There are other neat little additions scattered around the game. 15 new jump challenges let you track down some ridiculous ramps and then get as much air as possible. A new Groove Music radio station allows you to upload your own music MP3s to One Drive them stream them as you play (if you’re a Groove Music subscriber, you can also access tracks and playlists from the music service). There are new rally parts and rim types to buy and customise your car with, and Playground has added wide body kits for the first time, with Rocket Bunny and Liberty Walk kits available. The auction house is back, letting players sell cars to each other – there’s even an option for you to follow car sellers who produce interesting custom kits and liveries.
So yes, Forza Horizon 3 is very beautiful. Running on Xbox One S it supports the new HDR feature, for richer colours and luminosity; its vehicle modelling is superlative; its understanding of Australia’s diversity (not just in terms of scenery, but the way that sunlight completely transforms outback and beach settings) is pretty much spot on. Our experience with the handling model has so far been restricted to a quick race along the beach, but it sure was fun.
The arcade racing genre seems to have become somewhat dormant over the past few years, so it’s great to find a title still flying that flag. Indeed, there is something in Horizon’s aesthetic obsession that harks back to the great work of Yu Suzuki. This series is a sort of Out Run for the 21st century – as much about experience as it is about competition. That’s good. That’s a beautiful thing to aim for.