Forza Horizon Preview

Forza is hands down my favorite racing franchise ever. Period. I am the most hardcore Forza fan on the NovaGamer crew, they will all agree. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate on others. Need For Speed: Most Wanted (the original) is one of my favorite games ever. I’m totally stoked on the new one coming out later this month. Forza just always “felt” amazing. The controls were tight and what you expect when you are drifting through a corner at high speeds. The cars felt different from what kind of drive the car was, front, rear, maybe even all wheel drive. Everything just felt like it should. It was a true “sim”.

Now, Turn 10 decides to hand the reign over to Playground Games, a UK based development studio. I won’t lie, I was worried. A new studio? Not to mention it was not a full simulation game like I am used to from the Forza franchise. That’s what Need For Speed is for. I didn’t follow the development cycle like I do on a regular Forza game. Watched trailers here and there, but not really focused on it. Honestly, I was more focused on the Need For Speed: Most Wanted reboot.

Turn 10 released a demo this past Tuesday (October 9th) so I decided to spend some quality time with it to see if my skepticism was warranted. The demo starts you out on the open road heading toward the Horizon Festival with the previous years winner just ahead of you. Your start car is a 2013 Dodge Viper GTS. Not a bad car to start off with. One thing Turn 10 nailed on the head repeatedly was that the complete Forza engine is intact in Horizon, and yes, yes it is. The Viper felt great as I whipped down the Colorado highway. You can really tell it’s all Forza under the hood. Once you get to the end of the first race you will be directed to your first real event, a off-road challenge. Off-road in a Forza game?? It works great. You’ll be in the seat of a Mitsubishi Lancer EVO GSR. All-wheel drive at your fingertips while you blast around dirt corners. I couldn’t believe it was a Forza game I was playing. Their work really paid off. Nailing the drifts around the corners in style, while earning your points that will help boost your characters bragging rights and popularity.

Next, you’re thrown in to a “win the race, keep the car” situation. The car? A ’70 Ford Mustang. The opponent? A Mustang airplane. You race a friggin’ airplane! It’s great how it keeps you on the edge of your seat as you see the plane racing toward the next checkpoint, hoping you are there just in the nick of time.  Once this race is finished you are told to go to one last race. High stakes, big money for the winner. You hop back in your Viper and make a mad dash for the finish line for the big purse.

Now you are free to roam. See just a small snippet on what Forza Horizon has to offer. The environments look amazing. The cars, in true Forza fashion are stunning. Wrap all of this new, arcade style racing in the Forza 4 engine, and you color me impressed. I went in very skeptical to this new formula for the Forza franchise and come out very intrigued. Turn 10 has done something very smart here too, release a demo just a couple weeks before release to try and sway those who are on the fence in their direction. Well played Turn 10. I know it may help me in my decision.

What do you think of it all? Leave your comments below!

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  • Daniel Mason October 12, 2012

    I played the demo the other day too and your right it did feel like a true Forza game. Plus the off road race was awesome!

  • Mark October 13, 2012

    I actually wasn’t looking forward to this…Dave you can hit me for this one, but I felt 4 was very simillar to 3… That being said after reading this, I HAVE to try it! It seems the changes are just what I was looking for

  • Dave O'Laughlin October 13, 2012

    I swear I won’t hit you Mark… Forza 3 and 4 had their similarities yes, but I feel it was a better simulation with the driving. AI wasn’t the greatest. You had to smash your way a lot of times to get to the front, but I think Forza 4 was great, and the way the career was done was excellent!

  • maryjane69 October 15, 2012

    I love how excited you are, your review on this tempts me. I think you helped me make a decision. Your detail and desire fed mine and left me wanting more.

  • Daniel Mason October 16, 2012

    @maryjane69 the demo is available on XBL now so you should try it out if you are thinking of picking it up.

  • Dave O'Laughlin October 16, 2012

    Glad I could help :)

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