Forza Horizon 3 Takes the Series to New Heights… and Australia

Forza Horizon 3 Takes the Series to New Heights… and Australia

The open-world racer is back, and looks more spectacular than ever

We're at E3 this week, covering the year's biggest gaming event. Be sure to check out all our coverage on our E3 2016 hub!

This year, the Forza Horizon festival travels down under to Australia, and if the demo I played at E3 is anything to go by, the series is going to deliver the goods – again!

The demo featured three individual sections that were all woven together seamlessly. Firstly, I raced a wide-bodied BMW M4 along a stretch of highway against a fleet of other sports cars. We all rushed along, weaving through ambient traffic and screaming around corners at reckless velocities. Then, as we reached a specific point in the road, a monster truck jumped from out of nowhere, and I transitioned to that vehicle. The road then became an off-road track, and suddenly I was racing through a dense forest, cresting bumps and fording streams at top speed as I chased other off-road buggies down the narrow, winding course. After following the track for a little longer, it then opened up and led to a beach, where I raced through the shallows as the tide ebbed and flowed. I could feel the water affecting the way my truck handled – and it felt very realistic, like driving through puddles in Forza Motorsport 6.

Finally, I reached my destination, and was given another challenge – to race a Jeep… that was suspended from a helicopter. This race was pretty tough – I had to wend my way through a combination of twisty dirt tracks and thin ribbons of tarmac while the ‘chopper flew straight towards the finish line. It was an exciting race, and nicely scripted to make it a very close finish – but I managed to pip my opponent to the post.

Demo over, I had to catch my breath for a moment. This was without doubt the most thrilling teaser I’ve ever experienced for a racing game, and I’ve played many over the years. It was just very well designed to give me a taste of what Forza Horizon 3 has in store – from road cars to 800 horsepower off-road monsters, and from highways through towns to twisting dirt tracks through the rain forest. Although the demo was quite brief – it took less than six minutes to complete – the sheer variety of landscaping was deeply impressive, and it looks absolutely spectacular. If the rest of the game stands up to the quality of the demo, it’s easily going to be the best game in the series.

Maybe I’m getting caught up in the hype, but as a huge fan of Forza Horizon 2, I just couldn’t help but get excited by the demo. It delivered everything I want from the game in terms of spot-on arcade handling, progressive bonuses for spectacular stunts, and blisteringly fast, super-smooth graphics. Add to that more than 350 cars, the series’ biggest open-world environment yet, eight new radio stations, and a slew of new competitions, and you have a game that I think delivers exactly what Forza Horizon fans want.

All I can say at this point is that I can’t wait until the end of September to play it!

We're at E3 this week, covering the year's biggest gaming event. Be sure to check out all our coverage on our E3 2016 hub!

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Related articles

For Honor Preview: A Whole New Sword Game

Jaz plays Ubisoft's upcoming sword fighting game, and talks to creative director Jason Vandenberghe about how it was developed.

Dragon Quest VIII 3DS Preview: New Characters, New Dungeons, New Challenges, Black Sabrecats

Though Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King for the Nintendo 3DS isn't a ground-up overhaul the way Dragon Quest VII 3DS is, there's still tons of new stuff to get excited about.

Will Final Fantasy XV's Big Twist Ruin The Game?

Early details about about FFXV's endgame have emerged, to much consternation.

Final Fantasy XV Travel Diary, Final Day: Stray Thoughts and Observations

There's still plenty to see and do in Duscae, but it's time to close the book on this massive RPG (until November 29).

You may also like

Press Start to Continue

A look back on what we tried to accomplish at USgamer, and the work still to be done.

Mat's Farewell | The Truth Has Not Vanished Into Darkness

This isn't the real ending, is it? Can't be.

Eric's Farewell | Off to Find a New Challenger

It's time for us to move on, but we'll carry USG with us wherever we go.