PC launcher exclusivity usually lasts about a year or so. Forza Horizon 4 was a huge hit when it originally launched on Xbox and Windows via the Microsoft Store in October of 2018. But the contingent of folks that only buy games on Steam is a group that will wait as long as it takes, even when we’re talking about a AAA racing game such as this. Lo and behold, Forza Horizon 4 has emerged on Steam a whopping 29 months later. In case you’re notably bad at knowing how many years months represent, that’s nearly two and a half years. In that time, many racing games have come and gone, so the question stands: is it still worth it?
As a little warning to any returning players who have already sunk copious amounts of time and cash into Forza Horizon 4, you have to re-buy everything. Yes, the game requires you to sign in with an Xbox gamertag, much like Halo: The Master Chief Collection. You can’t get a copy of the game at a discount, and any expansions or additional cars you’ve purchased won’t return either. Despite being the same game, it’s treated as a completely separate thing. Naturally, this also means that you won’t be able to transfer your saves.
On top of that, despite being more than two years old, Forza Horizon 4 is on sale for its full retail price. In the US, the standard version is $60 USD, the deluxe is $80 USD, and the ultimate is $100 USD. As such, if you already purchased the game on the Microsoft Store, it’s truly hard to recommend that you pay full price simply to replay a game you already own from scratch. But what about the people who haven’t played the game, you ask?
Rolling around at the speed of sound
Forza Horizon 4 is an open-world racing game where you acquire points by completing races and events. These events are divided up between race types, such as road, dirt, cross country, and street race. Completing events rewards you with both currency and experience, the latter of which is required to unlock milestones and larger events, as well as change the season you’re currently experiencing. The game’s map has versions for all four seasons, which helps to keep things fresh. The driving is arcadey, yet exceptional, and there are many cars to choose from, each with its own set of special skills that you can spend skill points on. Skill points are unlocked by chaining together actions while in the open world or racing, and they’re a blast.
Forza Horizon 4 is undoubtedly still at the top of the open-world racing subgenre and the nearly two and a half years it’s been available have done little to dull that edge. This is a gorgeous, massively enjoyable game with a lot of content. I intended to boot it up for just an hour to see how the game’s performance was. More than four hours went by before I literally had to force myself to stop. It’s a lot of fun is what I’m getting at.
Rumble under the hood
However, a large number of Steam users are having issues with the game’s performance. Users have pointed out issues with stuttering, frame drops, and crashes. I have yet to experience the second and third of those, but I have seen a fair amount of stuttering, especially in non-gameplay segments. To further illustrate these issues, the game is currently sitting at a 67% positive on the platform out of roughly 3,700 reviews a this time of writing.
Anyway, there you have it. If you already own Forza Horizon 4 on PC, I wouldn’t recommend taking a ride on this pricey double-dip. But if you’ve been holding out this long and aren’t spooked by some troubling performance problems, this is one of the best racing games on the market. Still, at $60 USD (and more, considering expansions), it’s going to be a tough sell for some, who will probably want to wait a bit longer for any sort of price reduction before jumping behind the wheel.