Forza Horizon 2 Review - The highway star
Everybody likes a bit of that car racing every once in a while. Need for Speed, Burnout Paradise, etc. are wonderful race simulators, no doubt.
But they fail to give you that authentic feel of a real car-driving, especially amidst a supersonic road competition.
Forza Horizon 2 is a game that balances between realism and entertainment just perfectly.
The game is like the British Empire's crown, adorned with the most valuable rubies, opals, emeralds, and diamonds. It's ravishing. Car models look irreproachable from the vehicle design point of you. They repeat their real-life analogues with the neatest precision. Either it's predatory TVR Sagaris or cute and a bit ridiculous Abarth - compare them with the actual cars and you'll see no difference.
Apart from realistic noot-noots, Forza Horizon 2 has a vast and truly colossal world to explore with vibrant and eye-pleasing settings. The view of the hot, dry desert will most likely make you feel thirsty, meanwhile, the sight of cool mountains will almost be like a refreshing breeze.
But especially gorgeous the game's visuals become when you see the light glittering on the polished surface of your racing chariot. It may be sunset, sunrise, or just night city's lights - the realism of the effect is hypnotic, and you can positively do nothing about it.
But again, there had to be some visual sloppiness. For instance, whenever your car gets physical damage, it will absurdly leave no trace on its appearance. Even if your car rolls down a cornfield, like a rolling pin, barely you'll see a scratch on it.
What is especially enjoyable though is that the stunning picture manages to co-exist with almost irreproachable tech. performance - freezes and lags are a curiosity here.
Forza Horizon 2 takes place in some fictional cars-n-music Colorado festival, where racing and hipster rock-music steal the show. Naturally, you have to race with your competitors throughout the game to progress. However, things are a bit different here.
First of all, you don't have to win/participate in every single race to make progress. You get credits (in-game currency) regardless of what place you win. Although the more rivals you leave behind- the more lucrative your award is.
Second, there's a mode which allows you to hunt for rare and valuable rides - Barn Finds. I should add though, that these cars are rare here indeed, but they have been already featured in Forza 4. Consequently, the loyal fans of the franchise won't get much thrill from driving the vehicles from a previous game - "been there, done that."
But my favorite feature of the FH 2 is that you get to try the maximum realistic car racing experience. In case you have a steering wheel for your console, then do the following:
1) Disable all auto-assist functions.
2) Set the maximum difficulty level.
That's when you get to feel how momentum, steering, weight of the car and the interaction of tyres with the highway/naked soil affect your success and shape your driving technique. In case you grow tired of the campaign, you can try free roaming and PR-event. Your supersonic journey will be accompanied by the in-game radio, pleasing your ears with music by Duck Sauce or Mozart - depending on what you prefer.
They are decent with the classic Xbox controller but believe me - nothing can beat the steering wheel experience in this game.
Replay Value: 5
You'll definitely want to return to the game at one point. The realistic feel and the immense open world with beautiful settings are highly addictive.
Forza Horizon 2 has occasional shortcomings. But they are trifles compared to all the joy the game can deliver to you. It's bold, it's fast, it's thrilling and mesmerizing. Definitely worth a try.
- Big open world.
- High-class sound design.
- No glitches
- Awesome graphics.
- A lot to explore.
- A limited car collection.
- Occasional lack of realism.
- No tuning.
- Storyline clichés.
- Rare cars aren't rare.