Forza Horizon 2 Review - Driven to Perfection


Ever since I was a child, I have always been a fan of racing games. From Formula 1 to Forza Motorsport, I can’t get enough of battling it out on the track for victory. As a huge fan of the first instalment of the Horizon series, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the latest edition of open-world racing games.


The ever-familiar driving dynamics from previous Forza titles makes it extremely easy for anyone to jump directly into the game and begin driving some of the fastest cars on the planet. Supercars feel light and nimble whereas the SUVs feel appropriately slow and sluggish, yet no matter what car you are driving, you can always pull off some incredible moves.

The new world is far bigger than the small section of Colorado available within its predecessor, however, in comparison to the entire island from Test Drive Unlimited, it is still a tad small. Nevertheless, regardless of size, there is an abundance of locations available for exploration and activities present to keep you more than preoccupied. The likes of the airfield and the shipping yards are a perfect place for you to drift with friends or experiment with your new ride before a race. Skill points make a return to the series but instead of gaining “Popularity” like the original Horizon title, now the points accumulated are used to unlock permanent perks such as discount on cars and upgradable parts.

With over 700 (yes 700) events to get stuck into, you can choose almost any car and compete against other “Drivatars”, a feature implemented within Forza Motorsport 5. As a result of the wide variety of events, one may find themselves within a “Showcase” race, involving a car versus machine challenge, with a big money pay-out, or even a fast-paced “Trial” event, which consists of battling it out by racing across the countryside. 

Besides the racing, the “Bucket List” and the “Barn Finds” are a welcome change from the traditional competition. The Bucket List consists of a variety of challenges using different cars from around the world. Some involve speed targets, however my personal favourite includes stunt driving around a golf course! Barn Finds require you to explore an uncharted area, in which there is an incredibly rare car hidden within an outbuilding. These cars range from a World War 2 Jeep to a Lamborghini Miura.

Arguably, one of the main highlights of Forza Horizon 2 is the fact that you are a mere button press away from the addictive multiplayer. Within the online experience, one is still able to compete in the classic head-to-head matchups, however, for those who enjoy more causal races, game mods such as “Infected” are equally as fun. As there is no separate levelling between single and multiplayer, all money and experience earned carries over amongst the two. So don’t worry if you favour one option over the other, you won’t get left behind. 

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There are over 200 models of lavishly detailed cars (excluding DLC), ranging from cult classics like the 1960s VW Split-Screen Camper, to some of the world’s fastest and most technologically advanced cars ever built, such as the McLaren P1. Much like any other Forza title, the potential for DLC is endless! With new car packs being released regularly at the reasonable price of £3.99, containing 5 brand new cars.

One of my personal favourite aspects of the game can be seen through the ability to individually customise your car. The paint tools are easy to use, however, they do take a lot of patience and skill in order to create a design worthy of your consent. Thankfully, for those who are impatient, such as myself, you are also presented with the option to quickly download an existing design upon the purchasing of your vehicle. 

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With the game being orientated around a music festival, it is important to achieve a balance with the in-game music and personally, I believe Forza have achieved this. The variety of music is so vast and diverse.

There are pieces from classical composer Tchaikovsky, Number One hits from Oliver Heldens and to top it all off, some eclectic Drum & Bass from UK label, Hospital Records. As a huge fan of Drum & Bass, the Hospital Records station is always on while I’m driving but whatever your music taste is, there is certainly something for everyone.

To finish off, Forza Horizon 2 is an excellent sequel which gives the player more of everything! It has certainly raised the bar for all open-world racing games.

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