A new Forza Horizon set in Britain will be released later this year, Xbox has announced at E3.
The fourth title in the popular open-world car racing franchise was unveiled as the world’s biggest gaming event got under way in Los Angeles.
Made by UK-based Playground Games and Turn 10, which have worked on every Forza Horizon so far, Forza Horizon 4 will be set in Britain. Featuring 450 vehicles from history and the present day, it will also contain changeable weather seasons for the first time in a Forza game, so players could find themselves driving in hot and dry summer conditions for a week and then in the snow and ice of winter.
Unveiling the game on stage, Ralph Fulton, Chief Creative Officer at Playground, said: “Forza Horizon 4 is set in Britain and features dynamic seasons in a shared open world, so other drivers will be real gamers. In a new 60 frames per second mode, every season will change world around you and bring unique gameplay. In winter, lakes will freeze and open up previously unreachable sections.
“It’s easy to interact with others, chat and make friends. You can seamlessly enter co-operative mode from within the game world.
“It’s a new take on the Horizon series. You will live in a vast and beautiful world in which dynamic seasons change everything. Every season, new reasons to play Forza Horizon 4.”
Forza Horizon 4 will be released in store, online and on Game Pass on October 2. The cover will feature a McLaren Senna.
It will be the first Forza Horizon set in this country, with the previous instalment based in Australia. Forza Horizon 3 let gamers race more than 350 cars across the Outback and in cities, as well as perform stunts and tricks to rack up points and unlock new tasks.
It proved hugely popular and topped gaming charts, as players enjoyed personalising their driver, cars, licence plates, music and even horn sounds. Realism was so important to Playground Games that developers built a revolutionary new camera, shipped it across the world and slept in the Outback 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 news of Forza Horizon 4 came amid a flurry of updates from Xbox at E3, which is attended by thousands of gamers, journalists and developers, from June 12-14.
Microsoft revealed that it will buy Playground Games, based in Royal Leamington Spa.
“Ever since Playground Games was established as a studio, they have partnered exclusively with Turn 10 Studios and, together, both teams’ shared vision, strong partnership and successful collaboration have advanced the Forza franchise to new heights,” said Alan Hartman, Studio Head of the Forza franchise.
“The Forza racing franchise saw its biggest year yet in 2017, with over 22 million unique fans driving throughout Forza games. We could not have reached this success without Playground Games’ incredible talent, which resulted in 2016’s award-winning, breakout hit, Forza Horizon 3.
“Playground Games’ unique, creative vision and passion, together with the power and resources of Microsoft, will see this innovative team take their talents to an all-new level. Playground Games will continue to work on Forza Horizon and they are bringing their open world expertise to an entirely new project we’ll have more to share about later.”
Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox, also unveiled 52 games, including 18 console exclusives, during a special event on Sunday.
Halo Infinite – the latest instalment of the hugely popular Xbox-exclusive franchise – will focus on Master Chief and continue his saga after the events of Halo 5. It will also feature a new art style.
Other games unveiled included Gears of War 5, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Crackdown 3, Battlefield 5, Fallout 76 and Kingdom Hearts 3, plus an update to shared-world adventure title Sea of Thieves that opens up a new land to explore.