Forza Horizon 2 greatest moments sometime come under the most unexpected circumstances. The Land Rover Defender is not exactly known for its speed or sportiness. When Forza Horizon 2 mashes these things together, something very good happens. If you played a lot of racing games over the past two decades, then you’ve never played one where you’re shredding through a venue at top speed in an agricultural 4 x 4, primarily designed to effectively beat our your opponents up some beautifully designed wet hills. Forza Horizon 2 rebottles the winning formula established by its predecessor in 2012. They also added a heaping tablespoon of new and improved ingredients. The ecliptic roster of 200+ lavishly details cars they give you ranges from regular vehicles to hyper cars, and is the best lineup in the open world racing business. They all feel distinct from each other too, thanks to the Forza series familiar top quality driving dynamics.
What the developer Playground Games added however, is a world far richer with variety, and exponentially denser, with rewarding racing and exploration content. The backdrop this time is a slab of land straddling the border of Northern Italy in the south of France. It’s wishful filming for Forza fans that spent the last decade watching the host of Top Gear driving along a beautiful coastline every second week. It’s a bigger area than Forza Horizon small slice of Colorado, it’s not a one to one recreation of the region, and it still dwarf for the likes of Test Drive Unlimited life size Oahu, so there’s still a lot to do in it, than in either of those two places. The air strip and abandon freight yard highlights, each offering huge playgrounds to experiment in between races. These are great places to compulsively rack up your skill points, which are more useful there than the mostly meaningless skill points in the original Horizon. There’s also a better way to use your points that you earn to trade for permanent and useful gameplay perks. Forza Horizon 2 has hundreds of driving events that are also lucrative to earning skill points. From the highly enjoyable showcase races to class base blast across the countryside, gives players the ability to drive almost anywhere is a big shift in open world racing. While many of the races take place on predetermined ribbons of road, racing on the plain fields of Tuscany is a lot of fun. The fast and frantic new cross-country races will probably the most favorite for Forza Horizon fans.
You will be spending most of your day in traffic, and then jumping into an online session will seamlessly transition you into it with a nice touch. The online racing can be a bit more challenging so many will find the single player their preferred environment. Like Forza Motorsport 5, Forza Horizon 2 uses AI driver profiles based on your friends list, to populate your career races as well as the world itself. Removing the need for a generic gallery of trash talking and euro jumps to function as opponents. Forza Horizon 2 is generally better for it, but it’s still to insist on having us choose a design to immediately apply for the cars we buy. The result is a cavalcade of clip art splattered cars cruising down the French Riviera, with far more like the kind of off brand hot wheels you’d see on the shelves at Toys R Us, than the sexy six-figure supercars. There is no option to explicitly disable the so-called “Drivatar” designs in Forza Horizon 2, like you can in Forza 5 so it makes it sort of irritating. It’s a shame too because virtually everywhere else in Forza Horizon 2 has grown up quite a bit from the first. The menu overlays are a lot more sophisticated and there is no micro transactions options money in the economy. The world itself is gorgeous and while some of the shadows in a little choppy, the frame rate is resolutely loved at 30fps and does deliver a dependable smooth driving experience. As stunning as Forza Horizon 2 looks during the day, it looks even better at night, especially when you see that gleam in the headlights and when the fireworks starts blasting. The wet weather effects are easy on the eyes too, but you will also can’t help but notice that the static droplets don’t streak across the windscreen up on it when the car is going at high speeds. The sound is as good as we’ve come to expect from the Forza racing series with roaring engines and crackling exhaust sounds when going through one of the lengthy tunnels.
The first Forza Horizon set a new standard for open world racing games, and Forza Horizon 2 has comprehensively updated that standard. The locations is right, the car list is extensive the handling feels great and the visuals are excellent. But above everything the game is fun. Forza Horizon 2 is like Test Drive Unlimited, PGR series and Smugglers Run all crammed into one, and that’s what makes this game great.