Hands On with Forza Horizon 2

Forza Horizons 2 Official Screenshot © Microsoft Studios

While at Osheaga, we were invited to the Xbox Lounge in Artist World to try out the E3 demo of Forza Horizon 2. After reviewing Forza Motorsports 5, I was really curious to see how Forza Horizon 2 could offer a different racing experience using the same game engine.

Forza Motorsports 5 vs Forza Horizon 2

Both Forza titles may look like the same game, they are actually two different type of racing experience. Motorsports is all about driving simulation: getting the player as close as he can to a true racing experience, speeding down well known race tracks. Horizon is more of an open-world road trip and focuses on long distance races through the countryside which will sometime take you off road.

Forza Horizons 2 Official Screenshot © Microsoft Studios

What do they share?

Horizon is built off of Motorsports so the physics engine as well as a lot of the menus and options are the same. At the end of each race, you’ll see how beaten up your car is. The graphics are almost on par with Motorsports. I did notice some improvements to the environments and backgrounds. The crowds don’t look as much like cut-outs and more like actual people.

It’ll also feature the online drivatar feature where you race against user based A.I. The drivatars will cross over between Motorsports 5 and Horizon 2 meaning you friends’ drivatars will join you in game no matter which of the two Forza they play.

What don’t they share?

Unlike in Motorsports, Horizon goes off-road so you’re not just driving on a closed asphalted track. The game is also set in a living environment that affects you and your driving. Like the previous Xbox 360 title, the game has a day and night cycle. What’s new in the Xbox One is a dynamic weather system, the first in the Forza series.

Forza Horizons 2 Official Screenshot © Microsoft Studios

My thoughts after trying the demo

The realistic physics engine I experienced in Forza Motorsports 5 is definitely present in Horizon 2. The dynamic environment added to the game’s challenge and excitement. I could feel each bump in the controller’s triggers as I drove through a grassy field and my car almost spun out of control when I took a hard turn on a wet asphalted road after a sudden summer shower.

Motorsports is really for the competitive racer, looking to surpass everyone and themselves. I am not that type and personally got bored with Motorsports after driving down the same tracks umpteenth times. I feel like Horizon will be more my type of game, offering a more diverse driving experience.

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    Courtesy for Rey Mena

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