Review of Forza Horizon 3 Server Disconnect Simulator

Forza Horizon 3 is the perfect race for people who are not particularly interested in racing or cars in general, but still intrigued. There hasn’t been this kind of road romance in games since Test Drive Unlimited, where you could take out your expensive sports car from the garage and speed through flawless exotic landscapes, with a satisfied grin on your face, feeling the summer breeze and leaving fresh asphalt marks in spontaneous drifts. The Australian coast may not be Honolulu, and the focus on street racing is more evident here, but the adventurous spirit of “Forza” emits a surprisingly similar vibe.

A van race in Forza Horizon 3

There are plenty of activities here for any soul’s desires. Tired of standard races? Please, organize your own, with arbitrary rules, routes, and participant classes. Feel like having fans? Expand your daredevil club into the largest festival on the continent. Feel the urge to collect? Head out into the fields, searching for dusty rarities in forgotten garages. In the process, you can indulge your little inner aesthete by taking a few shots against the backdrop of landmarks, or your neighbor-designer, who will go crazy over the potential of the vinyl editor. The third part of Horizon has turned into a comprehensive racing sandbox where boredom never occurs.

This is its key feature – it works equally well as a standard racing game and as a road adventure, sunny and life-affirming. It’s simply interesting to sometimes step back from the tournament hustle and bustle and wander around the countryside, gazing at luxurious beaches, without feeling like you’re wasting time. For me, racing has always been more about beautiful cars in beautiful settings than bumper-to-bumper battles, so let’s say, in the pre-previous year’s Need for Speed I didn’t stay for long. It was more important for her to show what it’s like to be fast, first, and illegal. As for Forza Horizon 3, it’s about what it’s like to be behind the wheel in general.

High-speed racing action
Scenic dam in Forza Horizon 3

And everything would be fine if it weren’t for their pig-like attitude towards the PC gaming audience, who have been starving for multiplayer in major car simulators. On computers, the Horizon series debuted with hopelessly broken online, and it remains only a matter of speculation as to how Microsoft, as the actual platform holders, allowed this to happen.

If you were planning to ride with friends, be prepared to encounter a whole range of problems and errors. Horrendous lag, freezes, desynchronization – it’s all here, just for starters. We bought “Forza” from a three-person company, and in the end, each of us encountered one inconvenience or another, from the need to dig through connection settings to the good old crashes to the desktop.

Even if the online mode miraculously lets you in without any hiccups, it’s too early to rejoice. At one moment, you can peacefully race through wide streets with dozens of strangers, and in another – witness something like this:

But the crown trick of Forza Horizon 3 is random disconnects. It kicks you out of online for no reason, and it can happen after 20 minutes or at the next turn. At the same time, in single-player mode, about half of the online-related features, such as saving photos, are disabled, and the only way to get them back is to restart the game completely. Otherwise, the services won’t work at all. Considering the number of loading screens you have to go through to get to the action, there is little pleasure in this whole procedure.

I don’t know what’s funnier in this situation: the fact that there aren’t such issues on Xbox One per se – or that even a year after release they’re not in a hurry to fix the network code. When searching for various queries in hopes of finding a solution to the problems, one can come across posts from last fall and quite recent complaints of a similar nature. The most common advice is usually the same: don’t wait, don’t hope, the developers don’t care. So much for Play Anywhere, they say.

Experiencing the thrill of a BMW

The built-in interface for taking screenshots in Windows was designed by octopuses, but the photo mode in Forza is traditionally top-notch.

I only know that it’s a pity for the game, because Forza Horizon 3 itself I really liked. I enjoyed going through the campaign, rummaging through the store for new additions to my collection, foolishly buying a dozen “Lancers” and spending the whole day trying to trade them for something more substantial. And then, desperate, I found a completely rusted Ferrari Dino 246 GT on someone’s farm – and within a few minutes, I was cruising into the sunset on the red Italian beauty, maneuvering through the evening traffic to the waltz of Tchaikovsky.

Someone else, perhaps, will immediately take the legendary “Dino” to the races. Someone else will spend several hours in the garage, tinkering with differentials, suspensions, valves, and other tedious details. Or choosing which stripes on the hood will make the car go faster. And someone else won’t go to any farm at all and will disappear in the auction house, competing for an even rarer find. And everyone will be satisfied, because it’s a versatile simulator of anything with the prefix “auto-“, multifaceted and infinitely customizable.

Customizing car designs
The ultimate garage for car enthusiasts

That is why no surrogate “drivatars” convincingly imitating life in a virtual world can replace real players. Such a sandbox, allowing not only to compete but also to express oneself, wants to be shared completely with others. You want to see that the opponents riding next to you are not randomly generated, but people with unique car configurations, silly license plates, colorful designs, with real experience, conscious decisions, and stupid mistakes on the track. I want to, but it doesn’t work out.

If Forza Horizon 3 worked online properly, the verdict would be completely different. It is extremely close to being an exemplary racing game, capable of satisfying everyone from clueless road tourists to motorsport enthusiasts. But since instead of multiplayer, we were given an unstable mess, it is hard to give a high overall rating to the product.

Oh, maybe someday…

Forza Horizon 3
PC, Xbox One
Microsoft Studios
Playground Games
Release Date:
Editor's rating:
Is it worth playing? (If the score is more than 70%)



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