The Forza Horizon series has been known for taking extensive liberties in terms of bending the laws of realism. Now, two years later after its initial release, Forza Horizon 4 has pushed the needle a bit more with the new Super7 game mode. Taking clear inspiration from the likes of customizable racers like Trackmania, the new Super7 mode gives players the keys to the world of Forza Horizon 4 by allowing them to construct their own challenges using scenery objects. While the selection of tools is noticeably small, the possibilities are mostly bound to the imagination and building skills of the designer. And that has lead to some interesting creations, from my gameplay experience.
For one, every Super7 challenge has to adhere to one specific rule — all of which are based on events that have already been in the game from the jump. Thus, Super7 challenges can be based on blitzing past a speed camera, racking up a skill score, reaching a destination, keeping car damage low, jumping through a danger sign, following a skill route, performing a skill mastery, or cornering through a drift zone. All events have to adhere to a time limit, which is determined by the designer. Even though events are limited to a single rule, what makes Super7 interesting is every course is executed in a unique way. Just consider my initial Super7 run.
My very first challenge was ascending a metal tower in a giant SUV; not the easiest of tasks, but it was a good introduction and is still one of the most creative courses I’ve played yet. The subsequent challenges varied in complexity, but they all used the building tools and surrounding environment in different ways. For instance, the next challenge involved charging up a mountain in a relatively underpowered car, leaping off the cliff edge through a series of hoops before coming in for a good landing to complete the course.
After that, I raced through downtown Edinburgh to get to the finish line as fast as possible. The fourth challenge had me performing gymkhana through the main Horizon festival site decked out with obstacles to rack up skill points. Fittingly, the very next event took me from the Horizon site in a supercharged Lamborghini, vaulting the terrain using ramps and avoiding obstacles. Keeping up with the need for speed, the next event involved keeping a souped-up old Model T in one piece as I raced to the finish line. Finally, the last challenge had me piloting a Ford Velociraptor above the tree line in an obstacle course through the forest.
As you can see, every challenge, despite being lined up one after the other, offered a dynamic shift. The randomness of Super7 fits well with what the Horizon series has become; just a smorgasbord of high-octane, almost silly ideas that somehow work because ‘that’s just Horizon.’ The in-game commentators even acknowledge the reality-bending way Super7 works.
Finding a good challenge isn’t hard, but everyone’s building skills are not the same. Some challenges made very little use to no use of the building tools at all. Others who tried to use the tools made their course very easy to circumvent and avoid their design altogether. It’s all trial and error, really. And I think that has to do with the way the building system works.
Though I would not call myself much of a craftsman at all, I definitely had to take a whack at building a course myself. From what I realized — after playing other people’s designs — is that a good Super7 challenge mostly has to do with how well you manipulate the surrounding environment of Forza Horizon 4 with the tools you’re given. In my case, I decided to create a bit of an obstacle course in the Quarry where you must ascend out of it on thin platforms while driving a huge off-road racing truck. If you want to see my amateur work for yourself, the Share Code is 177 538 933 – the ‘Horizon Rise.’
Building a course for myself made me appreciate something. It is a challenge within of itself to create something that’s both interesting and functional, given the fact that you have to do it within the confines of Horizon 4‘s map. Thankfully, physics and collision detection matter not when building. Objects can be morphed into one another and deliberately clipped into the environment all for the sake of making your design work to your needs. You can also take advantage of nature itself by selecting the time of day and season that the challenge takes place in, further widening the span of design possibilities.
But if you think a challenge just doesn’t work, there’s no need to grind through it. Challenge Cards can be burned before you play them if you’re not convinced by the title and description. You can also see how much the challenge has been played and ‘liked’ which gives you an idea if it’s worth a shot.
Forza Horizon 4 is really a jack of all trades
Despite Forza Horizon 4 not really being the same kind of game as something like Trackmania, the new Super7 mode does show that, when done right, pushing the envelope can yield good results. It’s wacky and a little crass, but I feel that with time and paying attention to player input, this new creative mode is bound to get better.
Playground already tickled our fancy with wild track design with the Hot Wheels expansion for Forza Horizon 3. Thus, the new Super7 mode for Forza Horizon 4 feels like a step in that direction, except now with player input. And, as we’ve seen time and again, the community has some beastly skills, so there’s for sure going to be some seriously cool designs that will spring up as more people try it out.