,” Fulton added. “Native 4K resolution, especially when combined with HDR, is a huge step forward in visual fidelity and as mass adoption of 4K displays continues it will become the standard by which game visuals are judged. We know our players value incredible visuals, effects and image quality, and we put a huge amount of effort into delivering them with every title.”

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