If you plan to pick up Forza Horizon 4 on PC in the next few weeks, you should be happy to know that the developers have included some optimization goodies for your rig; whether it’s high-spec or a potato. It seems like the team at Playground Games has learned from the post-launch fiasco of Forza Horizon 3.
Back in 2016, Forza Horizon 3 made history as the first full game in the franchise to come to Windows. Microsoft made it a part of the ‘Xbox Play Anywhere’ service, which allows players to own a game across both Xbox One and Windows 10, seamlessly syncing data between the two versions. As exciting as this all was, the hype amongst the PC crowd quickly died down after launch. Not due to the game being bad—it’s arguably one of the best arcade racers ever. The problem was that it was plagued with performance issues. It took Playground Games several months to fix the problems, and they’re still not completely gone. Forza Horizon 3 remains as one of the most temperamental games on my system. Some days it works, other days it’s hit-and-miss. Thankfully, as mentioned, it looks like these growing pains have been alleviated in the upcoming successor, Forza Horizon 4.
Kotaku managed to gather some new technical details about the game from a private demo at Gamescom. Ralph Fulton, the Creative Director of the game, confirmed during this demo that Forza Horizon 4’s minimum PC requirements are actually going to be lower than that of its predecessor. For those with more powerful hardware, the game will be able to support up to a 21:9 ultrawide aspect ratio, along with the ability to enable graphical settings that are somehow “beyond Ultra”. Additional tweaks will also be present in the form of an “automated benchmark” and an “adjustable field of view”, according to Kotaku’s report.
Open-world games tend to always be demanding on hardware, so having all these settings to mess around with will definitely help to smoothen out the experience. It’s clear that Playground Games is trying to encompass as many players as possible. It’s highly likely they’ve also learned a thing or two from their brothers over at Turn 10 Studios, who delivered Forza Motorsport 7 on PC and Xbox One last year. While the Windows edition was plagued with similar performance issues at launch to that of Forza Horizon 3, it took Turn 10 only about a month to sort things out. Since then, the game has been running beautifully on systems of all sorts, mine included. In fact, (in stark contrast to Horizon 3), I’d say that Motorsport 7 is just about the most well-optimized game on my PC. Of course, Motorsport 7 being a closed-circuit racer than an open-world one like Horizon surely helps, but Turn 10’s work definitely added some much-needed enhancements to the Forza engine for Windows.
Thus, if Fulton’s words are to be believed, then Horizon 4 should be working optimally right out of the gate. Of course, the moment of truth won’t actually come until the game is out in the wild on October 2, 2018.