A TOUR DE FORZA FORZA; HORIZON 4Xbox One, PC HHHHH.
ROLLING hills, sheep filled fields, cobblestone walls and changeable weather - nothing could sum up Britain more.
So I couldn't help but get a tad annoyed when I was nearly wiped out at a junction by a player on the wrong side of the road, who had blatantly ignored a Give Way sign.
But that is the beauty of Forza Horizon 4, which so lovingly recreates the winding lanes and tree lined roads of the British Isles, that you do feel a patriotic rankle when you see non-Brits driving on the right.
Gone is the tired 'festival' feel of previous games, instead there's a simple progression system, which works a bit like a skill tree in that the more you take part in particular activities, the more rewards you gain.
Each vehicle has its own perks to unlock, which give you more experience points when you pull stunts like wheelspins and corner drifts. The great thing is that you can spend your hard earned points on any vehicle you choose, not just on the car you earned them in.
There's an astonishing roster of cars available for you to take for a spin - 450 to be exact, which is 100 more then any of the previous games.
More vehicles will be added over time with DLC packs, that will set you back around PS8. Fittingly, one of the first made available for Forza 4 is the James Bond pack - which boasts 10 iconic cars from the 007 films, including a 1964 Aston Martin DB5, 1977 Lotus Esprit S1, and the 1974 AMC Hornet X Hatchback from The Man With the Golden Gun.
Unlike its AI-driven predecessors, Forza 4 takes place in a synchronised shared world, which more than 70 drivers can inhabit at once. But if the thought of that leaves you cold, you can take the action off-line and drive against computer-controlled opponents.
Towards the end of the month an update will add a 'route creator' feature, which will enable players to create their own races.
As with all driving games it's experience behind the wheel that counts, and that is where the Forza series has always excelled.
From the smooth ride of a Ford Focus through the lanes of the Lakes, to the bumpy, off-road, teeth rattling of taking a Land Rover across the Scottish highlands, every car you climb into gives you a different experience.
There's also something wonderfully comforting about driving around British roads - albeit, an idealised, pot-hole free version. Cottages and country pubs in Ambleside look divine, especially in the golden glow of the dying sun in a late autumn afternoon.
Driving around Edinburgh almost feels like sightseeing, while barrelling down the roads of the Peak District often ended in ploughing into hedgerows or through stone walls - immense fun.
This is a game which accommodates both the casual, and the die hard racing game player, which in this day and age is quite a feat.
Forza 4 is genuinely one of the most rewarding games I've played, and one which has made me fall in love with driving all over again.
| Buy it: PS39.85 from ShopTo.Net
A handful of the 450 cars you can drive
On the beach: You can go off-road too
Keep left: Forza Horizon 4 allows you to drive the roads of the British Isles
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|Publication:||Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)|
|Date:||Oct 13, 2018|
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