Testing video games should be fun. Some of the events we’ve been to in the past sometimes forget about that. Creating a stale business environment with a TV and game console as your only sign of enjoyment. Turn 10, creative minds behind the Forza franchise, made sure we had plenty of fun testing their newest addition to the series Forza Horizon at the car hotel that is Auto Concierge.
Inside we were greeted by two rows of automotive concubines. A McLaren MP4-12C, Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera, Mercedes SLS AMG and Audi R8 Spyder were just a few of the note worthy temptresses.
Dan Greenwalt, Creative Director of Turn 10, awaited us at the end of the automotive threshold ready to explain what Forza Horizon had in store for us. “Horizon melds the fun of arcade and skill of simulation into one enthusiast/culture driven game. Allowing cars to enter the conversation of daily lives beyond racing and more from car lovers everywhere.”, Dan proclaimed. Its clear the guys at Turn 10 love cars more than the average gamer and finally have introduced a game to truly enjoy the entire personal driving experience.
While simulation games stimulate the need to compete, Horizon is liberating, intuitive and carefree. If you are looking to shave tenths of second off your lap times, this game isn’t for you. Horizon allows users to fall in love with the cars they race and push the limits of their driving in a fun outdoor competitive environment.
Forza Horizon is for enthusiasts with racing tendencies. Not everyone has the patience to sit in front of the screen clipping apexes forever. Most just want to cut loose on a country round blasting some tunes. Horizon gives users the ability to earn hooning points set against the iconic roads of Colorado in one giant open-road map. On the map you can create GPS destinations to your next racing event or, while en-route, you can challenge other racers on the road to special events. If you happen to be on your way to a race but want to plan the next one, using Kinect voice commands the GPS will automatically plan your next route.
Tuning in the game is as fun as tuning in real life. We dove into the garage and counted 50 various wheel companies along with some of the best name brand performance options that really could turn your Mk3 VW Corrado VR6 into a Ferrari killer.
Graphically, the game is beautiful, of course a 50+ inch HD LED flat screen helps but... hey we aren’t complaining. Environment reflections, ambient lighting and even damage make the car look sexy. We’ve never enjoyed seeing a car wrecked set to a sunset in the Colorado Rockies as much as we have in this game.
There were a few things we hope will be addressed by the release. Firstly, loading it seems to take an average of 10-15 seconds to load each race with the same preview screen. We’d recommend flipping tips images while we wait. And no, we don’t like to listen to the digital hottie flirt with our modern mute James Dean, just let us fast forward please. Lastly, driving a FWD car and a RWD car you will notice similarities in handling. While this can be adjusted the thought of throwing your Corrado into a drift is cliché arcade but secretly enjoyable.
Take away from our session; get on the pre-order list. Yes its not classic Forza, but it is something unique and doesn’t pander to the culture. It actually listened to the people who love cars and to the people who race them. This games allows you to be what you really are, a driver. Sit back and enjoy the road, rack up some hooning points and race your friends, you won’t regret adding this to your nightly gamer routine.
Forza Horizon is due out October 23rd, 2012 (North America, South America, Asia) and October 26th, 2012 (Europe). $59.99 for regular edition and $79.99 for Limited Collector’s Edition.