28th November 2022 at 21:25

Having spent last week in Scotland and the north of England, I decided to revisit Forza Horizon 4, set in a caricature of those same areas, rather than my usual whizzing around in Mexico in the game’s current incarnation. Graphics wise, 4 now feels a bit flat, and certainly this screenshot doesn’t show it at it’s best, but when you’re actually moving, that’s mostly lost on you. It’s the little details they have right about UK roads, like the signage and other road fittings, and the weather. Whilst it rains in FH5, in FH4 they nail the local rain so well, with the visible sheets and then a rainbow just visible as you emerge into the sun.

We saw so many rainbows last week as the weather did that flitting between sun and rain, I guess just the right time of year for it. But it made me wonder how they were perceived before Newton et al demonstrated how light works, particularly when you have this drab autumnal landscape to provide a contrasting background to these vivid colours. It feels odd to me that they don’t play more of a prominent role in our cultural history as they look so otherworldly.