Gaming Target was recently invited by Microsoft to get an early hands-on preview for their upcoming racer, Forza Horizon 2. Everything seems to be bigger and better than the original Forza Horizon and that is definitely saying something as the original is a really great game in its own right. For those who did play the original Forza Horizon and know how big the world is, the world of Forza Horizon 2 is three times larger. Just let that sink in for a moment. Forza Horizon 2 takes place throughout Europe and features over 200 cars, with around 700 events to complete and much more. I was told that you could easily get 100 hours of gameplay just playing “offline” in Horizon 2 but, of course, there is also online play so you can compete with your friends.
In Forza Horizon 2 there is no A.I. bots. The drivers you see on your screen are Drivatars similar to what you saw in Forza Motorsport 5. For those not familiar with the Forza series, Drivatars essentially allow you to race against your friends even if they aren’t play the game at that moment. The way it works is that Forza Horizon 2 takes data from how you race and that of many others and brings that data together to shape how your opponents react. What this basically means is that it is a more realistic experience where your opponents should act more like people instead of bots on a set course.
If you have played the original Forza Horizon then you are already familiar with the core concept of Forza Horizon 2 as well. The Horizon festival is back and there are a plethora of championship races for you to compete in to prove you are the best racer in Europe. As you begin racking up championship wins new locations will open up and you will take “road trips” with people to different destinations. The championships that become available to you are dependent on what type of car you are driving. If you are driving a souped up sports car, for example, then you will only have access to racing events with souped up sports cars. If you would like access to different events simply change the car you are driving and you will be good to go.
Every action you perform can net you XP and when you gain a level you have access to something called a wheelspin. This is essentially a slot machine where you will receive a random prize that could be 20,000 credits or even a new car to race. Rivals are also back where after you finish a race you might be alerted to one of your rivals posting a faster time on that course you just completed and it will ask you whether you want to race against your rivals time to try and beat it. This is completely optional of course but there will probably be an achievement relating to it so you might want to advantage of the opportunities as they are presented to you.
Forza Horizon 2 also has a really nice stats section for those of you who are completionists. It will tell you how many roads you have discovered in the game, how many barn finds you have found, how many XP boards you have smashed and much more. Forza Horizon 2 also features a dynamic weather system and, in my short time with the game, I did notice the roads getting a little slicker once it started to rain in the game while I was racing through the European countryside.
During my short time with the game it appears I have only had a small taste of everything the game has to offer. Look for our Forza Horizon 2 review later this month and tell us what you think. Are you looking forward to Forza Horizon 2?
Originally posted on Gaming Target