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Review: Forza Horizon 3

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Forza Horizon 3

You might not have heard, but Forza Horizon 3 is set in Australia. That’s right, our very own land of football, meat pies, kangaroos and Holden cars. While I can tell a Commodore from a Falcon and Skaifey from Lowndsey, I can’t tell a VK Commodore from a VL purely by engine sound. Thus, I decided to run Forza Horizon 3 past somebody who assures me he can. Tommo (and his old mate Davey, who just happened to be ’round for a few sneaky tins before the missus got back from netty) put the latest from Playground Games through some circle work for me. In between puffs of roll-your-owns they shared their thoughts while admiring the smoking rubber they left over the Maccas car park.

Tommo: It’s pretty sick, ay.
Davey: F**kin’ ay, it’s a corker.
Tommo: I f**kin’ love me some Forza, takin’ Lambos offroad and gettin’ a Mazda sideways at 300, and doin’ it in the Outback, mate. It’s ace.
Davey: F’kn oath. It looks real as too; I was out at the Stratton B&S once mate, and I tell ya it looked just like this — all red dirt and s**t. They smashed makin’ the Aussie roads and towns, the post boxes, the payphones, the road signs — even the Sulos. Byron and Surfers too; I had this chick up in Byron mate, I drove up there for a ronny once and I swear they musta seen me Monaro smashin’ it up there and made this game about me.
Tommo: F**k off — when did you ever have a Monaro?
Davey: Few years back; bought it with me compo for losin’ a toe at the factr’y.
Tommo: Yeah right. Where is it then?
Davey: Cops f**ken took it, didn’t they.
Tommo: Bulls**t, all you’ve ever driven is your missus’ Corolla with the Betty Boop seats and that pushie you stole from me neighbours’ kid that time.
Davey: Piss off c**t, I’ll bash ya.

*At this point both Tommo and Davey grab each other in a headlock, wrestling awkwardly for a minute until we hear an engine roaring by*

Davey: Sick as. V-Spec.
Tommo: Piss off that was a V-Spec.

*The two continue their wrestle until Tommo hits Davey with a wicked sack tap and Davey raises his ciggy in the air while doubled over, the universal sign for conceding defeat. I offer both a tinny and they clink cans in a sign of reconciliation and get back to the game*

Watch out, there's a f**ken train!

Davey: ‘Straya is a sick place for Forza, ay; those Outback races are off tha hook. The buggies, rally cars, supertrucks — mate it’s the most fun I’ve had with Forza ever.
Tommo: Yeah there is so much s**t to do, though some of it’s garbage like takin’ pictures of cars or challenging d**kheads to drags when you’re in a Le Mans (*he pronounced this exactly as is it spelled*) GT and he’s got some piece of s**t Focus. That bucket list is mad as but; same with the drift zones and the jumps, mate, I got so much air me Maloo grew wings.

Davey: The races are sweet as, ‘specially the cross country and street races. Way better than last time when you had to do all those boring ass road trips and race on stupid tight streets. Now you get to go through rivers and over huge hills and drift in sand and you can knock over heaps more trees, the rain and wet roads let you get your arse out and there are heaps of sick places in there like the gold mine and the construction site and farms full of bananas.
Tommo: Yeah, I had heaps more fun out in the open than the city, though Surfers is still pretty mad. Those robot drivers but, I reckon those are bulls**t.
Davey: Yeah, I finish every race by pullin’ the handbrake and crossin’ the line backwards in a mad drift but old mate says me Drive-it-er doesn’t do none of that, and I know they’re f**ked up ‘cause Tommo’s robot don’t finish last every race.

*Tommo pegs his half empty tinny at Davey’s head, the can gracefully blowing the side of Davey’s mullet back as it sails past. Davey goes to pick up the can and throw it back but as he bends over Tommo kicks him in the backside*

Sif there'd be no mad skids in a carpark like that

Tommo: Suck it brah. It’s a bit bulls**t too how you have to buy all ya cars, you’d think when you run a festival with 12 million people there and block off half of Surfers for a race they’d sling you the cash for a Ferrari. I had all that VIP s**t and still never got enough money to buy the best cars. Not even close.
Davey: So that’s why I saw ya at the lights in Surfers with a squeegee and bucket.

*Tommo grabs to put Davey in another headlock but this time Davey fights back with wild windmill swings that leave Tommo to back off and light another ciggy, giving Davey the finger with his free hand*

Davey: I didn’t even notice it much, since you’re the boss and get to choose the cars and laps for each race and all that, so I could just do everything in me mad Impreza Rally or the #22 HRT. Courtney, what a f**ken ledge. I don’t want to be forced to drive some piece of s**t Mini ’round Byron or wrestle some big d**k American muscle car over gravel roads.
Tommo: Yeah but it f**ken sucks to choose a supercar championship then only be able to afford the s**tbox Audi while you race against LaFerraris and Veyrons and Huracans. I like fangin’ heaps of different cars in Forza and this time I couldn’t smash up the good ones unless I spent like, ten years savin’ cash.

Davey: F**ken have a cry why don’t ya? I put a 6.5 litre V12 into me HQ GTS 350 and went bunta, I beat the piss out of all those European b***h cars. That was heaps sick, and some cars had built in tunes and upgrades so you could just buy an Impreza and turn it into a mad rally car easy as or get the XB Falcon and turn it into Mad Max.
Tommo: You just like that coz you’re too dumb to tune your own cars. Those auctions are for soft c**ks like you to buy cars and tunes, and paint jobs too. I’m gonna make the sickest GTS with a chick with mad cans on the bonnet and spray “F**K FORD” on the sides and sell it for enough to buy that Testa Rossa.
Davey: Sick as brah. But for a game set in Australia it ain’t very Aussie, ay. There’s not much V8s and no Bathurst and the chick that talks to you the whole time is Irish or Scottish or somethin’. The mechanic sounds like some Yank tryin’ to do Steve Irwin too.

Pfft, I could fly that

Tommo: And where’s the music? The Aussie station is full of doof-doof s**t and the DJ is some Triple J hipster who sounds as stiff as a footballer readin’ an apology after he gets filmed smashin’ lines in a club dunny. No Acca Dacca, no Chisel, no Hunnas — not even Living End. I know you like all that pillhead s**t Davey but I wanted more good old Aussie rock in the Aussie Horizon festival and I couldn’t figure out how to use that Groove thing to put me own songs in it.
Davey: Yeah I thought the tunage was sick but other than the Crocodile Hunter sprayin’ one in his pants over a Torry you find in a barn there was no Holden vs Ford or even a knockoff Mount Panorama. I didn’t care but, the races were still f**ken awesome, especially those Showcases against trains and planes and s**t.

Tommo: I reckon I could play this forever, ay. Old mate here says we’ll be able to do the whole thing online too but since he’s a sick c**t and got it before it’s out we can’t try that s**t yet. You can set bucket lists for other people now like “make this sick jump” or “do max doughies”or make races like “do 50 laps of Surfers in that stupid three wheeled Pommy car”, so I’ll do that until youse other d***heads are allowed to play.
Davey: I’mma f**ken smash you up hey, all your bucket lists were easy as piss and your paint jobs look like s**t.
Tommo: F**k off, come ‘ere and say that.

*Davey and Tommo drop their rollies and are about to go at each other again when we hear a siren and both of them bolt into the bushes behind the car park. I pick up their empties and stub out their cigs with my boot as an ambulance screams by.*

Editor’s note: A total of 83 “yeah-nahs” and “ya knows” were removed from this transcript for readability.

Forza Horizon 3 was reviewed using a promotional code on Xbox One, as provided by the publisher. The Ultimate Edition was used for this review, which includes extra downloadable cars at release and a credit-doubler. These extras were removed from consideration for the purposes of this review unless otherwise noted.

Review: Forza Horizon 3

9 out of 10

The good

  • Incredible environments, lighting and effects, a beautiful game.
  • Excellent arcade driving model and a huge variety in tracks that show it off from street circuits to rally.
  • A huge number of races, stunts, bucket lists and challenges.

The bad

  • A game set in Australia but not about Australia.
  • Pretty tight when it comes to giving out in game credits.

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From Amiga to Xbox One, Doom to Destiny, Megazone to Stevivor, I’ve been gaming through it all and have the (mental) scars to prove it. I love local multiplayer, collecting ridiculous Dreamcast peripherals, and Rocket League. Find me on Twitter @gollennium