A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Forza Horizon 4 is a racing game exclusively for the Xbox One and Windows PCs. The gameplay focuses on players driving fast and recklessly on closed street tracks, commuter roads, and dirt paths. It has no nudity, use of drugs or alcohol, or cursing, though communication between players isn't monitored. While there are car crashes, the drivers are never shown being injured or killed. The game also features numerous car brands and may spark a life-long love of automobiles. This is the fourth in a biannual series, and 11th in the Forza series overall.
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What's it about?
Like previous games in this series, FORZA HORIZON 4 is an open-world racing game that has you working your way up the ranks in an attempt to become the king or queen of the titular racing festival. This time around, you're cruising the streets and dirt roads of Britain, and even working as a stunt driver for a movie that's shooting nearby. You'll have the option to tear through the environment in various events; this time around, races are tied to seasons as well as locations. For instance, you won't be able to race across lakes unless they're frozen over in winter.
Is it any good?
While this open-world racing game adds some interesting new mechanics, it's the difference in difficulty that makes it slightly more challenging than previous models. Like its predecessors, Forza Horizon 4 is a deep and detailed racing game that boasts a wide variety of race events on the curvy roads and dirt trails of Britain. You even do some stunts for a movie being filmed nearby, and do one-off races like one where your competition is a giant hovercraft. All of this is playable the way you like to drive, thanks to heavily adaptable controls and handling. That can make this feel like an authentic driving simulator, a more forgiving arcade-esque racing game, and numerous points in between. One thing to note: When you steer badly and take a wrong turn, the game has a handy rewind function.
What this sequel adds, along with all the requisite new events and cars, is the four seasons, which gives even more variety to the races. More importantly, it changes how you drive, since snow-covered roads are slicker than those bathing in the summer sun. The world's now also open to other players (or, if you prefer, just your friends, or no one), which means the competition can be real people as well as computer-controlled drivers. But the most noteworthy change is that those competitors are more skilled than they were in earlier games, and drive faster cars. As a result, even if you adjust the difficulty, the game is still notably harder than Forza Horizon 3, or older games. Which doesn't ruin Forza Horizon 4 -- this is still a solid and addictive racing game -- but it does make this a little more frustrating than earlier games in the series.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about advertising. Given that you do illegal things in Forza Horizon 4, why do you think the car companies are OK with their cars being in it? Could it be that they see this as free advertising? Does playing this make you want to buy a car?
How does playing Forza Horizon 4 show why it's important to obey the speed limits, drive cautiously, and wear a seatbelt?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.