Forza Horizon (Video Game Review)

Forza Motorsports is Xbox 360's answer to the PlayStation 3's Gran Turismo series, and although Gran Turismo has been around for many more years, the developers behind the Forza franchise have managed to surpass its predecessor in every way imaginable in their newest release, Forza Horizon. The new game takes us to the beautiful roads of Colorado for the Horizon Festival--an event that draws in the world's best racers to challenge them to become the most renowned wheelman around with a variety of events across a wide range of vehicles, terrain and other predetermining factors. Forza Horizon doesn't always play by the rules set by the rest of the series, but this break from the normal allows Forza Horizon to excel and easily be the best game in the series while simultaneously setting the bar for what a racing game could and should be in the modern gaming industry.

In Forza Horizon, you'll experience the full, open world of Colorado from the get go. There's always something to do in Forza Horizon, and there is so much variety in types of events and locales that everyone is sure to have their own favorite while other players will prefer a different type. This discrepancy makes Forza Horizon far from repetitive, and in fact, you'll find simply driving around the open world as you zip in and out of traffic a thrill all on its own. Eventually, you'll want to try out the game's various modes, and this is where you'll find plenty of substance from the normal races against competitors to the more exciting and compelling events that require to out maneuver a plane or quickly make your way through a timed contest. You'll even find special PR stunts that task you with completing Speed Challenges to progress through races at the highest speeds possible, Photo Challenges that entices you to get a vehicle to a great spot on the map for a photo shoot or even competing in Stunt Challenges that require you to chain together near misses, drifts and other dangerous maneuvers to succeed. Of course, the game features plenty of online multiplayer modes that will allow you to compete alongside friends as well, and the gameplay is just as seamless and addictive as the single player campaign. Another really cool single player feature is called Barn Find which allows you to find hidden barns around Colorado that hold broken relics that can be restored and added to your garage to unlock additional cars to use in races.

There's so much to do in Forza Horizon that you'd actually expect the game to not look so great or dip in quality at times, but miraculously, Forza Horizon manages to fit all of this content into one game and still feature amazing high definition graphics that can rival any game on the market. A really cool day and night feature exists in the game that will have you progressing through the game with hours of the day, and a variety of terrain means you'll be able to change your surroundings at whim. Head high into the mountains to race on snowy roads, head into the city for more urban surroundings or battle it out in a more rural setting and you won't have to deal with as much traffic. Then there are the cars; these impressive works of art gleam in the sunshine and feature headlights that pop-up, convertibles with retracting roofs and motors that sound alive. The folks behind the game even went the extra step to ensure you're hearing top quality voice acting in interactions between characters and always have a good soundtrack whether you're a fan of rock or like to get your thrills while listening to some speaker thumping dubstep. Essentially, you can think of anything you've ever wanted in a racing game, and Forza Horizon has it, including a Rally Expansion that releases in December for even more racing action.

Forza Horizon is the best racing game today. No other game can match the game's high quality of graphics or gamers' insatiable need for something different each time they boot up a game for a few hours. There's always something new and refreshing to do while competing in the Horizon Festival, and gamers may very well be looking at the game of the year with Forza Horizon. You don't have to be a fan of racing games to look at Forza Horizon and tell there is something special about this newest release, and Xbox 360 owners will be happy they own their system as they're racing down the streets towards another event while using their voice activated GPS to set a new waypoint to an event. Forza Horizon is a great game whether you're a fan of racing games or not, and for racing fans, the game is essential. Make sure to pick up Forza Horizon exclusively for Xbox 360 and experience the best open world racing experience ever created!

Forza Horizon is now available from all major retailers for the MSRP of $59.99 and can be purchased exclusively for Xbox 360. Forza Horizon is rated T by the ESRB for Drug Reference, Language & Suggestive Themes. For more information on the game, check out the official Forza Horizon website.

Game Features:
  • Players 1-8
  • Kinect Features
  • Online Leaderboards
  • DLC Support
  • Achievement Support

  • Game Information:
    Developer: Turn 10 Studios
    Publisher: Microsoft Studios
    Available exclusively on Xbox 360
    Release Date: October 23, 2012

    Score: 10 out of 10
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