Forza Horizon isn't your typical Forza game. In this new spin off title there is lots of new additions to the Forza games like a massive free roaming map, day and night cycle, wristbands, popularity and side races, and I will be going into detail about all these features in the review of Forza Horizon.
The first feature I will be talking about about is the Horizon Wristbands that you earn in the game. There are 7 wristbands that you have to earn in the game. Each time you receive a new wristband you are allowed entry into different and more advanced races. To earn new wristbands you have to earn points from completing races until you reach the next wristbands target score.
Another new feature you will be getting in Forza Horizon is a popularity level. At the start of the game you will be at the lowest popularity and that is 250th but you can increase your popularity at any time unlike getting wristband points. To increase your popularity you have to perform different skills like drifts, burnouts, 180's and near misses to rack up points. You can earn big points by stringing together skills and also earn a score multiplier at the end of each skill run. While on the subject of skills there is "Sponsor Challenges" were you have to complete different skill challenges for different sponsors like Rockstar and Adidas. Once you complete these challenges you are rewarded with a nice lot of cash.
One of the biggest differences from the main Forza series and this new spin off series is the free roaming. You can free roam across a massive map and while roaming you can do all kinds of things like while driving you can challenge someone to a race, you can go through speed cameras and try to beat speed scores, find outposts, discount signs and also take part in side races for big cash rewards the choices are up to you if you don't feel like playing through main races you can do any of these things or just drive around the map and enjoy the ride.
One of the big features of the map is around the Horizon Festival as it acts kind of like an in game menu. While at the Horizon Festival area you can pick up your newly earned wristbands from the drivers central, buy and sell cars at the auto show, go to Dak's Garage and upgrade your car, go to the paint shop and create or buy designs, download new content from the marketplace and finally while at the Horizon Festival you can create or join a car club.
Forza Horizon features an amazing looking day and night cycle. During the day you can see all the scenery very well and graphically it is very well done. During the night you can see fireworks going off at a distance, and that is another really nice site to look at in the game. Along with amazing looking scenery there is also other parts of the game that have really good graphics like the cars. The cars are really well done, and features realistic damage if you smash the car too much.
For the first time in a Forza game there is radio stations with music and also announcements from the radio presenters about the whole Horizon races. It was cool that music was added to make this Forza feel different there is a problem, and that is there is only 3 radio stations and the music seems to quickly repeat itself so it can become annoying for some people. Forza Horizon also adds voice overs for characters which are done
Forza Horizon still keeps a lot of features from the main series like the driving gameplay. There are also many other features that are brought over from the main series like using credits as currency, being able to add auto brake and rewind during races, take photos of your cars and upload them and the same car ranking system (Like S,A,B and C cars for example) Horizon feels like a Forza game but also something different, and this is what I think the whole idea of the game was supposed to be. Overall I think Turn 10 did a very good job combining the best of both worlds to make this spin off title.
The Final Verdict
Forza Horizon is another solid entry to the Forza series as well as the possible new spin off series. I really liked the ability to free roam around the map and just enjoy the ride instead of being forced to do races. I also liked Horizon's levelling up system using wristbands as a way to gain entry to the advanced races. I think Turn 10 did a really good job with the new spin off title, and I think Forza Horizon should become a permanent series of games so I hope a Forza Horizon 2 is in the works.
+ Free roam
+ Levelling up system
+ Beautiful scenery
- Only 3 radio stations which can become repetitive after a while