Game title: Forza Horizon 4
Release date: October 2
The Herald was given a sneak peek of the Forza Horizon 4 gameplay before it's official launch in a few weeks. It's fair to say fans of the series will not be disappointed.
The latest Horizon edition features dynamic seasons for the first time in the game's history. And it makes sense to introduce this feature with the game based in Great Britain an area of the world known for creating some widely varied weather over a year.
It's not the only major change. Forza Horizon 4 makes the move to an open world where gamers will be able to race against others online.
The scenery in the past Forza titles have been at a level that at times you feel like pulling the car over and just soaking it all in. As you'd expect, the dynamitic seasons takes it to a whole new level in Horizon 4.
It helps that game developer Playground Games is based in England, with everyone working on the game was chipping in with location ideas.
"The list was enormous because everyone was familiar with the locations. So everybody's home town," Ben Penrose, Studio Art Director for Playground Games, told the Herald.
"We whittled it down to a point we found the locations that fitted the kinds of visuals we wanted and also had the kind of road networks that appealed to us, deliver a certain type of experience. But also Horizon games just aren't about driving on the road. So also types of landscapes which would deliver experience which were fresh to people who have played Horizon games in the past."
Once the locations were selected it meant hours of video footage and many repeat visits. Players will notice sections of the British south coast, Midlands areas, the Yorkshire Moors, the Lake Districts, the Scottish Highlands, and also Edinburgh which is the main city area.
"We did an extensive amount of research," Penrose told the Herald. "Once we get to a point of what types of locations we want to hit we send teams out and they capture hours of video footage of the drive. We do that all times of the day. For this game obviously the research period also lasted for an entire year, because we had to get everything seasonally as well."
"We were actually really fortunate during the two-year development cycle for this game, Britain had arguably the most defined set of seasons we've had for a long time. We had an amazing snow storm that lasted for a good month, we've had incredible summers where we were scorched and the autumns and the springs were really quintessentially what you'd expect."
Of course what would a Forza be without the cars? The magnificent McLaren Senna graces the cover this time and there's more than 450 different cars at launch and even more on offer for those who buy the Car Pass – which will see you receive two new cars every week for the first 26 weeks after the game is launched. Penrose says the one difficulty of having such a vast list of vehicles to choose from is tracking their real-life versions down.
"The older cars that are not produced anymore. There's actually a lot of work tracking down a good example of one of those cars."
"We put as much time and effort into the cars as we do the locations."
Yes, every last details right down to the exact paint tone in every car. Now that's attention to detail.