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Xbox 360

Gameplay : 8.0
Graphics : 8.0
Realism / Physics : 8.5
Lasting Appeal : 7.5
Vehicle List : 8.5
Overall Rating:
Available Platforms: Xbox 360

PROS:Simulation type handling on open roads, licensed cars, interesting race types and track designs, nice graphics and steady frame rates

CONS:Radio stations and music selection could have been much better, landscape seems not as big as it really is - due to the monotony of textures, selection of cars could have been wider, prone towards expensive DLC content, no Split screen

CONCLUSION:Forza Horizon is a open world simulation racer which incorporates arcade type touches and makes things enjoyable and does that even better than hardcore arcade racers. Recommended for arcade and simulation gamers alike as licensed cars will keep you hooked to beautiful Colorado roads for hours.

Forza Horizon is a Open world car simulator game for the Xbox 360 and is developed jointly by Playground games and Turn 10 studios – the developer of the highly successful Forza Motorsport Series. Though this game contains the common word “Forza” it would be a big mistake to compare the both franchise as far as their audience are concerned. While Forza Motorsports prime focus is on track racing and precision, Horizon concentrates more on mad rides over uneven open roads, crazy drifting and increasing your popularity within the game career. Forza Horizon starts with an invitation for you to join the Forza Horizon Music Festival at Colorado – where once you join will be guided through an even on races and tasks which would earn you credits and XP, which can then be used to purchase Cars and decorate and modify them your way. Though there are many intricate details involved about what exactly you can do within the game – the summery is actually just this. Forza Horizon creates its own Colorado with inspiration from real Colorado all over, the landscape is large and you get lots of roads to drive on, which includes plain tarmac, complex racing courses and also off road or rally racing surfaces. Many interesting race track designs are also incorporated within the MAP – all original designs and they impress. The day and night transition also makes driving a little more fun and the landscape with trees, mountains, waterfalls, towns, old barns – look astonishing. A little thing though did strike our mind – after three to four days of driving on the roads they start looking mostly the same, no matter on whichever part of the map you are. The evenness and texture similarity of the different road surfaces on different part of the map tends to make things monotonous and also makes the Map feel a lot smaller than it is.

Yes there are Radio Stations in the cars and you can drive through the Horizon Roads in GTA style and browse through the radio stations – but honestly the Music Composition and selection could have been much better. Though not outright irritating there is a sense of monotony involved and again after few days most of the numbers sound similar. I love the GTA San Andreas radio stations and this being a music festival I expected more – but sorry to say a little disappointed for that. The racing modes are very interesting though – there are point to point races and car duals which feel great to compete in the tougher opponent difficulty levels , also racing in the original in-game race tracks be in asphalt or gravel or sands has a touch of uniqueness about them and I loved them even when I was losing. Also when you are just driving on the open roads you have many ways to keep yourself engaged, challenge a passing car by pressing X, miss an accident nearly or just drifting along the turns. I have never been a fond of drifting but with Forza Horizon – I swallow my words , somehow Horizon masters “Fun Drifting” and delivers better than any other game before this. Also you can bang around road signs and objects along the way to gain extra XP or avail discounts on your car upgrades. Also Speed Traps and Speed Zones in the routes livens the point to point destination drives. Graphically Forza Horizon is impressieve. Car models being from Forza 4 does help things in the positive way and the added day night transition just helps things further. Also the frame rates are rock steady and you never feel a lag or bug creeping in. Quality of textures though very impressive a little bit more varieties in the sceneries could definitely help so that gamers can keep driving the roads for many dats to come. The cut scenes look great and the human character modeling is great – in fact as good as LA Noire but disappointingly they only appear in the first few stages and disappear completely after that. I loved the DIRT type cut scenes a lot too.

This game is marketed as a simulation and in spite of all the debate that is going on about how arcade this one feels, I would still stick to its simulator tag – and the only reason being how the cars drive. Yes there is drifting and near escapes that get you points also if you brush by a passing car but when you are driving with a Fanatec wheel in the simulation mode with all assists turned off – the cars behave exactly live the simulation counterparts, take a turn over 70 mph and you are screwed up. Also I firmly believe that Forza 4 has the best driving physics this side of rFactor 2 (ok readers I have played a game called Gran Turismo 5 and quiet a lot) – and Horizon proudly lives up to the Forza tag. Though I cannot complain on the handling front – I do have grudges about the car selection. Being a Forza game I feel the cars are far too less and to make the pain worse – cars like 458 Italia, SLS AMG and Aston Martin Virage are kept as exclusive seller options for Amazon and Best Buy and likes. Also keeping the 2012 Mini Coupe JCW as an Unicorn is crazy. Lack of racing cars in an open road game is understandable but lack of so many road cars that are there is Forza 4 already is bugging. There is another section called Barn Find Cars – where you have to find cars from old barns within the game map to unlock them – the Barn locations are so difficult to find that you trade off by purchasing the Treasure Map for 400 Xbox Live points. Also going by Forza history I fear many cars are being kept on hold only to be released as paid DLC contect – sorry for the sake of gamers cannot support this. Though I have all the DLC content downloaded for Forza 4 – I am sorry I am buying nothing for this one – as Turn 10 should understand that this is a fun game and does not influence car culture as much as Forza Motorsport series which has everything authentic about it. So selling a season pass for 4000 MS Points for this game seems plain outrageous. I better keep playing Forza 4 with all my DLC content.

Online multiplayer is fun and runs smoothly – though graphical glitches are present (which I dont feel is going before the next gen of consoles). Rivals mode is represented even more prominently in this game and you may choose to race your suggested rival after every career race as well. Absence of split screen offline multiplayer is a big disappointment though. The point to point car duals in 55 inch monitor on split screen would have been heavenly – you missed that Playground. No matter how much more popular online gaming is – having your friend or dad or girlfriend by your side and competing with you on split screen is still going to have appeal for decades to come – and this from people who was involved with Blur (a great 4 player split screen game) is even more disappointing. With all the publicity and marketing and Forza appeal – the Forza Horizon will surely do well in months to come and definitely this game deserves to be successful. The fact which would still remain is how much better this game could have been, which could have made it an epic racer of all time. Nice try though.

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