- Marin County
Thoughts from the last few weeks of play:
- Allow filtering of the car list by TYPE of car (i.e. its purpose, street/rally/offroad etc). I've taken to painting my cars different colours according to their purpose, so I can recognise the street cars (navy blue/silver wheels) from the offroad (matte green/orange).
- Proper offroad suspension as a tuning option. Currently you have to put the same "rally" suspension on an Audi TT or a Baja truck.
- "Winter Tyres" are a silent switch as you go in & out of Winter. I was surprised as all hell to get in my 900pp Vette this week and find it was on Rally tyres. I'm guessing this car was built for winter racing and it's been put on rally tyres automatically for autumn.
- Sort out the ranking of cars in the Eliminator. The Level 6 Subaru is slower across moorland than the Level 4 Subaru. The Level 4 Supra is slower than glacial erosion.
- Show the track map as an option in the pre-race menu screen
- Auto-filter the map based on the event type. i.e. "Complete 3 dirt scramble events", there should be a button press to take you to the map, pre-filtered to just show dirt scramble events.
- Longer races that aren't just the 4 blue-riband events. Seriously, every race being 3 minutes long isn't a challenge.
You reminded me of another grievance. When you hover over an event/course icon on the map, often the course details info box will partially or completely obscure the actual route of the course, if it's small. If it's instead a big route, then it goes off the visible extents of the map, and you cannot zoom out enough to see it! What's the point in displaying the route if you cannot see it? It's kind of crazy to me that some UI/UX designer saw this and said, "yep, that's exactly how we want it".
I don't know if this one is in my head or not...does anyone else get frustrated with the rewind feature? If I blow a braking zone for a corner (not uncommon, as I'm paranoid about the stupid drivatars dive-bombing me) and try to use the rewind feature, I feel like it more often than not rewinds to the exact point (or close to it) where I applied the brakes. While that sort of makes sense superficially, it really doesn't make sense when you think about it. So then you have to rewind further, only when you rewind a second time, it seems to go back much further to some seemingly arbitrary point in the past. Can anyone think of a legitimate reason to not have the rewind feature be implemented such that the player picks the exact moment to recall? For instance you would just "hold" rewind until you reach the spot you want, and press resume. Maybe this is some sort of memory limitation and the game saves discrete positions every 5-10 seconds rather than holding onto everything? I would buy that, but I hope they can improve this mechanic in the future, because it frustrates the hell out of me.
Level of care item: Cars are very clearly placed procedurally into decade based categories. Most often, this works fine. But does the Ferrari 512TR really belong in the 90s? Does the Acura Integra Type R belong in the 00s only and not the 90s at all? (it's borderline absurd that the Acura Integra, in LHD no less, is featured when the game is set in England, I digress) If there was a genuine level of care on display, the decade lists would be more carefully curated so that cars that straddle decades slot into the one(s) that make the most sense. Of course, if we could create our own car lists, and save/name them, I wouldn't care how the out-of-the-box categories are organized.
Related to level of care: Why are the car names handled so sloppily throughout the game? The font size is all over the place, the naming conventions are inconsistent (why do some cars display their model year and others not in the same interface?), and they don't even bother to provide unique names in the auction house browser. If you're lucky you get a model year to help you out, but that's not always the case. Some car names are shortened in arbitrary ways ("Caddy limo") depending on where you are seeing it. Could they really not design the UI in a way that can report the full names of the cars in all situations?
Similarly, why are the car thumbnails all over the place? Some cars are zoomed way out versus others (particularly jarring when you compare two vehicles next to each other which should be close to the same size) for no clear reason - at first I thought it was related to the size of the vehicle and scaling the image to fit some pre-defined rectangle, but the extents of the cars are also pretty inconsistent. Not even the angle of the car seems totally consistent - it leads me to believe that they are actually manually captured, which blows my mind. The rendering quality of the thumbnails is also pretty bad - shiny materials are rendered almost pure white and the exposure of the image itself isn't consistent either.
Here's another detail gripe: Why doesn't the game list the engine configuration of standard cars anywhere? As far as I can tell, it only lists the cars engine displacement. The only mention of engine type I've seen is within the engine swap menu. It feels conspicuously absent in a game like this.
Again, none of these things are really disruptive to gameplay, they just drive me nuts. Part of my job IRL is to communicate information in a clear, unambiguous way, with no duplicate or competing information, and with consistent graphics and consistent language. I don't think these things are unimportant, and many (most?) video games do an admirable job of it. Horizon 4 is not one of them.