Don’t expect Forza Horizon 4 to feature B.D. Joe and the gang with their souped up yellow cabs, but Crazy Taxi is a self-admitted inspiration behind some of the game’s Horizon Stories, which tie into the game’s overarching narrative. Where it’s previously all been about doing races, taking on challenges and building up your followers as you either compete or try to build up the Horizon festival, Playground Games are looking to mix things up just a little bit to make them more interesting.
Speaking to Destructoid at E3 last week, Playground Games’ Benjamin Penrose explained, “One of the things that’s brand new is that we’ve added a feature called Horizon Stories. They’re really cool little bite-sized pieces of narrative-based gameplay that will center around certain activities involved in you owning businesses, interacting with certain people.
“For example, one of them you’ll have a chance to own a taxi company. However, driving a taxi in the real-world is very different from the sort of action in Horizon games, so you can kind of imagine how that ends up. There are a whole bunch of different things like that. There’s one where you’ll also be able to be a stunt driver.”
They’re making no bones about where they got some of their ideas from, citing other racing games and Crazy Taxi. That’s certainly in keeping with the more playful tone of the game’s E3 reveal, which demonstrated the game’s shared world dynamic and how players can team up for Burnout Paradise-style public events.
But maybe there’s a deeper meaning to this? Perhaps this is the Leamington Spa company taking a dig at the woeful state of regional public transport services, with Forza Horizon 4 set in northern England and Scotland, where bus and rail services are patchy at best and have been made even worse since the recent timetable overhaul. It’s the kind of environment where a hypercar taxi service would certainly come in useful to get an ageing rural population to the shops and back.
And if you think that sounds stupid, there is a precedent for this kind of thing:
Forza Horizon 4 is out on 2nd October for Xbox One and Windows 10, and will be added day and date to Xbox Game Pass.