So Forza Horizon 3 is set in Australia. That might be one of the coolest pieces of news to come out of E3 this year.
But man, have you seen what Forza's version of Australia looks like?
I think Playground Games is a little bit confused about Australia, like from a topographical standpoint.
(Obviously I get that Australia is a big place and Forza sort of needs to stylise this whole thing — just wanted to get that out of the way before I start tearing this to shreds.)
Okay, let's talk about all the ways this map it totally messed up.
Let's start with the obvious — Byron Bay is all the way down at the goddamn bottom of this map, despite the fact that both Sydney and Melbourne are below Byron Bay! That pretty much sets a weird ass precedent for all of this map being weird as hell.
— Well the Twelve Apostles are somehow wedged inbetween Byron Bay and Surfer's Paradise! Um... what? — Yarra Valley is somehow above Byron Bay and just slightly south west of Surfer's Paradise. — There is a section of the map that is just RAINFOREST. — There is a section of the map that is just OUTBACK. — Kiewa Valley is inexplicably right next to Yarra Valley despite being halfway between Melbourne and Canberra.
I've been starting at this map for a while, just trying to understand it. Clearly what Playground is trying to do is shoehorn the best areas of Australia (in terms of driving and scenery) into one playable map. That makes sense — but there isn't even the slightest attempt to make it hang together in a way that makes any sort of sense compared to the real world.
Take the positioning of Yarra Valley and the Twelve Apostles for example. Here's where they're positioned in the real world.
Here's where they're positioned in the Forza Horizon 3!
It's literally the wrong way round. Like a mirror image of what it should be!
Ah well, whatevs. I'm willing to forgive it. It's pretty cool that Playground has decided to use Australia as a homebase for Forza Horizon 3. Probably best not to look a gift horse in the mouth.