Forza Horizon 2

Forza Horizon 2, Playground Games’ more over the top cousin to Turn 10’s Fiorza series is set to unleash itself upon the masses this week, and in doing so allow gamers to experience the pinnacle of open world driving games.

Well, that should just about tell you how this review is going to go. Since I started playing Forza Horizon 2, it’s been my favourite game. It’s an all out, insanely addictive blast. Playground have built on what they started with Forza Horizon on the 360, and delivered a sequel that far exceeds expectations.

Now, for the purists out there, yes, this is more of an arcade racer. I even went back and played a night of Forza 5, just to get a feel for how different it is. It took me about four races to get back into the groove of racing a sim. Forza Horizon makes racing accessible, allowing even noobs to perform epic drifts, whilst at the same time making it fun for the more competent drivers out there.

What makes Horizon 2 so damned enjoyable is the combination of employing a fun driving engine, with open world racing that actively encourages you to look for corners to cut, whilst allowing you to string together the bonuses you get from drifting, near misses, drafting, etc into potentially massive payouts – payouts that instantly vanish should you hit something solid before banking the cash – and letting you do in a vast array of cars that you can customise just the same as you can in Forza 5.

The decision to stay with the whole Horizon Festival I guess was an essential step in the development of the franchise, but having an excitable host tell you to get back to base for the nights massive rave, feels a little out of place, when you know you’re never going to experience that rave. This however does not distract from the game as a whole, and the Festival does give you a great way to progress through the game, and forces you to take long drives, through what can only be described as some of the most stunning landscapes you have ever seen on a console.

Whilst progressing through the championship you’ll be tempted away by barn finds – where you have to locate a barn with an abandoned classic car in it, and bucket list challenges, that will give you the chance to drive an exotic car to achieve a certain goal.

If you’re focused on finishing the festival before completing side quests, you’ll still have to complete the Top Gear styled special events that will see you racing against trains and cargo planes, in specific cars that you get to keep!

Everything you do earns you points that can be spent on new cars, but also allows you to spin the prize wheel and unlock upgrades that in turn help you level up quicker!

The whole package is pure gamer heroin. It’s instantly addictive, you’ll swear it’s the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen, and you won’t ever be able to walk away from it.

Forza Horizon 2 is that good.

Reviewed on: XBox One

Rating: PG Mild coarse language, Online interactivity.

Reviewed by: Jonathan



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