It is a truly awesome time to be an antipodean race fan, as Forza Horizon 3 delivers the definitive driving experience for those interested in hooning about the Aussie countryside in locally made cars.
With this in mind we thought we’d give you the run down regarding some of the best Aussie elements in the game big and small.
First and foremost Forza Horizon 3 delivers the most sumptuous selection of stove hot Aussie motoring machinery you will ever see in a video game. Given the impending last gasp of the local manufacturing scene, Horizon’s contribution is welcome and yet bittersweet. Still look at this lot of ripping, fire-breathing hairy chested locally made cars! We love that the ultimate Aussie coupe, the only car Mad Max could ever drive, the XB 351 GT is in the foreground, but there are plenty of top lookers in this car park shot alone, and the game has heaps more besides.
YOU SIT ON THE ‘CORRECT’ SIDE OF THE CAR
Oh, and of course you can’t be an Aussie based racing game featuring locally made cars if you have the steering wheel where the passenger is supposed to sit. The abundance of right-hand drive vehicles is welcome and again helps us feel at home.
THE CRUMPLEDORE IS EVERYWHERE
While we have seen Commodores in video games before, this is the best looking bevvy so far and there are so many of them! Could anyone have ever come up with a better looking locally styled dunny door in a video game? I don’t think so either.
The Commodore Maloo UTE is another reason the game is an Aussie experience to be savoured. Can you believe Holden will soon stop making these? The mighty Maloo is one of the first cars you can drive. While the thing has a fair bit of poke, the live rear end, with all of that power and not much weight over it, makes the car a bit of a challenge to handle. The Maloo still goes like stink providing you can keep it facing the right way, and is easily the best looking UTE in the game.
There may not be stinky road kill everywhere, which means Horizon 3 isn’t too realistic, but Skippy can be found bobbing about as you belt along at top speed. The fastest marsupial on the planet isn’t shy either, so you’d better be careful not to punt him into pie form, as you pass a rival in last gasp passing move to win a race.
OBSCURE AUSSIE CARS ARE OUT IN FORCE
Fans of Australian motorsport will love Horizon 3 for the weird and wonderful local legends on offer. Is there another game on this earth that would feature the ugliest Commodore ever made (the VL SV!), or Dick Johnson’s red rocket, the locally raced Ford Sierra. Horizon 3 really lets you explore Australian performance car history, with some great rare offerings for you to play with. Buying them at auction is also cheap and easy!
You get rewarded for em, they provide endless fun and the fans love em. ‘Nuff said!
I GET TO DRIVE WHERE I LIVE
Living in the outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne I was delighted to see the familiar landmarks of the Marroondah Dam and the surrounding forest switchback roads. There are some great local stretches of bitumen (and dirt) in Horizon 3 and many of you will be able to visit places you have actually driven through in real life. Way cool!
With a FPV UTE parked proudly in front, how could you not recognise this ‘Queenslander’ styled terraced beachfront house as being anything else, but an Aussie masterpiece. There are so many Australian looking houses in the game and it makes you feel so happily at home when you plough into them at 200 clicks!
You can punt these portable plastic roadside obstacles in every town you visit. Just smell the stale VB, pie wrappers and old Vegemite jars. Speaking of similar Aussie outdoor icons, we also love the BBQs too!
A VANDAL’S PARADISE
Yep, those phone boxes, they could only be ours. Telstra logos might not be visible, but you can almost see the smashed handsets and gallons of spit, piss and dribble that would mark these phone boxes as Aussie icons. Just as well the Xbox gives us sight and sound, but not smell eh?
THE ORIGINAL UTE
The game features the original Aussie UTE, the Holden. FX. They may not be competitive in many categories, but Holden UTE, first built in 1951, is a machine you’ll want to drive in the game just because you can. The FX looks awesome too, even if it doesn’t have the power to pull the skin off a rice pudding.
The Belmont Sandman Aussie panel van is yet another reason why this is the most Australian racing game we have seen to date. With a 308 V8 under the hood and heaps of opportunities for all sorts of ‘adventure’ this car was at times controversial when released and looks superb as it whizzes past sideways in the game.
It is also the perfect canvas for your panel art if you like fiddling with your own custom artwork. Oh and we love the way you ‘find’ or pinch this car as it is hidden in a barn. No, I’m not telling you where.
So there you have it fans of local hoonery. We will never be as spoilt as we are right now with Horizon 3, so dive in hit the gas and enjoy!
Forza Horizon 3 is available today on Xbox One and PC.