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My Forza Horizon Review (Yes, The Full Game, Not The Demo)

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    My Forza Horizon Review (Yes, The Full Game, Not The Demo)

    Let me preface this by saying I'm not a writer or a professional game reviewer. I'm just a random dude on the Internet who loves cars and video games and loves it even more when the two come together. So here we go!

    I was lucky enough to receive a retail review copy last Monday and have been playing it excessively ever since. Infact I already beat the whole damn game. Yeah, it's fun.

    For those not aware, Forza Horizon is the latest game in the Xbox 360 Forza racing series. However unlike previous titles which center on racing around real world as well as imaginary race tracks, Horizon is an open-world game, meaning there's a big huge map/world of roads, complete with traffic. Races are done on these streets, sometimes with traffic but mostly without. The location is a fictionalized version of an area in Colorado with some canyons but mostly a lot of forests and open-ish areas.

    What I Like:
    • The graphics. I keep having to remind myself that the Xbox 360 is 7 years old! Crazy what they can do with such dated hardware. That said it's obvious it's still a console game. For example the car models in the rear view mirrors are hilariously bad. The PC gamer in me wishes something like this would come out for the PC so I could see it in glorious 1080p (or better) with the graphics cranked up.

    • The location. Racing games that revolved around tracks never appealed to me all that much. How many times can you go around the same loop before it gets boring? What if you just want to cruise around? That's the advantage of a world-based racing game like this one. It's not Test Drive Unlimited style where you can literally go anywhere you want (you have to stick on the roads) but that's okay. That just means they can invest their time in the roads themselves and make them look good instead of having to worry about some hill 5 miles from the nearest road. There's also fun things like speed cameras and a leaderboard for each one.

    • The physics (for the most part, see below). Yes, really, I like them. I own Forza 4 and Gran Turismo 5 and have barely played either of them. In order to properly appreciate a sim game like those two, you pretty much have to have a wheel and be really dedicated to refining your driving skills to shave seconds off your laps. You can't just jump in and have fun. On the flip side, the silliness of Need for Speed physics and stuff is too far in the other direction. You shouldn't just be able to go into a corner at full speed and just powerslide through it. Horizon is a happy medium.

    • The soundtrack. Only three radio stations but each has a decent sized track list so you won't find yourself constantly listening to the same song over and over again. The music choices are also really good -- there's an electronic/house channel, a smooth channel (indie sorta), and a more traditional rock channel. I actually ended up turning down the sound effects in the game so that I could better hear and listen to the music.

    • The cockpit views. Every single car has a cockpit view and each one is gorgeous. Normally I don't like driving cockpit views in games because the like to shake the car about as if the camera was attached to your head but it's more locked down in Horizon so that the car isn't jumping all around the camera frame.

    • The car customization. Classic Forza style. I wouldn't expect anything else and need I say more?


    What I Don't Like:

    My complaints are few but I do have a couple:
    • Unpaved roads. They missed the mark on this one. The physics when on dirt just don't feel right, perhaps too much grip, I'm not quite sure -- I can't put my finger on it. All I know is DiRT did it so much better, especially being able to do awesome things like powerslide through a corner with complete control. In Horizon, it's just as if they took the pavement physics and reduced the grip level (in turn increasing understeer). The constant vibrating all over the place effect with the camera is also super annoying.

    • Unpaved racing. I could totally get behind having some rally cars, SUV, trucks, etc. and using those to race in any of the races that use unpaved roads but they don't have those. They have a WRX STi, an Evo, a Ford F-150 Raptor, an SUV or two, and that's about it. In higher tiers, they actually expect you to use a Lamborghini or the equivalent for the "AWD required" races. Somehow I don't think a Murcielago would appreciate being taken off-road.

    Additionally the gear ratios on the Viper are too short. It's in third at 100 MPH when it should be down in second probably. The exhaust note also isn't quite right, not enough growl and then scream to it. That said, it's super awesome driving a car I own in a video game in cockpit mode. Very weird feeling too.

    Lastly here's a few in-game photos I took:

    (warning, huge ass images if you click)

    Click image for larger version

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    Click image for larger version

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    Want more? Here's some press photos they included and yes the game actually looks this good.



    Last edited by Viper007Bond; October 13th, 2012, 10:35 PM.
    My Cars: 2008 Dodge Viper SRT-10 convertible (summer weekend car), 2001 Ford Mustang GT coupe (winter car & grocery getter)
    There is no replacement for displacement.
    - Wolfgang Bernhard, then Chief Operating Officer, Chrysler Group talking about the Dodge Viper SRT-10
    ... I ask Herb Helbig, vehicle synthesis manager for SRT and a member of the original Team Viper development group since day one, if they'd ever thought of adding traction control. "It comes with two," he says, pointing at my feet. "Learn to use them." Got it.
    - Motor Trend on the 2006 Dodge Viper Coupe, November 2005

    #2
    What would you score out of 10?
    My car is dark grey not black!

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Hidden_Hunter View Post
      What would you score out of 10?
      An 8 or 9 a probably, probably a 9.

      I'm not sure there's a ton of replay value or things to do once you beat the game which knocks a little off it, as does the dirt racing, but overall it's very fun. I'd get off work around 6 or 7PM and play pretty much straight until 2 or 3AM, minus stopping for dinner. I did that like 3 nights in a row. I couldn't put it down.
      My Cars: 2008 Dodge Viper SRT-10 convertible (summer weekend car), 2001 Ford Mustang GT coupe (winter car & grocery getter)
      There is no replacement for displacement.
      - Wolfgang Bernhard, then Chief Operating Officer, Chrysler Group talking about the Dodge Viper SRT-10
      ... I ask Herb Helbig, vehicle synthesis manager for SRT and a member of the original Team Viper development group since day one, if they'd ever thought of adding traction control. "It comes with two," he says, pointing at my feet. "Learn to use them." Got it.
      - Motor Trend on the 2006 Dodge Viper Coupe, November 2005

      Comment


        #4
        Thanks for the review Viper. I'll most likely buy it, but I want to play Dishonored in the meantime and don't have enough time...

        Originally posted by Viper007Bond View Post
        I own Forza 4 and Gran Turismo 5 and have barely played either of them. In order to properly appreciate a sim game like those two, you pretty much have to have a wheel and be really dedicated to refining your driving skills to shave seconds off your laps. You can't just jump in and have fun.
        I fully agree with your point here. I bought the collector's edition of Forza 4 and I barely played it so far. Most of the time, I just want to jump into an M5 or something tailhappy and drift around. I don't find perfecting my cornering and shaving tenths of a second from laptimes as much fun. Are the physics more realistic compared to Test Drive Unlimited? What's different in physics compared to Forza 4?
        "I don’t really want a Lamborghini Gallardo. But I don’t want to live in a world where it doesn’t exist." - Jeremy Clarkson

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by pepitko View Post
          Are the physics more realistic compared to Test Drive Unlimited? What's different in physics compared to Forza 4?
          Short answer: Yes, better answer: Get the demo

          Thx for the review Viper. How did you get a review copy?
          My preorder stands, I think I'm gonna like the game. While I do enjoy hot lapping and stuff, mostly I drift around in FM4 and try to have fun. Horizon should be at least as good at this!

          [18:11] MXM: it means buba is better than you now
          [18:12] sam-l: In what way?
          [18:12] Slycer: longer penis

          Comment


            #6
            Can you save replays?
            Can you watch replays for online races?

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Viper007Bond View Post
              Additionally the gear ratios on the Viper are too short. It's in third at 100 MPH when it should be down in second probably. The exhaust note also isn't quite right, not enough growl and then scream to it. That said, it's super awesome driving a car I own in a video game in cockpit mode. Very weird feeling too.
              Can you tell me if the 2011 RX-8 R3 from Forza 4 made it into this game?

              I am disappointed on a few points, I was hoping for more realistic physics and a really complete car list (since they have FM4's customization, anything can be competitive). But overall I think I have to get this at some point. Thanks a ton for the review, I've been really on the fence about it.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by afctec View Post
                Can you save replays?
                I didn't see an option for that, no.

                Originally posted by afctec View Post
                Can you watch replays for online races?
                Only reviewers have copies of the game so there's not really anyone online for me to test this with.

                - - - Updated - - -

                Originally posted by thevictor390 View Post
                Can you tell me if the 2011 RX-8 R3 from Forza 4 made it into this game?
                The RX-8 in the game is an '04.
                My Cars: 2008 Dodge Viper SRT-10 convertible (summer weekend car), 2001 Ford Mustang GT coupe (winter car & grocery getter)
                There is no replacement for displacement.
                - Wolfgang Bernhard, then Chief Operating Officer, Chrysler Group talking about the Dodge Viper SRT-10
                ... I ask Herb Helbig, vehicle synthesis manager for SRT and a member of the original Team Viper development group since day one, if they'd ever thought of adding traction control. "It comes with two," he says, pointing at my feet. "Learn to use them." Got it.
                - Motor Trend on the 2006 Dodge Viper Coupe, November 2005

                Comment


                  #9
                  So the most important question of them all - are there any Volvos in the game?
                  "It's the difference between watching great sex and having good sex." - Labcoatguy on the difference between an automatic and a manual gearbox.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Hey I hope you get more automotive games to try. You are pretty good at reviewing these types of games. Most of the other reviewers I read play all sorts of games. Those geeks don't have your geek insight.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Conclusion: Viper is the best geek.

                      PS, any idea on a ballpark count for number of cars in the game? Porsche?
                      Last edited by MadCat360; October 13th, 2012, 8:10 AM.
                      Ex rotard

                      Comment


                        #12
                        there's no tuning in this game... only part upgrades

                        there's no porsches

                        there's about 127 cars (maybe more DLCs?)

                        for real forza fans its a diversion

                        Comment


                          #13
                          No Porsches due to licensing but there are two RUF cars -- a Yellow Bird and a modern one. Not sure which exact one off the top of my head.
                          My Cars: 2008 Dodge Viper SRT-10 convertible (summer weekend car), 2001 Ford Mustang GT coupe (winter car & grocery getter)
                          There is no replacement for displacement.
                          - Wolfgang Bernhard, then Chief Operating Officer, Chrysler Group talking about the Dodge Viper SRT-10
                          ... I ask Herb Helbig, vehicle synthesis manager for SRT and a member of the original Team Viper development group since day one, if they'd ever thought of adding traction control. "It comes with two," he says, pointing at my feet. "Learn to use them." Got it.
                          - Motor Trend on the 2006 Dodge Viper Coupe, November 2005

                          Comment


                            #14
                            How about a Golf R?



                            If so I'll get it just to do things in an R that I would never do in my real R. Like take it offroad.

                            ---
                            My Facebook | My Fuelly

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I'm sure Viper didn't mean for this thread to become this, but I just gotta ask... 2013 Mustang GT?

                              1997 Audi A6 Avant 2.8 quattro - 12/2006-04/2007 - Totaled
                              2005 Audi TT 1.8T quattro - 07/2012-11/2012 - Traded
                              2013 Ford Mustang GT 5.0 - 11/2012-
                              1992 Mazda Miata 1.6 - 03/2013-07/2017 - Sold
                              1996 Jeep Cherokee 4.0 - 12/2014-



                              Twitter/Instagram: @SeenOnWoodward

                              Comment


                                #16
                                Originally posted by CrazyRussian540 View Post
                                I'm sure Viper didn't mean for this thread to become this, but I just gotta ask... 2013 Mustang GT?
                                The GT500 is in the game, not sure about the GT though.

                                I was chosen by heaven. Say my name when you pray. To the sky! See Carolus Rise.

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  I wouldn't be surprised if they just had the GT500 and Boss 302. It would be nice to drive a car you own in real life (as Viper said). I love taking the Audi TT out in Forza 4, even though it was 3.2 as opposed to my 1.8T.

                                  1997 Audi A6 Avant 2.8 quattro - 12/2006-04/2007 - Totaled
                                  2005 Audi TT 1.8T quattro - 07/2012-11/2012 - Traded
                                  2013 Ford Mustang GT 5.0 - 11/2012-
                                  1992 Mazda Miata 1.6 - 03/2013-07/2017 - Sold
                                  1996 Jeep Cherokee 4.0 - 12/2014-



                                  Twitter/Instagram: @SeenOnWoodward

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    I'm glad somebody likes the game, I thought the demo was horrible.

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      Here is a partial list of the car list.

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by jsausley View Post
                                        How about a Golf R?



                                        If so I'll get it just to do things in an R that I would never do in my real R. Like take it offroad.
                                        Yes, I saw one of the AI driving a Golf, but not sure what kind.

                                        Originally posted by CrazyRussian540 View Post
                                        I'm sure Viper didn't mean for this thread to become this, but I just gotta ask... 2013 Mustang GT?
                                        Originally posted by tobbZzen View Post
                                        The GT500 is in the game, not sure about the GT though.
                                        I believe the GT500 is the only Mustang in the game.

                                        Originally posted by Archie411 View Post
                                        I should just take 15 minutes and compile the full list.
                                        My Cars: 2008 Dodge Viper SRT-10 convertible (summer weekend car), 2001 Ford Mustang GT coupe (winter car & grocery getter)
                                        There is no replacement for displacement.
                                        - Wolfgang Bernhard, then Chief Operating Officer, Chrysler Group talking about the Dodge Viper SRT-10
                                        ... I ask Herb Helbig, vehicle synthesis manager for SRT and a member of the original Team Viper development group since day one, if they'd ever thought of adding traction control. "It comes with two," he says, pointing at my feet. "Learn to use them." Got it.
                                        - Motor Trend on the 2006 Dodge Viper Coupe, November 2005

                                        Comment

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