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Drive faster than one can imagine

Driving can sometimes get intense with the new Open World feature. The open world drastically changes the way you play the game. Photo by Abhishek Singh.
Driving can sometimes get intense with the new Open World feature. The open world drastically changes the way you play the game. Photo by Abhishek Singh.

by Abhishek Singh, staff reporter

Driving can sometimes get intense with the new Open World feature. The open world drastically changes the way you play the game. Photo by Abhishek Singh.
Driving can sometimes get intense with the new Open World feature. The open world drastically changes the way you play the game. Photo by Abhishek Singh.

Game: Forza Horizon 2

Developer: Playground Games

Publisher: Microsoft

Release Date: 9/30/14

Availability: Xbox One Exclusive

Genre: Racing

Rating: E for Everyone 10+

Being able to go on a beautiful journey to the coast of France and Italy isn’t Forza Horizon 2’s only significant feature, but it does make it one of the most beautifully crafted racing games that I’ve played in a while.

The beautiful white and red color beaming from the distance speeding on the highway feeling like a total millionaire badass is probably one of the best feelings to ever achieve in a video game. Over the weeks of gameplay, Forza Horizon 2 has still found a way to maintain a balance of car exposure and world fidelity. This is a change from the different racing games over the span of years.

Forza Horizon 2 matures up on every feature that Forza Horizon left off on. The graphic fidelity, the races, and car selection matures in the greatest possible way.

One feature that really stood out is the dynamic weather effect. The effects not only hamper the car’s driving ability and stats, but it also looks spectacular to stare at.

“I really like Forza Horizon 2 because it looks really good,” junior Ryan Knoetgen said.

The amount of detail put by Playground Games to the cars is outstanding. The player actually feels like they are driving a 2003 Ferrari. The shadow effects can sometime be a bit buggy, but the rest of the game makes up for a beautiful world.

Forza Horizon 2 justifies the skill gap between the new and expert player. It shows an easy way of picking up the game for the new person, but equally distributes skill to the expert waiting for the annual release.

These includes races and free roam that earns you credit and experience for better cars and perks. That’s right, perks! These perks can be permanently enabled that give driving bonuses and bigger xp counts.

Personally, my favorite is the wheel spin that treats the rank up reward as a random drop, which can vary from a beautiful to ugly car, to becoming a rich player to just barely making a decent cut. In the end, it perfects the gameplay from Forza Horizon in the most efficient and profound way.

Forza Horizon 2 however did take a wrong turn in the areas least expected. The game flows and runs beautifully but one area that to me removed immersion in a nasty way was its free roam Artificial Intelligence (AI).

While it impresses in races and championships, the free roam feels bland and makes me remember the PS2 days of useless AI with terrible design and performance choices. The choice left me with a bad taste in my mouth that still can’t make up with some areas since its one feature was heavily promised. The open world looks beautiful, but lacks in detail while every car feels like a zombie.

The driving community was not only given a game to be considered a great sequel, but received many more to come in Microsoft’s leaning path of the Forza series. It’s impressive how the second next generation racing game deserves the real next gen title, but it only excites me more for what the future can hold, especially in the Horizon series.


Final Verdict: 9.5/10  EXCELLENT.  

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