Forza Horizon 2 (Xbox One)
Street racing series introduces high speed to the Mediterranean.
- Interesting new setting, larger than before.
- Lots of cars and races to choose from.
- Online AI driver functionality remains forgettable
- Numerous functions limited to online
Forza Horizon 2 improves its predecessor to be the next best racing game on Xbox One since Forza Motorsport 5.
Price$ 89.00 (AUD)
The original Forza Horizon was a surprise hit when it came out in 2012. Using the racing mechanics of Forza Motorsport as a foundation, Horizon moved the racing from the race track to the streets for an experience akin to Electronic Arts’ Need for Speed series. Horizon has now returned with a sequel intent on proving that its success was no fluke.
A test of skill
The setting of Horizon 2 has moved from America’s mid-west to the Mediterranean coastline. The game world is significantly larger than in the original Horizon, and the new setting affords more variety in the surroundings. It is not a completely accurate representation of the region it is based on, though it means the locations are more accessible than they would be in real life.
Spread out through the game world are more than 700 events. Horizon 2 is also more flexible in how it lets you navigate a course, so you do not have to stick to the roads if you feel there is a better shortcut. You now have the freedom to crash through fences or vegetation and go on a cross-country trip if you think it will save you some time.
The main purpose of the game is to take part in races and win, in order to move on to more challenging yet rewarding races. There is a secondary objective where you are rewarded with skill points depending on how well you drive. These points are used to acquire in-game perks, such as making certain cars more affordable.
Cars for everyone
Horizon 2 comes with more cars than before, with a line-up of more than 200 vehicles to choose from. The car selection spans high performance coupes to exotic sports cars, though there are also everyday cars and SUVs in the mix. Forza 5 was one of the more visually impressive games on Xbox One when it first came out, and Horizon 2 does a good job of maintaining this visual fidelity.
While a lot of the racing action takes place during the day, the game really comes to life at night. Lights sources are rendered in real-time, so the illumination moves and bends in a realistic manner, and the long draw distance means far-off objects are also visible. The rain and water effects are also impressive, and the game maintains a solid framerate throughout.
Weaker aspects of Forza 5 were the modest scale of the game and the microtransactions required to bolster the experience. Horizon 2 fortunately overcomes these shortcomings, though it does bring over the online AI driver functionality from Forza 5. This feature was not that compelling the first time around, particularly if you mostly play the game off-line, and it remains uninteresting now.
A new challenge
Horizon 2 comes a good time when Xbox One owners are ready to move on from Forza 5 to a new challenge. The open world street racing that made Forza Horizon is intact in the sequel, and the game benefits from a new coat of paint thanks to the Xbox One hardware. There is a lot of content aimed at online players, though there is more than enough for single players looking for high speed thrills.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 2 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 3 Tag Heuer Connected Smartwatch and Android Wear 2 review
- 4 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 5 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Watch us play Vanquish on PC
- Tannenberg expands Verdun's World War I horrors to the Eastern front
- MSI Wins Computex Best Choice Award 2017 for a Record-Breaking 5 Products
- Destiny 2: The 5 key things PC gamers need to know
- The Windows 10 Game Bar: What PC gamers need to know
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- MSI GE72 7RE Apache Pro gaming laptop review
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- FTProcurement OfficerACT
- FTSenior Security Engineer x 3NSW
- FTJunior - Mid Level Technical Customer SupportQLD
- FTSales Lead / Sales Executive - Enterprise IT Healthcare Perm - North RydeNSW
- FTAccounts and Office AdministratorNSW
- FTIT Support EngineerNSW
- CCICT Security Systems AdministratorNSW
- TPWeb Developer - Front End focusQLD
- FTHCM Project Manager & Service Implementation Manager - SAP HRNSW
- FTDigital Marketing Executive / Content ProducerNSW
- FTSupport Analyst - TallymanVIC
- FTPMO LeadNSW
- TPBI ConsultantNSW
- FTSecurity ConsultantQLD
- FTSenior .Net DeveloperNSW
- CCSolution DesignerNSW
- CCSolution Designer with PEGA experience- TelcoVIC
- CCMid-level Business Process Analyst (Automation) - Contract - ParramattaNSW
- FTUAT CoordinatorQLD
- CCPega DeveloperACT
- TPIT Training OfficerQLD
- FTSQL BI Report DeveloperQLD
- FTNetwork SpecialistNSW