HomeMain MenuNewsForza Horizon Hands-On Preview - EB Expo 2012

Forza Horizon Hands-On Preview – EB Expo 2012

When you think of Forza Motorsport, what comes to mind? A pretty standard racing game with a very mute colour palette? Well that’s what some would say, but the Forza Motorsport series has always been more than that. It’s a racing game that bridges the gap between hardcore racing fans and the casual player.

The franchise is known for it’s simple controls. Heck, the game can be played simply by holding down the trigger and steering with the analogue stick. It is really that simple, but there is always the option to make things more challenging for the hardcore fans looking for a challenge. So how does Forza Horizon fit into all of this? What does it do that hasn’t already been done in Forza Motosport? Well pardon the pun, but it broadens the franchise’s horizons.

Gone are the pure and pristine visuals that feel more sterilised than anything and in it’s place is rough and tumble aesthetics with a visual flair unlike anything that has graced the franchise thus far. For starters it is far more colourful and has a greater level of personality behind it all in comparison with past instalments in the series. There is so much more spunk, I’m honestly surprised that it is even a Forza game. I’ll let the screenshots speak for themselves in this regard.

Gameplay wise, not much has changed. Races still feel essentially the same, with the simplified control scheme that anyone can play mixed with that addictive nature of Forza racing that has become something fans of the series are now accustomed to. It’s something difficult to put your finger on, but the game has a way of sending you into a somewhat euphoric state. You don’t just play this game, you feel it. This is something you don’t find in a game too often and Turn10 Studios have mastered it over the years.

Now while races aren’t that different perhaps the biggest and most exciting change is the fact that Forza Horizon is actually an open world game. That’s right you drive around within an open world and accept a variety of challenges along the way, in particular races. One thing that I found particularly striking about this game is it’s similarity to Burnout Paradise, another open world racing game. I was surprised to discover that Playground Games (the developers working alongside Turn10 studios) actually was composed of former Burnout developers. This influence was evident and I can say as a fan of Burnout, this was nothing but a positive in my eyes.

If you are interested in an open world Forza game, then Forza Horizon will probably be worth a look in. If you have never tried out the Forza franchise but enjoy games like Burnout than you’d be well off checking out Forza Horizon. I thoroughly enjoyed the game myself and look forward to it’s release.

Luke Halliday
Luke Halliday
Senior Editor & Anime Specialist