Tech News on G4
Forza Horizon 2 can’t be beat
Sept 25, 2014
By John Powell - G4 Canada
You race fighter jets.
Just when you think there is nothing new any developer could add to the racing genre, that everything has been done before, along comes Forza Horizon 2, the most well-rounded racing game ever released.
Someone like me who doesn't know an intake manifold from a starter solenoid and is not a fan of realistic racing simulators for a variety of reasons, mostly because I suck at cornering and shifting; can feel quite comfortable in Horizon's environment. It can be easily tailored to be as detailed and as true-to-life as you want it to be. Anything you don't want to be bothered with such as vehicle upgrades can be put on a dependable cruise control. You don't have to sweat the small stuff and so instead you can just focus on having fun.
The free-flowing format also opens up all sorts of gameplay options. Forza Horizon in the game is a music, automobile festival that is being held in southern Europe. As you travel from site to site, you compete in various races, can explore the region on your own or can complete numerous challenges, special events to earn Skill Points to upgrade your current vehicles or purchase new ones.
Two of my new favourites right out of the gate were The Bucket List tasks and the off-road races across the rural countryside. In Bucket List, you are given a particular vehicle and must succeed at a specified task. Oftentimes, you will win the car if you succeed. The off-road races are just nuts. As you tear through pastures dotted with corn fields, shrubs and trees, the dirt and debris become a cyclone of wreckage which is so thrilling to plow through at break-neck speed. Really fun stuff that.
It is not just the rolling hills and pastures that look so unbelievable either, everything about Horizon 2's settings are stunning. From the seaside towns to the sprawling metropolitian cities, everything is rendered so beautifully and intricately.
Horizon 2 though is all about flexibility. There are so many different challenges and ways to earn points such as blazing through speed traps or just pulling off freestyle maneuvers on the open road, that you can make the game whatever you want, whenever you want. There is always something to do and accomplish. While some will miss the official, licenced tracks playing a dominant role like they did in the older Forza titles, others will welcome the open world concept which only greatly enhances the replayablity factor.
The vehicle selections are as always stellar with 200 plus available ranging from the classics to the outrageous. You can put the pedal to the metal in almost anything your heart desires with each of your drives having their own well-defined characteristics.
The online racing element is refreshing to old clunkers like myself as under Horizon's system, you don't have to actually win a race to rack up those points. In fact, as is often the case, losers can score more points than the winners depending how they performed.
Forza Horizon set the bar for open-world racing games and Horizon 2 has cemented that standard with superb improvements right across the board. With so much flexibility and so many gameplay options, Forza Horizon 2 has firmly left its competition in the dust.
Forza Horizon 2
Rating: 9 / 10
About G4 in Canada
G4 Canada (formerly TechTV Canada) launched in September 2001. G4 is the one and only television station that is plugged into every dimension of games, gear, gadgets and gigabytes. Owned Rogers Media Inc., the channel airs more than 24 original series. G4 is available on digital cable and satellite. For more information, see www.g4tv.ca.