'Forza Horizon 2' brings the open road to Xbox One - PREVIEW

Tuesday, 17 June 2014 01:00 PM Written by 

The wide world of “Forza” racing is going open world again in the follow-up to 2012’s “Forza Horizon.” Developed by Playground Games and Turn 10 Studio, the minds behind the “Forza Motorsport” series, are ushering in a new driving experience for the Xbox One and Xbox 360.

“Forza Horizon 2” looks to bridge the gap between racing game and MMO. While the game isn’t quite an MMO, it does borrow gameplay from the popular genre. For starters, the game rewards exploration. It’s an open-world game, meaning you can drive wherever you want. You don’t even need to stick to roads. If you want to go careening through someone’s vineyard on a sunny day, you can do that. The world is there for you to explore.

Entering an event is simple, and adopts the same setup as the original “Horizon.” Players can drive up to an event and enter with the tap of a button. While the free-roam will have other players driving around, events will behave like an MMO instance. Players who aren’t competing in the event won’t be able drop in to cause havoc.

The world is beautifully detailed in a look that has come to be expected in “Forza” games. To bring the game closer to life, the sequel will have its own weather system. Clouds and rainstorms will develop, which will affect the road and your car.

Rally races are a part of the event list. Conventional road races, rally, endurance and cross-country races help in varying the events. It isn’t just racing on a road every time.



What makes “Forza Horizon 2” an RPG with cars is its scale system. Players will be rewarded for driving stylishly, which is similar to the Kudos system in “Project Gotham Racing.” Earned points will unlock driver perks, of which there are plenty. One shown in the demo unlocked fast travel. Another earned an 25% extra credits from sharing tuning and paint jobs. Credits are still used to buy upgrades and cars, while the scale system unlocks perks.

This sequel isn’t going the same route of “Forza Motorsport 5,” which released the game first and tacked on loads of DLC later. It will release with more than 200 cars and over 700 events. Playground Games claims that the game will have between 150 and 200 hours of content at launch. The in-game world is a staggering three times the size of the original “Horizon.”

“Forza Horizon 2” races onto the Xbox One and Xbox 360 September 30 of this year. The series has always been a favorite of mine. This game looks like it will continue to uphold the gold standard in which the series has become known.



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