Structure-wise, the game is still an open map that provides hundreds of challenges each contributing toward your progress though the festival rankings. This time, however, the player is the festival boss, deciding when and where to set up new sites, tweaking event types and even selecting the music. Through the new Horizon Blueprint option, you can go in and customise each event, altering the route, the weather, the time of day, the cars involved and any other restrictions. You can then give your new variation a name and share it with friends. Playground has also brought back the Bucket List mode, allowing you to create a custom checklist of challenges to attempt and share. Playground reckons the campaign is over 100 hours long, but if players start to build and distribute their own events, that’s just the beginning.
Sharing, it turns out, is a key theme this time around. Forza Horizon 3 is a “Play Anywhere” title so it’ll be available on Xbox One and Windows 10, allowing cross-play between friends on either platform. There’s also a new four-payer campaign co-op option: “We’ve wanted to do this from the beginning but now we can do it properly,” says Penrose. “It’s ‘no ifs no buts’ co-op – everything you can do in the solo campaign, you can do here. You can drop in and out, everything just works.” It’s an interesting addition that’ll provide further impetus to explore and progress, and vitally, anything you achieve while in co-op is transferred over to solo play.
The drivatar system – which lets you locate and drive against AI representations of your friends’ cars – has also been updated. A new feature called Drivatar Line-Up lets you go out into the world, track down your mates’ cars and recruit them to your festival as star drivers. From that point, any achievements earned by your friends go toward your own advancement as a festival boss. However, you only have four star driver slots so if one of your choices isn’t performing up to scratch you can sack them. Yes, in Forza Horizon 3 you can sack an artificially intelligent version of a friend. This is gaming in 2016.