Review: Forza Horizon

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Review: Forza Horizon

Playground’s Forza Horizon is an out and out driving sim, which features real-world cars and realistic handling powered by the same potent graphics and physics engines that Turn 10 deployed in the mighty Forza 4. At its heart, Forza Horizon is a game like Need for Speed and Burnout, where strict courses and structured championships give way to individual events, festival atmosphere and the freedom of the open road.

The game is set on wweeping praries and looming peaks and a persistent sense of competition that keeps the vast expanse from feeling lonely. The Forza series has always been famous for its stellar driving physics, and Horizon is no different – it indeed is a joful experience hitting the asphalt and roaming wherever the road takes you.

Forza Horizon 3

Forza Horizon is an excellent racing game – one of the best of its generation. The game is also a lesson on making that development model work to create something greater than the sum of its parts. The driving itself is in a different league. While crash physics are now extremely forgiving to accommodate slow-moving traffic, and there have been tweaks to the steering in particular, the handling model is recognisable as the full-fat Forza experience.

Forza Horizon 4

Forza Horizon is effortlessly playable on default settings, but take the assists off and it’s there in all its glory: hefty yet pliant, with a not unreasonable tendency toward drift. Even slower cars are involving to drive, and the experience on a good force-feedback wheel is awesome. The game is set under the clear, open skies of Colorado – Horizon has you playing as an up-and-comer attending the Horizon racing festival.

Forza Horizon 1

The game is structured to work as an open-world racing sandbox, but it opens with a sort of storyline, complete with characters, dialogue, introductions, and other things you’d never expect to see in a Forza game. This Horizon racing festival is a celebration of car culture and and all that comes with it, including music, modification, and street racing.

Forza Horizon 5

Imagine an oasis of thumping beats, coloured tents and lights, partying attendees, and at night, fireworks. It’s very festive, and serves to bring some excitement to the world of Forza Motorsport. The heart of the festival serves as the game’s main hub, where you’ll go to get race assignments, peruse your garage, buy and upgrade cars, and enter car clubs. From there you’ll drive around in this open world to race locations, where you’ll meet up with others for official events.

Winning brings about money, experience, new cars, and respect. You’ll use these to rank higher, earning wristbands that get you into even bigger races, eventually working up to taking on the best of the best at Horizon. One of the best parts about Horizon is the sense of competition which lingers all around you, even outside of organized events. You can for instance pull up behind other festival drivers at any point and challenge them to a race on the spot. Speed trap cameras are placed on just about every road, capturing your high speed as you pass through them, registering your pace on a leaderboard and, if you’re good enough, sending a message straight to your Xbox Live friends that they’ve been outperformed.

Check out the Forza Horizon gameplay below:

[youtube id=”rW6qzeZHsig” width=”600″ height=”350″]

Graphics-wise, Forza Horizon is a real stunner – the game has always delivered when it comes to beautiful-looking cars in motion. With its mountains, waterfalls, rural landscapes and canyons, Colorado turns out to be a dazzling setting, and there’s almost a subgame to be played in roaming around in a photogenic supercar and taking shots with the game’s elegant photo mode. If ever a game deserved the glossy landscape treatment, it’s this one. If you are a driving sim fanatic, you might not want to miss Forza Horizon!

Price: AED 200 approx.

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