Five Forza Horizon 3 Features You Ought to be Psyched About

Forza Horizon 3 Open World

Earlier this week, the Forza Horizon 3 demo drifted onto the Xbox One with a teaser of the acclaimed series’ third installment. Like many of you, we at GTPlanet have taken the preview for a spin (or two, or three) and, now that we have our breath back, we would like to share the five features we are most looking forward to upon the Sept. 27 worldwide launch on Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs.

A Whole New World: With the mountainous terrain of Colorado, USA and the southern shores of Europe well in our rearview mirrors, the Horizon Festival now ventures into the Southern Hemisphere for a trip to The Lucky Country. Said to be twice the size of Forza Horizon 2, the digital reimagining of Australia looks to authentically portray the continent’s topographical diversity across a sprawling map of coastlines, urban areas, thick forests, and the arid Outback.

Color us ‘excited’, because from what we have seen thus far, this newfound playground is vivid, treacherous, and inviting — a perfect combination for any style of virtual wheelman or woman.

Forza Horizon 3 Drone

Drone-tastic: For the first time we can ever recall in videogame, Playground Games has blurred the line between virtual and reality with an in-game camera system that has as much function as it does form. No, this is not simply a disembodied camera tool to give content creators a means to break from the ball and chain of chase view; instead, the feature quite literally puts you at the controls of a digital drone (a quadcopter).

Using the Xbox controller, the left joystick adjusts throttle and yaw while the right stick changes pitch and roll. Unfortunately, the demo suggests the vertical ceiling is rather limited; yet, it is still a tool that will offer a great deal of freedom for exploration and will serve well for Forza’s videographers craving a new way to capture the action.

Forza Horizon 3 Blueprint

You’re My Boy, Blue: It’s another Forza first and it could very well be the start of something entirely new for the future of the franchise. Horizon Blueprint gives gamers the authority to change Horizon Festival events and Bucket List challenges to suit their desires. Prefer to take the action off-road? Reposition checkpoints, change vehicle types, and tweak the restrictions to transform a street race into an all out raid. Furthermore, Blueprint maestros can act as Mother Nature, fiddling with thunderheads to bring rain and calling up the darkness of night.

Although this feature has yet to be realized in the hands of the public, the potential for limitless race scenarios appears to be nearer than ever before. Better yet, Horizon Blueprint events are a form of user generated content that can be shared and raced amongst friends. Brilliant!

Forza Horizon 3 Weather

‘Weather’ or Not, Here We Come: It was with Forza Horizon 2 that the franchise’s nine year stint of not a single drop of rain was broken when the skies opened up over the Horizon Festival in Europe. Now that adverse weather is a thing on both sides of the Forza spectrum, there cannot be much more to look forward to, right? Nah. If the demo is any indication, Forza Horizon 3’s meteorological makeup appears to be recreated from the top-down.

Starting with the skies above, the team at Playground Games captured a full Australian summer’s worth of HDR sky footage which now doubles as the in-game atmosphere. The result, as seen in the demo, is a captivating view of meandering cumulous clouds, colorful sunsets, and true-to-life gradients of beautiful blue. On terra firma, it does not take long to notice how refined roadway reflections look and how magnificently the physics change to give drivers less grip. Throw in the rare rainbow and we’re convinced that Forza’s dynamic weather engine is one of the best in gaming, to date.

Forza Horizon 3 Jump

Give Me Fuel, Give Me Fire: We would be remiss to let this list end without a mention of the game’s true superstars, and what a collection it has shaped up to be. 3-wheelers become the newest configuration in the Forza garage, Aussie auto history grabs the spotlight, buggies make an appearance, rare classics will ‘ooh’ and ‘ah’ festival-goers, and a Warthog takes a break from the battlefield, alongside other remarkable inclusions which flesh out the 356 count, day one vehicle roster. Then, the standard cadence of downloadable content commences.

Forza Horizon 3 Helo Showcase

The Bonus Round – If you remember this being presented as a list of five, you are not mistaken. Coming in as the sixth feature we can hardly wait to get our hands on, and cannot possibly go without mentioning: the in-game marketplace. For the first time since Forza Motorsport 4, the Auction House is back to give painters and tuners the space needed to sell one-offs and complete car packages while buyers scramble to find great deals and hot new releases by their favorite creators. The Auction House, combined with the Storefront system, should bolster Forza’s catalog of user-generated content which simply means we anticipate hours upon hours of bidding our earnings away … just as it was always meant to be in Forza.

Whew! Looking back, there are very good reasons for gamers to get excited about Forza Horizon 3. Check back to GTPlanet for the latest news and updates leading up to and following the game’s release. Wish to share your thoughts on our selections and provide your top five (or six)? Comment below, then head to the forum for an in-depth community discussion.

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Comments (45)

  1. ExoticMachines

    Anyone know if this game will have a “Replay” feature like Forza 6? If not, there is nothing “Psyched” about this game for me.

  2. HarlemG27

    My favorite thing to do in the demo is park the m4 in byron bay on the strip and watch the cars go by. The people walking around and late model traffic really bring the game to life. Two more days

  3. FuzzyFassbender

    It’s a freaking game! Who care if it runs on an XOne, a PS4, or and SUV… You would think if a person likes gaming they wouldn’t care which “platform” it runs on. Playground Games deserves the credit and my money for FH3 just as much as PD when and if they release a stellar game.
    What’s with the conspiracy theory…. it’s just a freaking game! For “everyone” to enjoy if they so please.

    1. bf3

      Must feel for blind GT fan – this game is so epic,that you probably hardly can understand out of your jealousy that people praising this game for a REASON
      Even die hard GT fans posting in Horizon 3 thread here cant resist and buying this game as well as XB1S
      You should send your tears to Kaz MHUAHAHAHAHAHA :D

    2. jm79

      uh… yeah


      I’m suspicious that something is up here. Not a huge controversy or anything, but would be good if an advert is flagged as such. Dustin?

    3. letdown427

      I’m not too suspicious personally, I think people are genuinely excited about the game (I know I am and it will be the first one I’ve ever bought now it’s on PC) and it’s just a list of the things Dustin is most excited about…

      The thing is, to be a success GTPlanet has to have a good supply of news stories. There is no GT news, so what are they supposed to do?

      I like the Forza content, as frankly it gives us something to read and it’s clearly a great series, and now that it’s actually relevant as I can play it, I’m even happier GT Planet covers more than just GT!

    4. jm79

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m not opposed to any of that, and I want this game to succeed as much as you do, and I’m not disputing the quality of the game at all, but the language and tone of this article just screams ‘paid endorsement’ to me. The principle of honest reporting applies just as much here as it does the NYT or whatever.

    5. Johnnypenso

      Sounds suspiciously like someone who is really excited about it and is touting some of its great features. Not sure it’s been written anywhere on GTP that every single news article on every single game must cover every facet of the game both positive and negative in every single article.

    6. ImaRobot

      Why does it even look like that to you? I don’t even understand. Is it because it’s praising a different game? GTP have touted up a bunch of different games, this is nothing new, and it does not mean anything. The staff have a lot of different taste in games. It’s an insult to them that you’re speculating things like that.

    7. jm79

      Just to repeat what I said just above, mr contrary:

      “…I want this game to succeed as much as you do, and I’m not disputing the quality of the game at all, but the language and tone of this article just screams ‘paid endorsement’ to me.”

      I mean, do you get that? Or is your robot intelligence chip not that advanced?

    8. ImaRobot

      That’s just your way to be snide against something you don’t like, while trying to seem level headed. It seems everytime someone brings up the game you have some remark about so and so, and end it in something very similar. You writing that does not make anything your saying less of an insult to the writers.

      I got what you said, as it ins’t some complex message.

    9. ImaRobot

      Also, it’s not wise to take to insulting someone’s intelligence, even if you’re having a play on the username I’m using.

    10. jm79

      Sure haha, up to you! You can take what I actually say, or you know, what you’re bizarrely insinuating I mean in your own bizarro world.

      Good one Robot bro.

    11. ImaRobot

      It’s hard to take what you actually say at face value, because you make ridiculous statements like this. To claim that an article is a paid endorsement because the person writing it sang praise about it is just absurd, insulting, and childish.

      There’s been countless praise about PD and GT in articles all over this site for years, yet you’ve said nothing about it in any regard. You’d think that’d be more of a reasonable correlation considering the link of GTP and GT.

    12. jm79

      You can freak out as much as you like, Robot bro. All I’m saying is this article sounds like a thinly-disguised press release.

      I’ve clearly stated, and genuinely mean, that I want this game to do well. The rest is your robot imagination.

    13. ImaRobot

      Freaking out? Far from it. Just pointing out absurdities. As for paid endorsement, you can take it for what they said, or bizarrely insinuate that they are putting up articles because they got paid to do so, in your own bizarro world.

      You have clearly said that, but I’m just saying that everything you post in regard sounds like thinly-disguised unnecessary bias.

    14. Dustin Moore

      A paid endorsement or advertorial? I assure you, no money, gifts or otherwise were involved in the development of this article. Had such an arrangement been involved, a full disclosure would have been provided. Now, let’s get back to being civilized gamers, shall we?

    15. MeanElf

      Whilst quite probably not a paid endorsement (at least one would hope not) my first reaction to the style used was that it came across as overly gushing, and just a little bit over the top perhaps.

      I appreciate that the article writer genuinely enjoys the game and that getting a good balance of fact and enthusiasm is something that isn’t easy – it’s a job I’d hate and have never taken on, so I mean no disrespect with what I say. Maybe that’s what jm79 saw, reminding him of a similar style used by those who do write paid endorsements – let’s face it, there are enough examples out there.

      So, a genuine mistake as far as I can see. As usual though, the news items comments section is free-for-all with the usual suspects diving in, hoping for a mouthful of whomever makes a comment and as usual, ignoring any explanation supplied.

      Addendum: I wish FH3 well, it’s a shame I can’t afford the console price (before I get accused of being MS intolerant.)

    16. ImaRobot

      Ah, so you’re fitting right in Meanelf, because you do the same plenty :P

      As for being called MS Intolerant, why would you? You usually seem to be able to compose you’re ideas with some forethought, as much as I disagree with them from time to time.

      If anything, these articles look the same in the comment sections in regards to people making outlandish, or insulting claims against things. Say something odd, expect people to approach you about it, simple as that really.

    17. ImaRobot

      The only reason people get approached in the way they do is because they left the perception open for it to be thought about that way. More often than not, if someone has to re-correct their path after it gets brought to their attention, then there was obvious fault to begin with. Had it not been so one-sided and insulting to those putting the effort in, it wouldn’t have been approached in such a way.

    18. wallpaper42

      I can definitely see how this reads like a promo. The enthusiasm is laid on so thick it seems forced. But I’ll take the author’s word that it’s not. He must be really psyched about Forza.

    19. KingK76

      @wallpaper42… I can see how vexing having an article on a GT fan-site glowing praising the rival series (although by right FM is the rival not FH…) would be for a GT fanboi. But obviously the author of the article is unbiased and can see a great game for what it is… Great. I love and play both series (GT and Forza) and am always happy when either dev. hits one out of the park. It’s just plain truth that Polyphony hasn’t done that in quite a while (GT4 maybe…) and the GT faithful are getting upset. That is the only reason that anyone would realistically look at an article simply praising the great points of a great game as “Reads suspiciously like a paid endorsement”. If the same article was written about GT Sport I HIGHLY doubt the same person would have insinuated the same sentiment. It amkes for a good read though!

    20. MeanElf

      King, there have been Forza articles here on the news page for at least a year and no one has said that there shouldn’t be any…

    21. wallpaper42


      I love both series too even though I think they’re both past their prime. An article named “Top 7 reasons why you should be totally hyped for Gran Turismo Sport!” would definitely raise my eyebrows too… It just seems like sponsored articles are always written that way. It’s always a list and it’s always telling you why you should be excited.

      But it’s already been established that the article isn’t sponsored and I believe him.

    22. Northstar

      They did one of these for AC as well and nobody seemed to have a problem. I’m guessing this will be a recurring feature for racing games deemed worth covering so you might as well get used to it.

    23. MeanElf

      He implied though that certain comments here are from a GT fan perspective. As he seems to have overlooked the existence of previous FM news items here, all co-existing peacefully. Also as King failed perhaps to mention that the news section has broadened it’s appeal base to include any driving game that members are likely to appreciate – therefore invalidating his comment – I think he is simply going for a wind up.

      I just needed to correct that – frankly though, I don’t know why I bother.

    24. ImaRobot

      He mentioned the eccentric GT fans getting on Forza articles, yes, but he did not imply or talk about anything having to do with them being removed or anything similar. I’m not sure how that means he is ignoring the fact that the site has a broad appeal over many games, it actually doesn’t.

      All he mentioned is that the fact that something like this is likely happening just because it is a Forza article, as Northstar also mentioned how no one made the same attempt when it was brought up in ACs favor in a very similar article. Sure, he didn’t mention every single game that this website comes across, but because he doesn’t it means it’s automatically invalid? I don’t agree, nor appreciate the term famboi, but his point is very much valid, even if he is ignoring the rest of the games this place comes across.

    25. Brend

      FWIW – We also did a list for Formula 1 2016. Dustin is just extremely hyped for Horizon 3, rightfully so too. If we ever had sponsored content that was supposed to portray a selected message you’d bet it would be communicated.

      I’m not one to mess my words either, and neither are any of the other contributing writers. I’ve made my feelings known I’m the forums in raw form and on articles in a more civil ‘readable’ manner and once again; This is something we all aim for when writing articles. Good content that doesn’t feel brainless.

      Tl;Dr Although our content is getting more varied, this isn’t at expense of the integrity that makes GTPlanet a great website for sim racers. Without naming names, there’s so many other sim racing websites that bombard you with ads, pop up ads and other similar measures. We aim to offer content enjoyable to GTP veterans and newcomers alike.

      I don’t speak on behalf of GTP’s writing and editorial staff but just wanted to provide a bit more perspective even though Dustin did answer.


    26. MeanElf

      @ImaRobot – with respect, what are talking about with your comment: “… but he did not imply or talk about anything having to do with them being removed or anything similar.” I don’t even know how you came to that from any of my posts. I haven’t talked about anything being removed.

      Again, I appreciate that Dustin is excited, nothing wrong with that – I merely posted to agree ‘that my first reaction was…’ after jm79 got jumped on for his comment; as usual though it all gets lost in counterpoint arguments – like I said, I don’t know why I bother.

    27. ImaRobot

      “And no one said there shouldn’t be any,,” you said that yourself as if thats what he was saying, when not one person implied or mentioned that. Nothing was lost, it just what you implied really, I was just posting how I dont agree with it. I also dont know why you bother if youre going to end all your post like that. Stop bothering.

    28. MeanElf

      ‘All my posts’…two recently, maybe three overall in something like four years and that equals all? Oh deary me…

      You really can’t see what King was saying? “…I can see how vexing having an article on a GT fan-site glowing praising the rival series…would be for a GT fanboi…” As King mentioned no other articles in his post, the comment implies that no other FM or FH pieces had ever appeared before – it may be a stretch for some, but words and their combinations have a meaning for a reason.

      True, to fully appreciate a person’s intent you would need to be sat opposite them to see all the subtleties of expression and supportive nuances in their gestures to definitively nail down what that person is saying and meaning. As that isn’t possible, the jumble of words on a message board are all we have. From King’s choice of words and omissions, that’s what I saw – hence the question. Why don’t we let him answer that, eh?

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