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!

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