Forza Horizon 3

Playground Games' series has never been a more triumphant standard-bearer for racing games as pure, escapist entertainment.

Key events

We've already had Fallout's rocket car make its way to the noble asphalt of the Forza series, but now there's an even more unexpected crossover that's about to make its way to Forza Horizon 3. The Regalia, Final Fantasy 15's elegant grand tourer, is coming to Playground Games' open world driving game.

Forza Horizon 3 was good. Well, Forza Horizon 3 still is really, really good, and after some 30 hours I'm still having a great time fiddling around in its wilderness, and I still feel like I've barely scratched the surface. Driving from the tip of its coastline deep into its sun-baked heart, taking in the many and varied sights as I made my way to Redstone Airport in order to be jetted out to the separate Blizzard Mountain map, I realised I wasn't quite ready to leave when there was so much in the main game left to do. Churlish, I know, and it's hardly Playground Games' fault that they created an open world that was so generous first time round.

Forza Horizon 3's big expansion dated and detailed

Forza Horizon 3's first big expansion has been dated and detailed, and as suggested in an earlier tease it introduces extreme snow and ice to the series in a new themed campaign.

Dubbed Blizzard Mountain, the expansion features 50 new events and seven new cars, all equipped to take on the conditions. This year's Ford Focus Gymkhana is in, as are more vintage beasts such as the Group B Lancia Delta S4. There's also an all-new barn find for players to unearth.

There's no word on how exactly the new expansion will fit into the existing map - presumably like Forza Horizon 2's Storm Island it'll be an all-new self-contained area - though we do know that it is out on December 13th.

Read more

It looks like Forza Horizon 3's first big expansion is heading to New Zealand

Forza Horizon 3 - which, in case you didn't know already, is a damn fine game - just had its first big expansion teased, and it looks like it'll be taking the game away from the Australian mainland.

At least that's what the image of a snow-frosted Lamborghini suggests. I've never been to Australia, but I had a penpal from over there when I was 10 years old who'd ask me what snow looked like as he'd never seen it before. In return I asked him if he knew Alan Jones. We didn't stay in touch for long.

So, where could it be headed? New Zealand's an obvious bet, and having seen all of The Lord of The Rings films I'm fairly certain there is both snow and dragons and hobbits in the land of the Kiwi, all of which would be perfect fits for Playground Studios' open-world driving game. Forza: Middle Earth - who wouldn't want to play that?

Read more

FIFA 17 breaks series' launch week sales record

FIFA 17 breaks series' launch week sales record

Forza Horizon 3 beats Horizon 2.

A small game named FIFA 17 released in the UK last week and earned the highest UK launch sales of any FIFA title, ever.

FIFA 17 sales were 18 per cent up on last year - and enough that it edged past previous high watermark FIFA 13.

53 per cent of copies were sold on PlayStation 4, while 41 per cent were sold on Xbox One - despite Xbox One S console bundles including the game packed in.

Read more

Face-Off: Forza Horizon 3

Digital FoundryFace-Off: Forza Horizon 3

A preview of the Xbox One vs Scorpio comparisons to come?

Could this be our first look at how Xbox One titles will look on next year's Project Scorpio? Forza Horizon 3 represents a fascinating balance between looking good and running well on current generation console hardware while at the same time scaling up to provide an improved experience on high-end kit. Combined with the cross-platform nature of the new Play Anywhere system, what's clear is that Microsoft is laying the foundations for Scorpio's arrival right now - and it looks great.

It helps that the Forza Horizon engine is so solid to begin with, to the point where it looks so good at 1080p, you can't help but wonder whether we actually need a new wave of consoles at all. If there was one takeaway from this year's E3, it was that the first party wares from both Microsoft and Sony are punching seriously above their weight, compared to the outputs we've seen from equivalent PC kit.

Forza Horizon 3 builds upon the key technical successes of its predecessor and retains the superb image quality - 4x MSAA on a console title is virtually unheard of these days - while ramping up the environmental detail to new levels. It also goes without saying that the car modelling is exceptional, and though enhancements vary from vehicle to vehicle, the PC version does offer the ability to run more detailed in-game models, adding further to the spectacle.

Read more

Last weekend, we showcased the PC port of Playground Games' Forza Horizon 3, running at close to its absolute best at 4K resolution with a silky smooth 60 frames per second. It took an overclocked Core i7 and Nvidia's Titan X Pascal to get the job done, but typically, impressive performance at ultra HD tends to scale down nicely to less capable graphics hardware running at 1080p. However, Forza Horizon 3 appears to be something of an exception.

Forza Horizon 3 review

The Fiat Dino coupé was produced for a few years in the late 1960s and early 70s. It wasn't particularly fast, didn't star in any cool movies, and didn't have a motorsport career. Classic car enthusiasts remember it now for its crisp and elegant Bertone body, and the fact that it had a Ferrari-made engine, the same V6 found in its more famous and voluptuous namesake, the Ferrari Dino. It is a lovely car - a personal favourite of mine, thanks to a youth misspent reading classic car magazines - but there is really no reason for it to be in a video game.

Forza Horizon 3

Developer: Playground Games

Read more

Digital FoundryForza Horizon 3 at 4K 60fps is simply breathtaking

Digital Foundry on the thoroughbred PC experience, plus impressions on Xbox One S HDR and 4K upscaling.

It's extremely good on Xbox One, but with the right hardware, Forza Horizon 3 is breathtaking on PC. Building on the DX12 foundation of the excellent Forza Motorsport 6 Apex, Playground Games has assembled a technological masterpiece for PC owners - one that I was eager to test out at 4K resolution at a fully unfettered 60fps. A Core i7 6700K paired with Nvidia's Titan X Pascal mostly does the job with minimal tinkering and it's an absolutely phenomenal experience.

The Forza Horizon 3 demo is out now on Xbox One

PC demo coming "sometime after launch".

There's a demo for Forza Horizon 3 live now on the Xbox Live Marketplace. After a false start - it appeared on the Marketplace over the weekend, with an apparent launch time of Sunday - the demo was released yesterday evening.

I had a chance to play Forza Horizon 3 a short while ago, and can report that the third open-world racer from Playground Games is an awful lot like the first two. That is to say, it's gorgeous, slick, cheerful and free-wheeling; it's realistic enough for a car nerd like me to take seriously, but loose enough for anyone to enjoy. Best of all, it's not structured around competitive grind but around the enduring and universal joy of exploring a large and beautiful landscape. It's a racing game for everyone.

Forza Horizon 3 PC specs revealed

Halo owners get a Warthog.

Australia-set Forza Horizon 3 is now a month away from release, and Microsoft has detailed its final Windows 10 PC technical specifications.

These are the first Xbox Play Anywhere games

Which means cross-buy on Windows 10 and Xbox One.

The first flock of games to support Xbox Play Anywhere have been listed. These are the games that will be cross-buy on Windows 10 and Xbox One, which means if you buy one version, you get the other free, and your saved games and add-ons work with both.

FeatureXbox boss Phil Spencer: the big interview

"Scorpio is designed as a 4K console…"

Microsoft's E3 media briefing was strong, I thought, although its impact was dulled by a pretty spectacular set of leaks that not only revealed the existence of the Xbox One S and Scorpio ahead of time, but the running order of the show.

Report: Forza Horizon 3 coming this year, set in Australia

Simultaneous on Xbox One and Windows 10.

Relatively reliable gossip source Nerd Leaks reports that this year will see the release of Forza Horizon 3. Developed once again by Leamington Spa's Playground Games, the open-world racing sequel will be set in Australia, and will be released on 27th September for both Xbox One and Windows 10.