The games in the Forza series are the games I go to most often, either for a quick romp or hours of deep gaming…no contest. So when I first heard of Forza Horizon, I was seriously excited. Unlike previous games in the series, Forza Horizon looked to expand on the tried-and-true formula of track-based racing and move deeper into the real car culture by simulating meets, makeshift parking lot shows and (sigh) street-racing. Early news about the game touted an open-world environment where players can meet, cruise and race and that really interested me.
Last week, the official demo hit Xbox Live and I got on that download quickly! Unfortunately, after playing, I’m a bit weary for this title and I don’t think it’s going to live up to my expectations. I was anticipating that “Horizon” wouldn’t feel quite the same as the previous 4 games since the focus is wholly different. However, I at LEAST thought it would feel authentic and it really, really doesn’t.
“Horizon” looks and feels like an amalgam of several games from several publishers. The driving feels like a Need for Speed game and the menus and assorted finishing touches look like they came straight out of “Grid” or “Dirt.” And wouldn’t you know it, there is a very good reason for that! Turn-10 studios co-produced “Horizon” with a new studio called Playground Games. Playground games employs staff formerly from Codemasters (who developed Grid/Dirt/Dirt2).
I really expected more and I think this may be the first setback in the Forza series. I’ll still pickup my reserved title on 10/23 and I’ll still give it a fair shot and a full review…I just don’t think I’m going to love it.