Forza Horizon 2 - Xbox One

Release Date:

September 30, 2014

Also on:

Xbox One Xbox 360

Viewing USA:

Also on UK.
8.2

Summary:

Forza Horizon 2 for the Xbox One game appeals to not only a casual gamer but also the true racing enthusiast with vibrant graphics and brilliant racing gameplay. An open world racing setup gives you full control over where you race along with when and how fast you can go. Inspect your chosen car inside and out to make sure it fits your specifications before you join the race. Gameplay options are nearly unlimited with different car customization and track choices. Choose from more than 200 sports cars, roadsters, and off-road vehicles such as ATVs to get a truly unique racing experience.

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Details

  • Developer(s):
    • Playground Games
  • Publisher(s):
    • Microsoft Game Studios
  • Release Date(s):
    • September 30, 2014
  • ESRB Rating:
    • Everyone 10
  • Player(s):
    • 1
    • 2-12 (Xbox Live)
  • Series:
    • Forza
  • Force Feedback Wheel:
    • Optional

Technical Information

  • Required Disc Space:
    • 39.41GB Minimum
  • Supported Video Output:
    • 1080p
  • Game Format:
    • Blu-ray Disc
  • Average Playing Time:
    • 55 Hours
  • Kinect Voice:
    • Optional
avatar name

Posted:
2015-02-27

Darren_Summerell

Writer

Xbox One

8.9

'Forza Horizon 2' on the Xbox One is a racing simulator and this is the follow up to the previous title known as Forza Horizon, the game was published by Microsoft and developed by Playground Games and Turn 10 Studios.

The racing simulator has always held a special place in our hearts. We could date our obsession with sporty racers as starting with 'Cruisin U.S.A' and you could follow that thread of interest all the way up to the incredible 'Forza' series. This is the first open world racing game to really satisfy that deep need in our hearts for fancy cars and the open road. Though we fell in love with the game, will it do the same thing for you? Keep reading to find out!

Fancy cars and the open road...

'Forza Horizon 2' on the Xbox One is set during a fictional racing event called the 'Horizon Festival'. The festival takes place in Europe, primarily in France and Italy, and it is here that we spend our time on the roads. If you played the original 'Horizon' then you probably think you know what you are getting out of this game. You don't, though. Before even picking up a controller we decided to look at the map of the game. The map itself has drivable regions that accumulate to three times bigger than 'Horizon 1'. Yeah, so right off the bat you know you are getting a gigantic experience.

The biggest buzz word in gaming, next to sandbox, seems to be 'open world'. Gamers want everything to be open world. The restrictions that are commonly associated with linear games are no longer deemed acceptable. This new game style plays well in certain genres, like roleplaying games and slashers, but it doesn't seem tailor made for a racing game. It would be like trying to make the latest 'Madden' open world. What does that even mean? For 'Forza 2' it means unrestricted driving, and it is wonderful.

The open world element of 'Horizon 2' is probably the biggest game changer in the industry for this years crop of sporty racers. Being able to seamlessly drive from one end of Italy all the way to the other is special. Take in the sights, pull over for a great screen shot, or shred your way through a classic Italian vineyard. The experience is up to you. Naturally the game will get some comparisons to 'The Crew' but they really don't compare. The tone of the two games is completely different and we are thankful for that.

One of the first things gamers will do when firing up the game is to look at the available cars to drive. After all, how can you enjoy an open world racing game without a virtual ala carte to choose from? Fortunately for you, the developers put in as many cars as they could fit into the game. At the end of the day there are over 200 cars to choose from that range all the way from the absurd to the absurdly nice. You can drive 4x4s, farm vehicles, sports cars, and top of the line name brands. The supercars are sharp and handle beautifully on the hilly roads above Tuscany. The SUVs are durable but they feel slow and less inclined to follow sharp turns if you need them to. But cars aren't everything, even in a racing game. And for this title, the world takes center stage.

We've already briefly touched on how the open world aspect of the game is so important but now we will dive deeper. The setting for 'Horizon 2' is probably the most magical thing about the whole experience. You'll find yourself shooting down the borders of Northern Italy and France while you straddle hills and cliff faces. You'll rude the coast of the Mediterranean before swinging off into a classical little town. There is plenty of room for you to enjoy your ride and more than enough area to rack up those lovable skill points. Use these skill points to trade for perks and discounts on newer cars. This is addicting and it caters so well to the 'achievement hunter' crowd that we so firmly belong in.

The problem with open world games is that they often feel aimless. Without any sense of direction most gamers will end up growing bored of what they are doing. 'Forza Horizon' forgoes that concern by filling the disc up with events to partake in. There are about 700 events that you can compete in that will help you rack up skill points while honing your skills. You have Showcase Races, cross country competition, and even some verifiably insane off road content to partake in. All of these different game modes are different enough that you can cycle through them whenever you grow weary of one. They are also all dynamic enough that you will find yourself improving as you go forward in the game. These races actually do something for your skills.

Probably one of the most unique aspects of 'Horizon 2' is the Bucket List. This is a list of challenges that you must complete in order to fill out the list. They are completely unique activities that seem tailor made to inspire you to play with the world. Some items on the list will be simple, like clocking through a speed trap. Others will push you to reconsider how sane you are as you careen around a golf course. You'll also spend a ton of time looking for Barns all over the map. These will house special vehicles for you to get your hands on in order to drive.

No racing game would be complete without solid multiplayer and that is where we found our end to the experience. You can seamlessly enter 'online mode' with the click of a button. Then you will find yourself in a race that is synced to the time and day of your offline world. It's a unique feature that keeps the immersion aspect completely in tact. It is also a fitting cap to a wonderful game.

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Oct 1, 2014
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By:

Microsoft Game Studios

Release Date:

September 30, 2014

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