Over the past few days, I’ve had the opportunity to go back in time and play Forza Motorsport 4. A game in which I came too late to the party on (started with FM6 and went through all the Horizons leading up to FM7). I was fortunate to be able to play FH1 before it was pulled from the store.
With the general consensus being that FM4 was THE best of the FM series, I gave it a go. I have come to realize that both series have lost their way. Both FM4 and FH1 made the player feel like they were part of something bigger, you were either involved in a World Cup (FM4) or there at the start of Horizon Festival (FH1). While FM has floundered in it’s delivery (FM5 and FM7), Horizon felt like it was building up to something better (FH2 and 3).
Something happened on the way to a great game, a detour so to speak. Forza as a whole had the loyalty rewards removed, and the fiasco with FM7 at the start was legendarily bad. So bad the company had to take a step back and reevaluate how they were approaching things (loot boxes).
By the time FH4 came out, I could feel something wasn’t right. The world looked amazing, but also lifeless. The soul of Horizon had been ripped out and something akin to “games as a service” had been put in it’s place. Unicorn cars replaced with time sensitive events making the reward cars even more of a unicorn than their predecessors. Now with FH5, the soulless corpse has become even more lifeless. Within a few hours of play, you have just about all of the autoshow cars. Giving cars out like candy, no sense of progression, no sense of accomplishment. Fortnight-esque like games instead of ranked racing. clothing and hearing aids and such for a character you see MAYBE 5% of the playable game time. Rampant cheating (not only on the leaderboards).
My only hope now, is that the “reboot” of Motorsport sparks something. Maybe, just maybe, they will ditch the multi years long experiment called “Drivatars” and bring back M. Rossi. The games had so much more soul with him around…
God Speed Mr. Rossi, God Speed…
I agree. FH1 felt like it actually had some car / street racing culture to it. Even the dialogue was edgier. FH5 is bland in comparison.
The upcoming Test Drive Solar Crown could see a lot of Horizon players jump ship if its any good and has good replayability.
They’re going to have to really separate themselves from the previous 2 TD’s to get any traction. TD isn’t known for it’s physics. The avatar and clothing never made much sense to me, but it fit into the story line fairly well. Let’s just hope they do something meaningful.
Even the layout of the menus in FH1 and FM4 were smoother, better laid out compared to the modern equivalent.
Minor point of order - Turn 10 has established that M. Rossi is a woman. And honestly, I’m cool with that.
That aside, I agree with the majority of your post, except I’d make the argument that the decline started to happen with Horizon 3. That game started many of the predatory, soulless, and cynical trends that run roughshod over the Horizon games now - the lack of purpose, the weekly checklists, the Marketing-demanded DLCs (although, to be fair, FH3 Hot Wheels was very fun. They actually hit the mark repeatedly with that one - to a point that it was more fun than the main game at one time).
Personally I’d say FH3 was the peak of the franchise and FH4 was a big downhill
Funny thing, this…as Greenwalt had previously mentioned “him” multiple times in this interview. So they can’t even keep their stories straight, let alone their game.
Way to go, Forza franchise! You found a way to label EVERY player that has ever slung insults at a fictional driver over losing to them a misogynist…
This reddit post pretty much sums up the entire debacle:
“Wow, M. Rossi smoked me. Who is that guy?”
*M. Rossi gets out of car in slow motion. Removes helmet, revealing a female driver. She slings her hair over shoulder as 80s metal soundtrack plays. The music dies down as she looks at you and says:
“I’m no ‘guy’”
*Music comes back in at 200% volume. Crowd in movie theater erupts into applause. Little girls all over the world are inspired to become doctors and astronauts. Stephen Colbert tries to hand an Oscar to the screen directly in the movie theater. White supremacists all across the country see the error in their ways, and put down their tiki torches and join gender studies classes. Donald Trump tweets about it out of pure anger and is impeached a week later. Hillary becomes President. - Hadron90
I agree to some part of the OP, but tbh the Festival Playlist isn’t as bad as you’re making it out to be. 20 points isn’t too hard to do and they’re usually forgivable enough to put the new exclusive cars at these point targets. I fully agree they have to STOP making us win cars that are clearly available at the Autoshow.
If anything they should offer up just wheelspins or super wheelspins on seasonal events for that matter, or even a monetary payout in its place. I’m tired of having to repeatedly delete countless duplicates because it just takes up space.
Never said it was hard, just time sensitive. Which for some people can be difficult. At least they gave us a way to find duplicates, so deleting the 100th middling car that I’ve received less of a chore to delete.
FH4 had the token or whatever, you could pop rare stuff from a pile of cars, weekly voting? That worked pretty well.
I just got back from a roadtrip through Nevada, Utah, and Colorado and my goodness did it make me long for FH1’s setting. The map had always been small but it had soul. Anyone making an open world driving game needs to drive through Zion National Park before they start creating the world, what a glorious stretch of road!! Then there’s Pikes Peak and Independence Pass, yikes!
There are no words to properly express how much I long to drive through switchback mountain roads in games. Copper Canyon is better than nothing but it leaves soooo much to be desired. Now everything is flat and open to accommodate that stupid Eliminator mode and the world’s soul is gone. This is just one missing piece of many in the newer Horizon titles.
A bit off topic, after playing FM7 and seeing M. Rossi as female I just figured she was the original Rossi’s daughter. Surely the legend planned to retire at some point, right?
I’ve always considered the Rossi family to be a dynasty with first names all beginning with M. Personally, I think there’s a Papa Rossi, a son Rossi, and a daughter Rossi, with the daughter obviously being Maria.
It wouldn’t have been so controversial (not that it was much) if they had explained it this way. But the way they handled it made people say “Wait, what?” Especially having referred to Rossi as he for multiple games…
“See, we’re inclusive!” sweeps old interviews under rug
It’s so frustrating to see so many improvements that are really important to me come to the series, only to have the overall design direction go into the gutter, stripping away racing features and ignoring the potential of the franchise to chase wider appeal.
I’m done having faith in PGG. They’ve proven beyond a shadow of a doubt time and time again that they’ve lost the plot. Mike Brown needs to go, his vision for the series will have us battling aliens in space eventually.
And heaven forbid we ever get custom championships, can’t threaten that playlist engagement at any cost! Doesn’t matter that it stifles user generated content! And definitely can’t add new races to this wildly underutilized map. A driver might find one challenging and enjoy themselves too much!
100% agreed. Whatever the hell this new “vision” is for Horizon, it’s gonna destroy the franchise (some say it already has).
Happy cake day by the way.
Yeah what’s that about? Anniversary of my first forum post is all I could think it could be.
Anniversary of the day you joined. Works the same as Reddit cake day.
My impression of the current state of the game is that there continues to be a significant decrease in the player base, particularly with those traditionally dedicated players, which is pretty discouraging. Frustrations seem to continue to increase based on a multitude of factors, but I think the overall tolerance to the issues continues to decline, creating further attrition of players.
Lack of (what appears to be) concern from supporting entities to address some of the ongoing concerns affecting the overall experience within the various activities of the game seems to also be less tolerable within the community & contributing to the decline.
I’ve stepped away from the game before after reaching a certain point of frustration & unfortunately have reached that point again for some of the same reasons. For me, I think the player community has a significant impact as this has historically been a very “social” game & as that aspect seems to continue to degrade, it only adds to the feeling of the game’s negative momentum unfortunately.