Forza Horizon 4, the latest entry in Microsoft’s racecar fantasy franchise, is just a week away from release. The embargo dropped earlier this week, and reviews are rolling out. We’ve generally been a fan of the Forza series here at TechnoBuffalo, and of cars in general, but you may have noticed: Our review is missing! After spending about a week with the game, we’ve decided to delay our review a little bit.
Our review code for Forza Horizon 4 only arrived just a week ago. That happens sometimes – we’ll live!
But here’s the thing.
Seasons are the biggest selling point of Forza Horizon 4, but they’re also an example of how the game review cycle doesn’t always work for every game. While I had plenty of time for the Spider-Man review earlier this month with just a couple weeks or so to play through it, a week isn’t nearly enough time for Forza Horizon 4.
Here’s how seasons work. In the opening hours of FH4, you’ll spend something like 45 minutes to an hour with each season, doing enough events to make the seasons progress. Once you’ve done a full year, the Forza Horizon festival begins. From there, seasons rotate on a weekly basis.
That is, a real-time weekly basis. Every seven earth days.
Each week, time progresses to the next season. Winter changes into spring, spring changes into summer, and so forth. Each season brings with it unique conditions and timed, seasonal events. Tire temperature can affect your tire’s grip, weather can change dirt roads, and lakes freeze over entirely in the winter.
It’s a neat idea. Except I got my key just as Autumn began and even pouring as much time as I could into FH4, I can’t make real-world time progress any faster, so the vast majority of my time with the game was spent in autumn. I love fall, so that’s cool, but it also limits my feeling for the game.
Here in Minnesota, we joke that we only have two seasons, winter and road construction. Forza Horizon has four seasons, though, and we want to experience all of them – or at least more than just the one.
On top of that, the game thrives on multiplayer, perhaps more than any game in the series so far, and we want to try to experience everything that multiplayer mode has to offer.
So we’re going to keep playing Forza Horizon 4, checking in between sessions with the other games we’re working on. We’re putting our review off a little bit to make sure we get time to explore the Horizon Festival in all four seasons. Look for it right here soon!