Forza Horizon, more than the excellent-but-far-more-serious Forza Motorsport, has always elicited pure joy. Each Forza Horizon entry is like a 72-degree summer day, complete with a gentle breeze, in video game form. Forza Horizon 4 again took the series to new heights, and it’s even trying to one-up the stellar Horizon 3 in the expansion pack department. The third Horizon brought us one of the greatest uses of a license ever in the form of its Hot Wheels add-on, and now Forza Horizon 4 looks to up the ante by giving us LEGO Speed Champions.The quirky and irresistibly charming LEGO movie-licensed games are made by British studio Traveller’s Tales, so perhaps it’s no surprise that Horizon 4’s LEGO Speed Champions, developed by fellow Brits Playground Games, shares the same sense of humor. It serves Horizon well, from a funny riff on FH4’s intro sequence to a smattering of mini cutscenes starring LEGO figurines splashed throughout events.
Moreover, the LEGO license allows Forza Horizon 4 to get flat-out goofy. In the short E3 hands-on demo, I saw a UFO in the sky (chasing me around the track for a bit), comically cute LEGO-built cows crossing the road, and ramps turned into super jumps. All of the cars are LEGO-fied too, of course. The demo began in a brick-built version of a McLaren Senna before finishing in a vintage Mini Cooper. I smashed through LEGO flowers, dodged dinosaur bones, plowed through soccer fields, avoiding passenger jetliners on active runways, and more.
What makes it all go, obviously, is that the tried-and-true, blissfully good Forza Horizon driving feel and physics underpins the over-the-top LEGO goofiness. I genuinely think I had a smile on my face the entire time I played. This is going to make a lot of people — of all ages — happy when it releases on June 13, I think.
Ryan McCaffrey is IGN’s Executive Editor of Previews. Follow him on Twitter at @DMC_Ryan, catch him on Unlocked, and drop-ship him Taylor Ham sandwiches from New Jersey whenever possible.SOURCE: IGN.com