Forza Horizon 4's chief creative officer Ralph Fulton said in a recent interview that the choice of location imbued the game with tone and personality and as we all know personality goes a long way. When talking about UK, perhaps doubly so.
Fulton stressed that Forza Horizon 4 is a culmination of the team's experience, which taught them that the location is "more than just a backdrop." That being said, he pointed out that UK has been their most challenging task up to date, not least for the plethora of potholes.
Funnily enough, Fulton said that "the first thing that British people think when they hear about a driving game set in Britain is 'are there potholes?" The answer is 'of course there are." As mundane as this may seem though, it seems to have given Playground Games a headache or two.
"Potholes meant we had to change the way we render our roads to get depth into them", Fulton said and added that they also had to rethink physics mesh and their interaction with tyres and suspension. Ultimately, the Forza Horizon 4 team had to strike a balance between realism and playability, just to ensure players don't end up on the roof every 10 seconds.
The franchise has long been notable for rubber-burning across wide open roads, but Forza Horizon 4 takes a different approach. Fulton said that "quintessentially British road is one with hedgerows on the side" and even though it gave designers plenty of trouble, he thinks it makes driving much better. "Britain has thrown up a bunch of problems that we've had to solve on a case-by-case basis [...] But it's been worth it", he added.
Forza Horizon 4 also marks the first truly open world Forza game and you'll be seeing other drivers go about their day, rather than previously used drivatars. Fulton stressed however that innovation is the name of the game, even if it makes their work harder in the end.
Having spent at least two hours in Forza Horizon 4's demo, I can confidently say that Playground Games and Turn 10 Studios did a great job. Heck, Forza's Britain looks better than Britain, if you know what I mean.
You can find the full interview here.