Forza Horizon 2  Review

Forza Horizon 2 Review

Far more worthy of the subtitle "The Real Driving Simulator" than Gran Turismo, a game that could only be made more dull if it came with a free beige jumper, Forza Horizon 2 makes sure players enjoy themselves whether road-tripping to events or road-raging in them.

It achieves its goal in part due to the phenomenal car handling, which is of the standard you'd expect from the series, and can be tweaked in such minute detail that only about three people on earth know what the fuck any of it means. But it's also the setting – the perma-sunshine of France and Italy, both stacked with intricate, beautiful architecture to snake through and wide-open fields to plough over – that makes it a joy to simply drive. It's unusual to see such an accomplished sense of place outside of Rockstar's efforts.

It's a credit to the dev team(s). It's also a good job it’s such fun to drive, because the game makes you do loads of it. Which may seem obvious, but Horizon 2 is obsessed with road trips – finishing a competition means driving somewhere else so you can do more driving before you drive. It's like Xzibit made it.

It's not the strongest structure, and before long it feels like you're repeating the same old loop, mainly because you are. The world isn't densely populated (either with things to do or, erm, people), and events, too, suffer from repetition: there's loads of cars, and they all handle differently. But the races themselves aren't distinct, and the massive overlap in type (you'll race supercars through fields just as much as SUVs) can grate.

None of that, however, can take away from how good the feeling of hitting the road actually is. AI racers are rather predictable, but take to the courses (which, for an open world racing game, are both enjoyably technical and utterly over-the-top) or form a club with people online and you'll have a great time.

It lacks variety, both on and offline, and sometimes it strikes a difficult balance between arcade racing and simulation. (It's also far too easy to abuse the rewind function, a problem made worse by the sometimes unclear checkpointing). But there are very few other racing games that can boast such impressive fundamentals, and certainly not very many with a world like this wrapped around them.

Version Tested: Xbox One

8 / 10

  • Superb handling.
  • World is gorgeous.
  • Not a lot to do in the world.
  • Samey races.

Click above for enlarged Forza Horizon 2 Screenshots


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User Comments

Junkie's Avatar


"the perma-sunshine of France and Italy"?!
I've raced in the day, night, sun, and rain!
"AI racers are rather predictable"?!
During my races the driveatars have shown a ton of variety in there skills, routes, and aggressiveness. So idk wtf game your reviewing but if u want to review games u should spend more than 5 minutes playing them. What a joke and a disservice to your readers.
Posted 08:21 on 14 October 2014


I'll miss picking this up, as the first one was an unexpected joy, but I've played so much Forza at this point that I'm looking forward to getting stuck into Driveclub instead.

TDU studio (Eden Games) is no more though I'm afraid ETO, can't see that series being resurrected any time soon, unless someone bought the rights. Shame!
Posted 08:53 on 26 September 2014
EverTheOptimist's Avatar


I agree with pblive - I watched a video of this earlier where the race began with jets soaring overhead with coloured trails and then racers smashing through hay bales like they were pockets of mist. It looked really fun, but I'm not sure it's a driving sim haha. Still, driving sims are properly dull to me, so that's a good thing.

Watching videos of FH2 just makes me look forward to Driveclub because I don't have an Xbox One. I think there are still rumours of Test Drive Unlimited 3 too.
Posted 09:45 on 25 September 2014


I know the first line of a review is supposed to catch the eye to encourage further reading but, really? Much as I am disappointed by every Gran Turismo after number 3, I don't think you can call Horizon 2 "The Real Driving Simulator" in any sense of the word. I mean, have you ever tried driving a Supercar over a field? It would last about 10 seconds before grounding out! The standard Forza series is more worthy of that title. :)

Anyway, aside from this, great review and looking forward to playing the game when it finally unlocks on my Xbox One.

Will you be reviewing the Xbox 360 version to compare the difference? It sounds like it will be a completely different experience to me.
Posted 09:07 on 25 September 2014
Clockpunk's Avatar


If only it came with even a single Spyker... :-/
Posted 08:14 on 25 September 2014

Game Stats

Forza Horizon 2
Out of 10
Forza Horizon 2
  • Superb handling.
  • World is gorgeous.
  • Not a lot to do in the world.
  • Samey races.
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 03/10/2014
Platforms: Xbox One , Xbox 360
Developer: Playground Games
Publisher: Microsoft
Genre: Racing
Rating: TBC
Site Rank: 319 31
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