Open world racing as it should be.
Forza has become the king of racing simulators. While Gran Turismo took over 5 years to put out the fifth entry in their franchise, Forza took the crown from them by releasing Forza 3 and 4. Forza Horizon is not developed by series regular Turn 10, instead the reigns are handed over to Playground Games, which combines people from all the best racing studios into one. Horizon is the first open world Forza game and it is exactly what open world games should try to be.
If you have any experience with past Forza games then Horizon will feel familiar to you. The tight controls, roaring engines, and beautiful visuals are all here. That is actually one of the most impressive things about the game. Open world games usually mean that there will be less content, but that is not the case in Horizon. There is a ton of things to do. As you make your way through the Horizon festival you will come across side races and events, find old busted up cars that you can have fixed, try to beat scores left by friends, and do time trials where you are your own opponent. The amount of things you can do is amazing considering the engine is still maintaining a beautiful open world with a full day and night cycle. The game also features multiplayer which should extend the life of the game quite a bit. If you are a racing fan you can buy Forza Horizon and have it be the only game you purchase for the rest of the year, there is that much content here.
Horizon looks and runs beautifully. The cars look so realistic that you can forget they are in a video game. You would think that the graphics would suffer since it is an open world game, but that isn’t the case. Every track has an impressive backdrop and the night races in particular look stunning. I wonder how they can make a game look this good on current generation hardware and it only makes me even more excited to see what can be done with the inevitable next generation. One aspect that Forza is known for is its sound, and Horizon doesn’t disappoint. The engines roar like loud thunder and any car or racing fan will appreciate the attention put into every engine sound. There is also car damage and every car drives and behaves differently. The developer has done a good job of making each car you drive feel unique. The game allows you to tweak your options and controls in whatever way are right for you. Are you new to racing games? Then turn on the turn assist and slowly get better until you feel you can play without it. Forza Horizon is an amazing game for the biggest fans of racing and also for those of us who aren’t too familiar with the genre.
Horizon is a racing fans dream come true, a huge open world, tons of things to do, beautiful graphics and sounds, and a great multiplayer suite. This is what open world racing games should be like. Turn 10 is going to have to do some really amazing things with the eventual release of Forza 5 in order to top this. If you are a racing fan, go buy Forza Horizon- and if you aren’t do so anyways, Horizon just might turn you into one.
GamerFuzion gives Forza Horizon a 9/10