Gran Turismo has, since the beginning, had a dedicated button for engaging reverse when playing with automatic shifting. The original Forza, for reasons unknown, stole everything from Gran Turismo EXCEPT the dedicated reverse button, instead opting for a Grand Theft Auto-style “release and then press brake after coming to a stop to engage reverse” system. However, when you need to get back onto the track, this method of backing up takes way too long. In the the circuit-based Forza games, this isn’t much of a problem, since it was a rare occurance and they stole the rewind mechanic from Grid ages ago. The Horizon games, however, are open world, and full of all kinds of interesting geometry to crash into (and invisible walls), meaning you’re going to be backing away from things quite a lot, and you need to do it quickly, so reverse starts immediately after you come to a stop. It’s fast, yes, but it also makes it difficult to stay in one place (you have to learn to hold the ebrake).

It’s always sucked, but my god, they managed to make it so much worse in Horizon 3. Instead of engaging reverse once the car has come to a stop, the brake trigger is, simultaneously, a throttle for reverse.

But how does the game know when to apply the brakes and when to go into reverse? Whether or not you’re applying any accelerator input, of course! As long as you are on the throttle, you can use your brakes. Let off the gas completely, and you get reverse and a little bit of brake. I started playing Horizon 3 with auto shifting to get used to how the game plays, and after about an hour of cars that take miles to slow down, only careen off into a tree every time I try to turn, I thought they had gone “too far” with the slide-happy drifty controls the Horizon games have always had. I was, obviously, mistaken. Instead of applying the brakes, I was engaging reverse thrust.


The game is really good once you switch to manual shifting and the cars actually use their brakes, though. Well, as long as you ignore how difficult it is to set off in a car without immediately losing traction and spinning in place using a controller.