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White knuckle game-changer

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Imagine the perfect driving game – a fusion of the high-speed action of Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit, the exacting realism of Forza Motorsport and the open world adventure of Burnout Paradise. An impossible dream? Not any more…

Screeching into view is Forza Horizon 4, an Xbox 360 exclusive spin-off from the main series. Set in a fictional version of Colorado, design director Ralph Fulton explains why: “We researched 30 locations around the globe, Colorado ticked all our boxes. The state boasts both great driving roads and environmental diversity – from deserts in the south, to plains in the middle and the Rocky Mountains in the north.”

The gameplay centres on Horizon – a mix of autoshow and summer music festival. Think Coachella with on-site street racing and dubious health and safety practices. You have to battle through the game’s events, scoring points and increasing your popularity by winning, but also by drifting and using various other style tricks.

The game employs on and off-road races (there are 65 different surface types) as well as one-off special events. Such as? Well, ‘Mustang vs Mustang’, where you race in a 1970 Boss Mustang against a P-51 Mustang Fighter. An unfair fight? Don’t be so sure. While the plane is faster, it has a wider turning circle, inhibiting navigation of the laser checkpoints. There are 14 other similarly outlandish challenges. Outlandish for the ‘real world’ of Forza, obviously.

Forza Horizon is released on 26 October on Xbox 360

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