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Forza Horizon Review

Forza Horizon Review

Welcome to Colorado, the home of the Horizon Festival, the festival that combines the best of the car world with the best music. With the whole of Colorado at your disposal to drive around as you wish, the way you go is entirely up to you. But the only thing worrying about Horizon is that with it being a Forza game there will be high expectations for realism, so will Horizon live up to hype?

Thankfully Turn 10 and Playground Games have made what I'm sure will be a classic driving game that caters for everyone from the novice driver to the most hardcore racer. Straight away you are thrown into racing by having to race to the festival to get one of the final spots in the competition. When you get there you will see the mechanic, Dak, who looks over your car and tells you the basic controls of your vehicle, from there you are entered into a qualifier which you will need to complete before getting your first wristband and the ability the free roam around the open roads. Only when you start driving around the roads of Colorado to and from your races will you see the mass amount of time and effort that has gone into making it look breathtaking from the sun breaking through the trees to leaves flying off the road when you go flying through the tight country roads. It's all well and good racing and driving in the daytime but Turn 10 have added a time cycle with the addition of night driving which really makes the roads feel different than the daytime.

Forza Horizon

With the racing being done on roads and dirt tracks there have been some tweaks to the physics engine that we all know and love from the Motorsport series but you should be thankful of this in some ways because having simulation steering on while in a dirt race without the tweaks will make cars uncontrollable. Thankfully the tweaks don't really take away from the excellent driving experience.

To the racing and the festival itself, you have a centre hub where everything that you need will be. You will start on the yellow wristband and will need to compete in races to gain points to advance to the next. In each wristband colour there will be one racer that you will need to beat every race to gain extra money then you will have the opportunity to win their car in an one-on-one when you get your next wristband. But you are not just trying to get to the top in the colour of wristband you have but trying to get to number one in the popularity rankings, you will gain places by driving fast and overtaking cleanly as well as drifting and getting air. At certain points in the popularity chart you will be invited to partake in showcase races where you will be given a specific car to race against everything from hot air balloons to Bi-Planes. If you win the race, you win the car.  With races being all over the map there are a total of 10 waypoints positioned across it, which you will be able to fast travel to at a cost, but at each one you have the opportunity to take part in PR stunts with three at each waypoint. With every stunt you will get money off fast travel, which will make getting to the other side of the map quicker but with how the map looks, you may find yourself driving around instead of racing. While you are driving around the map you will find signs that you can smash to get a 1% discount, so if you find all 100 you will not have to pay for an upgrade again.

Forza Horizon

Online there is another levelling up system to work your way through, starting on a yellow wristband you work your way up to level 50 then you "prestige" to a green wristband and so on. The game modes online will be recognisable by regular players of the Forza Motorsport, with circuit race, point-to-point and street race.There are also the playground games like Infected, that uses parts of the map were you wouldn't normally race like the Carson Golf Course and warehouses.  One player starts infected with the rest try and stay away, if you get hit you also will become infected last man standing wins. King uses the same maps as infected but one player starts off as the king and instead of that player hitting the others you will need to stay away from everyone else, if you get hit the person who hit you will become king until the time is up and the player with the most time as king will win.Cat and Mouse, you are split into two teams red and blue with one player from each team the mouse and the rest cats. The aim is to get the the finish first if you're the mouse and if you're a cat to try and protect your mouse or stop the opponent mouse from finishing . Unfortunately when playing online, mostly every race you will get crashed into on the first corner which will ruin your race before it has began. - because of this I have found myself just playing the playground games. When levelling up online you will be greeted with a spinning wheel with a selection of cars and money amounts, whatever it stops on you will win to use on and offline. Levelling up is a great way for you to get cars you can't afford or get big sums of money quickly. Along with the competitive online racing there is an option to free roam with friends, but there are a couple of downsides to this: you can only have eight players in one room, there is no traffic on the road and you can't pause and take pictures like in the single player free roam. But with the downsides it is always good to go driving around with friends and break the speed limit without looking over your shoulder for the police.

Forza Horizon

Overall Forza Horizon caters for all and will definitely bring new player to the Forza series, and it is a start for future Horizon games possibly in new destinations. I feel that the the lack of cars to choose from is a bit disappointing with the amount that are in Forza Motorsport 4, but with more thought and time gone into the visuals with the map being bigger than anything on the Forza Motorsport series, you can forgive the lack of cars. But the cars that are included look spectacular along with the landscape. I also feel that the game should have been like Test Drive with the M.O.O.R (massively open online racing) where when online you will met players driving around the map on your single player game, instead of having to leave single player to join an online game. But Forza should give players a way to lose themselves in a game for hours, even if it is just driving around aimlessly.

9.00/10 9

Forza Horizon (Reviewed on Xbox 360)

Excellent. Look out for this one.

Welcome to Colorado, the home of the Horizon Festival, the festival that combines the best of the car world with the best music. With the whole of Colorado at your disposal to drive around as you wish, the way you go is entirely up to you.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
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