June 14, 2021

Xbox One X

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Forza Horizon 4’s stunning tech upgrades – and how Xbox One X shines as lead platform

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The Forza Horizon franchise has carved its own path, veering away from Turn 10’s mainline series with its emphasis on arcade racing set within a massive open world. The series’ evolution has been a long but often spectacular journey – a vibrant racing celebration that’s given Horizon its own distinct identity and in Forza Horizon 4, Playground Games aims for something even more special from a technical perspective – a game that builds substantially on the last entry’s technical strengths and focuses on Xbox One X as lead platform.

“I definitely think there’s a leap in fidelity in Forza Horizon 4 over Forza Horizon 3,” creative director Ralph Fulton says. “Part of that is kind of natural because Xbox One X is our lead platform. It allow us to just go into more detail. But I also think that with every run at the tech we get better at using it, we get better and more efficient at using it. Our processes and our art techniques become more refined, so I think you naturally see that it’s a team who have a huge experience making horizon games, are growing in justified confidence in the way the way that they go about making a game.”

Moving away from the Australian heat to a distinctly seasonable UK impacts development in many ways, providing a suitable challenge for Playground’s art and tech departments. The location choice is a big starting point, and it meant visiting and meticulously rendering landmarks across the country using physically-correct properties. The landscape of the UK is carefully replicated too using a digital elevation model, giving its rolling pastures an authentic look.

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