It’s almost time to go ripping it up in your dream cars along the smooth tarmac (and dirt) of Colorado. That’s right, the Forza Horizon release is just around the corner, so that obviously means there’s a demo. The demo was available from 9th October for Xbox Live gold members then a week later for silver members. With the large following that Forza Motorsport has gained over the years, Horizon is a different step in finding new fans of the franchise.
The demo samples most of the features in the game from dirt track racing in all wheel drive vehicles to the atmosphere of the showcase events where you will race against anything from a plane to a hot air balloon, if you win you win the car you were driving. Upon loading the demo you are greeted by a short video that shows what Horizon is all about with clips from music festivals and car meets. Then you are thrown straight into a 2013 Dodge Viper for the drive to your first race of three within the demo where you will need to purchase an all wheel drive car, the car you will have to purchase is an Mitsubishi Evo, this race will show the dirt races and the difference between dirt and Tarmac driving. You will use this to free roam around on the demo as well. The other races are a showcase event against a Mustang aeroplane while you’re in a Ford mustang. The last race that you will be able to try is a street race in the Dodge Viper against other supercars, obviously while it's a street race you will need to avoid civilian traffic while trying to be the first over the line. With the races over you will be able to drive around the demo area for as long as you want to experience the transition between day and night, as well as driving to and rerunning the races but this time in rivals mode against your friends. While driving around you will find a rather good addition to the game in the form of speed cameras, the faster you go through them the high up the leaderboards you will be.
Graphically Horizon is what you would expect if you have played the Forza Motorsport games but with new features like dirt races and probably the biggest graphic parts of the game, the day and night transitions. This is the first time that Turn 10 have used night racing and in the demo you will get a look at what driving around Colorado (if you went in free roam long enough) and I have to say in the dark with your lights on will make racing that much more difficult because all the roads look different at night. One thing was slightly disappointing and that was that you will just "bounce" off oncoming cars if you crash into them and you get no real damage from 200 MPH crashes.
Obviously the majority of people will want to compare Horizon and Forza Motorsport in every way but that doesn't seem the case with the demo showing that all the physics have been diluted to cater for the more casual players, as Turn 10 have said multiple times. But with the options still there to turn traction and ABS off as well as the option to have simulation steering and manual gears with clutch. The more hardcore player can make their experience more like Forza Motorsport, even if it is easier to take corners at speed and to hold a drift. But I have to say that I am look forward to Horizon probably more than Forza Motorsport because what's better then driving off into the sunset with your friends at stupid speeds knowing that you won't get caught by the law.