|System: Xbox 360|
|Dev: Playground Games, Turn 10 Studios|
|Release: October 23, 2012|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Drug Reference, Language, Suggestive Themes|
Aside from the basic free-roaming single-player, the game has a plethora of multiplayer modes to choose from. You will be spending most of your time in the game's competitive multplayer, taking your cars online and racing them against the best the Internet has to offer. This is another great way to earn cash and cars, as you are given a reward from a slot machine interface every time you level up in this mode. The netcode is phenomenal and you can barely tell the difference between racing online and offline. The lobby system is also streamlined and easy to use, allowing you to find other players to race with in no time flat.
There's also a "cooperative" multiplayer mode, but this is kind of a misnomer. Yes, you can cooperate with your friends to complete challenges—which, once again, dish out rewards—but that's about all you can do. It feels a little barebones compared to the rest of what the game offers. In addition, the only way to enter either of these modes is by specifically exiting out of the single-player mode; you can't drop in and out of your friends' open worlds on the fly. It's a needless separation that causes the open world to have a bit less of an impact in the long run. After all, one of the most enjoyable things to do in any game is to futz around in an open world with your friends.
I wouldn't say Forza Horizon is as "hardcore" as Forza 4 or other racing titles that are currently on the market. However, I would say it's probably more fun than Forza 4 and those other racing titles. Yes, the list of cars is smaller, the customizability is tuned down, and you don't have access to any real-world racing circuits, but none of that matters. The sheer fun of driving through the open country trumps all of this. You can tune up or down the simulationist aspects of the game to your choosing, just like you could in previous Forza titles, and this can give the game a bit more of a "hardcore" feel if you are into that sort of thing. But even the story and environment of Forza Horizon are geared toward players who prefer a more laid back approach to the racing genre.
Forza Horizon is made of pure, unadulterated open world racing fun, and I can't take off points for that.
Angelo M. D’Argenio
Date: October 24, 2012