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Wheels on fire: Forza Horizon 3's Hot Wheels DLC out

A solid performance patch too

Vertical roads, loop-the-loops, rings of fire, smashzones, and other such wackiness has arrived in Forza Horizon 3 [official site] with the launch of its Hot Wheels expansion yesterday. It adds several of Mattel's toy cars as well as a new portion of the world filled with those orange stunt tracks. As a Trackmania fan, I'm delighted to see such silliness spread to other racing games.

While the Hot Wheels expansion costs money, a big update is out now free for all players. It brings support for another 21 steering wheel controllers, performance improvements, and more graphics options for low-end PCs.

First, have a gander at Hot Wheels:

Watch on YouTube

That does look fun. The expansion costs £16.74/$19.99 on the Windows 10 Store or comes in the DLC season pass.

As for the update, a blog post lists the newly-supported wheels (a load of Fanatec, Logitech, and Thrustmaster spinnies) and details the performance improvements. I know some of y'all like to get technical, so let's see what they say about CPU tweaks:

"We have observed that a large portion of players are CPU limited when trying to run Forza Horizon 3 at high frame rates, including locked 60 FPS and unlocked. By analyzing telemetry, we have developed targeted optimizations for this group of affected players by increasing the number of concurrent threads used by the render architecture. We have taken further advantage of DX12 capabilities to allow the visuals to be processed out of order during the frame, in order to reduce synchronization stalls and decrease CPU execution duration. These changes result in a significant CPU performance gain on High or Ultra settings when running on PCs of Recommended spec or better."

Ah yes, so Forza Horizon 3 now runs faster on good PCs. Gotcha. Turn 10 add, "We have updated our threading affinity model to make better use of all available cores," which also means the game should run better. For folks with slower PCs, they've added 'very low' options for the Dynamic Geometry Quality and World Car Level of Detail settings, which means slowpokes can make the game uglier to run faster.

All this also means that Turn 10 have lowered the game's minimum system requirements, which is nice. Few developers remember to change specs to reflect improvements.

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