Forza Horizon 4 • Arrive at the Horizon Festival • 10G • 85.55% of gamers unlocked this
I forgot that over the weekend, I grabbed another month of Game Pass so that I could play some Super Lucky’s Tale with my son … but, of course, that brings with it a whole new library of games that I have the option to play, not least of which is Forza Horizon 4 … so late last night I set the 60GB+ download going, ready for a quick session this morning.
And then, of course, Xbox Live was down.
I’ve tempted fate by talking about how my Project Scorpio Edition of my Xbox One X has stood the test of time, despite others like Game Informer’s David Milner lamenting his Xbox churn.
Despite this, I’ve found that it has become quite slow over the past few weeks in terms of loading times and particularly connecting to the internet. I don’t have the same problems on my PC, but the PlayStation has also increasingly become a ‘bit’ slow … but it’s also a few years older, so I’m keeping a nervous eye on my hardware, but today’s Xbox and network outage absolutely gave me pause.
Now, more about Forza itself.
Firstly, wow. I made the decision early-on to switch the graphics option back from ‘pretty’ to ‘performance’ (that’s my language, not the game’s), and this thing runs incredibly smooth. I’m going to go out on a limb and say I’ve never seen a game look this high-end on my TV before – and I’m running an older Sony Bravia 1080p. The game is just … gorgeous. If this is the standard Microsoft is setting for its first party, then its collection of new studios both have a very high standard to meet, but are also in very good company.
The first race itself is Forza Horizon standard … a variety of vehicles and race modes mixed up to give you a taste for the game, this time with different seasons to show you how the different environments change the style of racing. I can already sense myself becoming less-than-a-fan of winter driving.
I polished off a few races as part of my session this morning, but obviously not enough to grab more than the first achievement in the game. As it turns out, the Xbox outage required me to fully reboot my Xbox and reconnect to Forza before the achievement popped. I thought it strange that I hadn’t earned anything after finishing the first race, a few intro races and choosing new livery for my Ford Focus, so when I checked the achievement list and saw that the ‘Welcome to Britain’ achievement hadn’t popped, I knew something was wrong.
Turning things off-and-on-again remains the timeless, tried and tested method for Step 1 troubleshooting. Even in gaming.
Tonight is my visit to the accountant, which gives me a sinking feeling in the stomach, but it is a much-needed bandaid approach – get it over and done with – so I’ll see how much, if any, gaming appeals to me later in the evening. If I can muster the enthusiasm, I feel like a few more Forza races are in-order.