You’d be forgiven for thinking that the seasons in Forza Horizon 4 were simply cosmetic. Plenty of games have made use of dynamic weather, but few have actually used it in interesting and game-changing ways.
Playground Games wants to change this.
In Forza Horizon 4, the change in seasons doesn’t just change the way the game’s version of Britain looks, it changes how you play and what content is on offer. It’s an interesting design and one that’s equal parts Games as Service and genuine desire to create something unique.
Forza Horizon 4
Sitting down with Ben Penrose, Art Director at Playground Games I asked what exactly the difference between the seasons was and how it affects the gameplay experience.
“That is a good question because it’s super key to us that we don’t want this to just be a visual wrapper, he told me. “We wanted there to be fresh gameplay experiences in each season.” Some of the differences are obvious. Summer is sunny and Winter has snow, but there are also more subtle differences that actually change the game.
When the Winter season kicks in players can expect to experience frosty and wet roads, patches of ice and snow. “You’re going to have to navigate that,” explains Penrose. “It might what kind of car you want to pick for a particular type of event, for example.“
Penrose wants to assure me that it’s not just driving conditions that change with the seasons though. “The other big thing, which is not immediately obvious, but is really important, is that weekly cadence of seasons,” he says.
“The seasons are going to change for everybody playing the game. You will also have brand new game content to look at that one, as well. There’s going to be brand new championships and events that will be brought to the game, and exclusive to that particular season.”
What this means is that certain events will only exist within a particular season and only that instance of that season. If you miss an event, you won’t have the opportunity to try it in the next season. However, there will be all new content in that season.
“Every single autumn that you experience will be different from the autumn you experienced previously,” Penrose tells me and I can’t help but get excited at the prospect.
Seasons are a big part of Forza Horizon 4 and are going to drive (pardon the pun) change and growth post-launch.
Forza Horizon 4 will be available on October 2, 2018.
PowerUp! attended a Forza Horizon 4 event in Sydney as a guest of Microsoft.