(Finally, frankly on a personal level, I'd applaud an independent studio that wanted to make its first game a sure-fire success by aping games that preceded it in order for it to go on and do something original. But this has the weight of a platform exclusive, Microsoft Game Studios and the hard-won Forza
heritage behind it. Still, if the consumer accepts this sort of thing, we can't complain eh? Best not to at least.)
Lots to do
Easy to understand
Derivative, but what do you expect?
Tim's SPOnG Score: 5/10
Got all that? Right. Good. Here, in the name of balance and cosmic order is... well, me, Mark E. Johnson:
I wanted to lead off my bit of this review with a clever musical analogy. 'Forza Horizon is to Forza 1/2/3/4 what punk was to prog rock', or something like that. Except, of course, punk wasn't all that cynical and corporate. I've scratched around for an analogy that says 'Forza Horizon is to Forza 1/2/3/4 what a fun and well-constructed if somewhat creatively barren new music genre was to a slow, ponderous, intensely nerdy and pompous older genre'. Couldn't come up with one.
take a break from Forza
's serious, 'realistic' simulation model in favour of a faster, lighter and more open approach. It's actually fun
It comes complete with a substantial open-world map and content veritably bursting out of the disc-drive. The events are numerous and varied, ranging from bog-standard races to speed challenges to photo exercises designed only to make you look at the environment and realise it's pretty. The format is very, very familiar and doesn't need a lot of explanation.
You may well be thinking, 'that sounds a bit like Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit
!' Good on you. It is
a lot like Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit
(minus the coppers). And it borrows from Burnout
, and the presentation is vaguely reminiscent of DiRT
titles gone by. In fact, it brings very little new stuff to the arcadey end of the racing table.
has its own raison d'etre (pardon my douchiness), it's the way in which it leans ever so slightly more towards the 'realistic' end of the handling spectrum than its peers. The vehicles are all largely very handle-able, but there's a little more scope to send your car of choice fishtailing across the road than you'd find in a Need for Speed
game. It's all still fast and fun, but the slightly more challenging handling does make for slightly more challenging gameplay.
You might make the case that the extensive stable of drivable vehicles sets it a little apart, too. Just because that sounds a bit Forza
-ish don't get carried away, though. There's none of the noodling around tuning your car you'd expect of the series. But then, if you're a hardcore Forza
fan you probably already knew that you shouldn't expect anything too Forza
-y from this Forza
So: yes, Horizon
is a somewhat cynical use of the Forza
name. No, there isn't much in it that you couldn't find anywhere else. Yes, there's a fair chance that once Need for Speed: Most Wanted
comes out Horizon
will seem irrelevant. But, no, not every game has to reinvent the wheel. Forget your expectations of the Forza
brand, don't ask that developer Playground reinvents the wheel and you can probably get a good few hours of enjoyment out of Forza Horizon
. It might be a bit derivative, but it's derivative of the stronger games in its field and executes well on the bits and pieces that it's nicked.
Huge open world.
Loads of content.
A slight edge of difficulty you won't find in other arcade racers.
Abuses the word 'Forza'.
Bit of a magpie game.
Mark's SPOnG Score: 7.5/10