OXCGN’s Forza Horizon Review
Time to upgrade to a new model?
by Ben Cadwallader
©2012 Ben Cadwallader
This is a separate experience.
This concept is nothing new. However, it is something the current-generation hasn’t seen in a long time, and thankfully it deserves a place in your collection.
As you can expect, all the trademark Forza features are here including the Custom Paint Shop, 60 frames per second, photo modes and a much improved multiplayer experience. So for all the Forza veterans, don’t worry; what you know and love hasn’t changed too much.
Join the club
Players most likely won’t connect with the protagonist as he is only occasionally spotted in cut scenes and sadly never enters into the gameplay at all.
Outside of free roaming, the majority of races are nicely varied and pay tribute to the wide variety of car community circles such as illest, JDM, and Muscle who all get their own feature events, which is great to see. Turn 10 is really trying to make the car enthusiasts happy.
Every now and then players are treated to a special race called a showcase, and this is where Forza Horizon brings something new to the table. Showcases will pit you against opponents such as aeroplanes and hot air balloons in races that are exciting and spice up the racing genre.
In said events, players will actually see and hear the aeroplane fly around the course, which really adds to the excitement and makes these particular races memorable.
Take the wheel
Forza Horizon is lacking (compared to Forza 4) in relation to the amount of cars available to drive. However, I think many gamers will be happy to see that most of the boring slow cars are gone from the game, although some treasured fan-favourite cars will be sadly absent from this title.
Modifying vehicles comes in pretty much the same flavour as last time (without the easy sponsorship discounts this time around). With the push of a few buttons and a few later modifications, players can take their ordinary cars and turn them into super cars.
Unfortunately, those custom tuners will be disappointed to see tuning completely removed from the game.
Generally driving through the world of Horizon is great. Players will come across Speed Cameras which will have them competing for the fastest speeds against friends, and can have a street race with many of the vehicles they will pass while cruising.
The multiplayer brings more to the game and finally allows players to properly use their custom built cars when racing online. Rejoice!
Horizon introduces a new concept to getting discounted upgrades, where drivers need to drive/crash into ‘upgrade’ signs on the edges of the road (there’s 100 of them). Doing so will allow them to receive a 1 percent discount.
Drivers will also be able to crash into a small variety of other things while driving, such as signs, seats, etc. The game almost encourages you to do it, and this is where the confusion occurs.
A lot of other objects on the road will also stop you dead you in your tracks, and it’s this confusion of not knowing which is which that can sometimes become frustrating.
Generally these objects make sense as to why they stop you, but with Forza encouraging you to crash into things half of the time, it makes it seem like occasionally those small trees, light poles, and fences should come tumbling down.
The damage is also awful; players will quickly discover the Dodgem car style crash mechanics and will probably use them to occasionally bounce their way into the lead of a race.
All the accessories
The music has been chosen with the “doof-doof” generation and car enthusiasts in mind, and it’s great to see popular and licensed music appear in the game, although the tunes will still get repetitive and the radio presenters will eventually become nearly as annoying as they were in Burnout Paradise.
But who wants to listen to the music anyway? Forza is all about hearing those engines roar.
The raw and realistic car noises bring every car to life; just make sure to turn down the volume in the Settings Menu as the vehicles make better music than any radio station played in Forza.
Hopefully with its popular reviews and (mostly) positive player feedback, a future sequel may bring us an absolutely amazing non-Motorsport racing title in the future.
Forza Horizon is the first step in bringing back a racing genre that has taken a few steps backwards through this generation of gaming consoles.
And with that being said, get into the driver’s seat because Forza Horizon hits the redline at 8500rpm.