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Customer Review

65 of 78 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If Forza and Dirt had a baby..., October 23, 2012
This review is from: Forza Horizon - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
I've got to play almost 3 hours of Forza Horizon so far. Initial thoughts are that it feels like a blend of Dirt and Forza series in one. The menu's resemble Dirt, and the feel of the cars is a blend of both simulation and Dirt-like arcade feel. I love the handling, but it's definitely not 100% realistic. It is very easy to drift cars and that makes it a blast to drive. In real life, it's much more difficult than that. Unless you're drifting AWD in snow, that's easy! I've turned off all assists, and in doing so have doubled my winnings per event from the bonus you get for turning off assists and other difficulty settings.

All the upgrades are still there, the liveries, etc. The open-world is pretty awesome, but not even close to as big as I was expecting it to be. A good 2 hours of my playtime was spent driving around exploring, and I've already covered a little over half the roads in the game. If I hadn't of stopped so frequently for participating in the minor tasks I probably could have driven every road already.

The awesome part of this game is that it doesn't take long to get into some good cars, unlike most racers. You can choose between an '11 STi and an Evo X within the first 20-30 minutes of play. You have to choose one for an offroad race event early on. I chose the STi, as I owned an 08 WRX until recently, and loved it. I left it stock for the first hour of play. It sounds just like a Subie should! I found a golf course fairly quickly and proceeded to 2nd gear drifting all over that place for a couple minutes. Man that was fun! There are key areas all over the map where you can find good spots just to have fun drifting. There's also plenty of dirt-road sections to have fun on. The developers did a great job of making these surfaces believable. You can feel the bumps, and really see how the road surface effects the gas pedal/acceleration of the car.

Before my second hour of exploring, I decided to do some minor upgrades to my STi. I chose exhaust, new fuel injectors/pump, CAI, lowering springs, front & rear swaybars, etc. Everything I chose to upgrade was mimicking how I had my prior WRX set up. I tried to simulate the same estimated power. I'll have to try driving the I-70 interstate in game and seeing what the top speed is. Speaking of speed runs, there are some hidden race tents you can find that unlock and act as fast-travel stations if you wish to use them. Each one, so far, has three events you can opt-in to complete, and in any order. Winning these events gives you a discount for fast-travelling to that station. Win all of them, and you can travel there for free! One of the events let me drive a Bugatti Veyron and I had to achieve a top speed of 235+. I hit 246mph, which I thought was very high. The sensation of speed after you hit 200+mph is simply insane! That's crazy fast, but then I heard on the radio about one of the computer guy's breaking 256. Wow!

Speaking of radio, you have three stations, including an off position. You can switch at any time by pressing right or left on the d-pad. One is an electronic style/dubstep mix. Another is rock, and the third is bass/pop heavy songs. The soundtrack is great! I usually turn off racing music as I hate the soundtracks to most of them and usually only want to hear the engine of the car I'm driving. I initially turned the music down to half, and fairly soon turned it back up to full. You can still hear the roar of your car's engine, but you also get the music. It sounds really good coming through any decent set of speakers, and especially so with the right surround sound and subwoofer. Enjoy it!

The events in the game unlock according to your rank, which I think you start around 265 or something like that. I've already broke the 200 barrier. I think the end goal of the game is to become #1. It really seems like I could blow through this game very fast, as I'm under 200 already with just under 3 hours played. It's not necessarily a bad thing, as the online can always take up way more time. I have only done a handful of events so far, so I'm not sure yet if you are even required to do any events in order to rank up to #1. So far, I've simply been exploring the map, and have gotten most of my rank increases from burnouts, drifts, smashing street signs, close-encounters with traffic, excessive high-speed, etc. You automatically rank up after accruing a set amount of these points.

There are 100 red signs hidden around the map. If you drive through one, you receive +1% off all auto-part upgrade costs. In theory, if you find them all, every upgrade is free for all cars. I'm already up to around 27% off upgrade costs. Also, randomly on the radio there will be an announcement about a hidden car in a garage nearby. I know if you drive to the garage you unlock that car, but I haven't yet found any of these. I think I've found a couple barn locations, but I am thinking that you have to go to the one that is announced specifically at the time it is announced in order to get it. I'll find out as I play more.

I believe all the A.I. cars you see driving around are real-world vehicles. I've seen your standard buses, trucks, rear-ended a Ford, and I think I've seen the new Subaru BRZ driving around a couple times as a random civillian. I'm crossing my fingers and hoping that I can get that car eventually. I want one of those bad. All the other A.I. racers in-game are driving their cars around in real-time as well. If you get up behind one of them, you have the option to challenge them. You'll immediately get put into a race 1 on 1 to a random location on the map. The GPS will help guide you there, but it doesn't matter how you get there, as long as you get to the finish first!

The GPS in the game is actually quite good. It's a little annoying listeng to the turn-by-turn directions when a good song is on that you are trying to listen to, but the GPS does a great job if getting you where you need to go. You can open the map at any time and change the location of your GPS tracker, or turn it off. The world-map is great, although I do wish I could zoom in/out just a little more.

So far, I'd give the game an 8/10 in my book. Initially it's been very fun, but only time will tell on how my opinion changes, especially when compared with the upcoming Need for Speed: Most Wanted, another open-world racer due out next week, 10/30. For Forza fans, if you're looking for a realistic, simulation like all the other Forza games, this really isn't it. For fans of the Dirt series, there's plenty to like, and you'll feel more at home with the handling. It's still a good blend of the two. The driving feels fun and that's what's most important for an open-world racer!
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Showing 1-10 of 26 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 23, 2012 8:13:12 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 23, 2012 8:15:41 AM PDT
Audio Dream says:
Is there a Replay feature where it shows multiple views of your car? Forza 4 got a really nice replay feature where you can watch your race again.


Posted on Oct 23, 2012 9:28:45 AM PDT
H. Jones Jr says:
Good review, but I would like to point out that the GPS voice feature can be switched off. I found her annoying as well! :)

Posted on Oct 23, 2012 9:44:56 AM PDT
J. Freitas says:
Excellent Review. . . I ordered Forza via Amazon. . .didn't pay for the express shipping. . .kicking myself now.
I've been spending hours just playing the demo. AWESOME FUN demo alone. Cant wait for my package to arrive.
Look me up on XBOX, gamertag "Rabid Roosta", we'll go for a drive.

P.S. . . .already bought a '57 Chevy. . .can't wait to customize it. ;)

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 23, 2012 10:02:25 AM PDT
Thanks for the info on the GPS, H. Jones Jr. I'll look into it.

Audio Dream - There is a replay option after each event you finish. I haven't tried it out. I was too eager to keep playing last ight. I know that there are multiple views of your car when looking to buy a car, so I'm sure the replay feature also has various camera angles.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 23, 2012 10:28:24 AM PDT
H. Jones Jr says:
No problem, I really appreciate a good well written review and your's is. Usually the reviews posted the day of release are junk...

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 23, 2012 10:55:58 AM PDT
Audio Dream says:
Thanks Christopher!!

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 23, 2012 9:51:01 PM PDT
There are tons of camera options to use while in instant replay mode. It's more in depth than I would have thought.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 23, 2012 10:46:27 PM PDT
Audio Dream says:
I was told by another player that Forza Horizon does NOT have a Replay feature. But here you are telling me there are so many camera options to use while in instant replay mode. HA HA HA

So which one of you is making it up?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 24, 2012 4:44:52 AM PDT
D. Magill says:
Anybody else disappointed by the car selection? Seems the game is sponsored by Ferrari as there are about 20; paltry for most other makes...and no Porsche?? Photos for parts upgrades taken directly from Forza 4 as well. Be ready to pay extra $$$

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 24, 2012 5:07:15 AM PDT
There is a replay feature. I used it last night, and that's why I updated with my comment. You have an option to instant replay each race event after you've finished the race.
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