Forza Motorsport 2

Forza Motorsport 2 Review for Xbox 360

On: Xbox 360

Sequel to Microsoft Games' hit racing sim.

Review Verdict Read Review
9Out of 10
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Forza 2 is a car fanatic's dream come true
Forza 2 is a car fanatic's dream come true

Forza 2 is a car fanatic's dream come true

Some games seem so polished that they make others in their genre seem terribly outdated, if not lazy. Forza Motorsport 2 from Microsoft and Turn 10 Studios is one such game, combining a stunning driving model with game features that simply wouldn't be expected by the majority of gamers. If you love cars, whether that be racing them, tuning them or creating custom decals for them, Forza 2 on the Xbox 360 has it covered.

There's so much to do in Forza 2 that it's hard to know where to start. The most obvious place is the Career Mode, in which you take part in a series of events to build up your driver level. In a style similar to that of an RPG, your rating levels up as you reach certain credit milestones, with credits being awarded for your performances in races. Numerous difficulty options can be changed before each race, with harder settings resulting in more credits.

In theory more experienced players can reach the game's conclusion earlier and afford the better cars sooner as they'll earn credits at a faster rate. Novice players can race with all the racing assists on, set opponent AI to low (on high AI drivers are a real challenge) and turn off the most harsh damage modelling, allowing them to progress but it'll take longer. Because these settings can be changed at any time you can tweak as you go to ensure you always get the perfect balance between challenge and progression.

Each car in the game has a class rating and a Performance Index number. For the untrained, this number quickly informs you of the car's general performance and lets you see how upgrades will change things. All the stats are there if you want to see them, but if you just want to create the best C-class car possible, the on-screen graphic makes the effect of upgrades very clear to see. Upgrades themselves cost credits, but your performances in races often result in discounts from certain dealers, while tuning is free but requires a higher level of car knowledge.

'While it would be unwise to label Forza 2 as the greatest driving sim ever created, it is unquestionably a great achievement, with the weight and grip of each car simply feeling right.'

These options would be useless if cars didn't feel right when on the track, but thankfully Turn 10 has nailed this aspect too. While it would be unwise to label Forza 2 as the greatest driving sim ever created, it is unquestionably a great achievement, with the weight and grip of each car simply feeling right. Cars behave just as you'd expect them too, but somehow the game doesn't suffer from an overpowering dullness like many other sims on the market. Driving is hard but fun, challenging but possible, and the relatively few locations (plenty of tracks made from a much smaller number of larger courses) means that you'll quickly learn how to take each and every corner.

Forza 2 has none of the license tests of that other famous racer, but it doesn't need them. The racing assists do a great job for beginners, and soon you won't need the dynamic braking zone markers as it'll all be in your head. Forza 2 is a long way from the powersliding of Project Gotham and almost a different genre to the likes of Ridge Racer, but it's also hugely rewarding and not nearly as punishingly difficult as the first few minutes might suggest.

Racing around here at high speed is a real test of concentration

Racing around here at high speed is a real test of concentration

Forza on the original Xbox was an excellent game but received some heavy criticism from hardcore racing fans for its 30 frames per second frame rate. Forza 2 runs at a stunning 60 fps and it makes a huge difference. When you're in the groove it's as if you're gliding around the track on wheels made of butter. Compared to other modern racers the game lacks the gloss you might be expecting, but it's still stylishly presented and by no means ugly. With some beautifully crisp visuals and highly detailed car models (including damage) it's certainly a next-gen title but it's got a slightly clinical feel that might not please everyone.

You'll almost certainly try your best to stick with your first car for as long as possible, upgrading and tweaking it for every last drop of performance. Of course, at some point you'll be required to drive something else, but Forza 2 gives that first car pride that you'd usually only associate with real life. You can really show your love too, with Forza 2's paint tools enabling the more skilful among us to create some truly stunning pieces of art on their cars. The rest of us are more likely draw a smiley face and put our name on the number plate, but it's the thought that counts.

The levelling system of the Career Mode will keep you hooked, with new events opening as you reach higher and higher levels, but plenty of other modes are available. The Arcade menu includes numerous races that earn you new cars to race in and specific car time trials, giving you plenty to work through outside of the addictive but time consuming Career Mode. Replays of other racers can be downloaded too, so if you're struggling on a certain time trial challenge, you can quickly and easily get tips from the best drivers.

High performance cars take some real skill to handle

High performance cars take some real skill to handle

It's the Multiplayer menu that is likely to sap most of your time though. As well as exhibition races for up to eight players, you can take part in Career races, earning credits and levelling up as you would in the normal offline career. Tournaments are regularly added for players to take part in, a full functioning auction house is available for players to buy and sell cars, and you can view the best of the racing action across the Forza 2 network through Forza TV. The auction house itself will be a time hog for many players and makes your in-game credits far more valuable.

Achievement points span every game mode in the game and will take weeks if not months to earn for the average gamer, covering such things as cars owned, racing levels achieved, Arcade races won and cars bought and sold in the auction house. They are perhaps a little too hard to earn early on which might be a disappointment to some players, but it makes a change to have plenty that take real work to achieve.

Be aware that Forza 2 will consume your life in a way that few other games are capable of. After a few races it'll have you hooked like the very best MMOs and you won't be able to remove it from your disc tray. With a sublime racing model, superb AI, tons of content, brilliantly simple car upgrades and tuning, an unbelievable paint shop tool and all the online options you can imagine, Forza 2 is the premier Xbox 360 racer and the new king of the genre.

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User Comments

NeCa's Avatar


I tomorow buy Xbox 360, and my first game will be Forza Motorsport 2.... becuse it is perfect game!!!!
Posted 23:25 on 31 July 2009
aa-player's Avatar
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This game is the best racing game for the Xbox 360

My score 11/10
Posted 17:29 on 22 October 2007
Mataeus's Avatar
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Dbosh is right, the force-feedback wheel really enhances the experience no end. IT's also easy to use the wheel to drive, then switch to the pad for car design: Simply save the game, press the guide button in the centre of the wheel and sign out, then press the guide button on the pad and sign in.

So here I go: I buy the £99 pack with Forza 2 and the force feedback wheel and pedals. After purchasing the Pug 207 and making sure the difficulty was set to it's maximum level, I enter the proving grounds before being able to access any amateur championships.


...I am amazed. The physics are wonderful, the graphics are amazingly hi-res and silky smooth (even if the tracks are a little bland) and the AI of the other drivers is superb.

The gameplay is excellent. The little straight-from-the-manufacturer 207 handles exactly as you think it would, nice and easy if you don't over do it. Even the slight understeer does it justice. The force feedback is implemented perfectly, with the wheel going limp in yout hands as the front-wheel drive car loses traction, and battling against your grip as you try to force it around that bend just a little too fast that you know you should have scrubbed speed for...

...And then it happens. You're sideways on the circuit halfway around a blind bend, and the silver sheen of the Audi TT gives you the signal that you KNOW he hasn't seen you. He hits you side-on at 80 mph, the wheel rattles out of your hands and your wreckgo skidding over the grass to beome trapped in the gravel. Before that Audi driver can recover, the 6 vehicle long train of cars behind him concertina into each other, the fantastic physics sending the weighty vehicles spinning and flying across the track with extreme force. And it look s fantastic. The way the cars react to impact is incredible, giving a slight bounce and sharp spin before coming to a sudden halt in a plume of smoke. Does that happen in GT? No. People playing on the PS Network are still pipping each other to the post by implicating the old "Use the car infront as a break" method. Pathetic. Try that here and you're toast, buddy. Not to mention you'll have to pay from your winnings to get the beast fixed.

Gonig from that on upto the infamous Dodge Viper, and you get that magical feeling you got when you first bought it in the original GT. It's a RF demon, testing your driving skills to the limit.

The upgrades are fantastic too, all the generics you'd expect from a car-modding simulation (Flywheel, driveshaft, turbo) plus a few you don't expect to be able to mod. And of course the fantastic paint tool. I majorly prefer this to a 'free draw' type tool, as that would limit the design of course to those with artisitc talent. With this tool, the artists can flourish by using the hundreds of tiwstable, stretchable, sizable, morphable decals and the layman can get great results too by applying basic patterns and pictures (including this time letters and animals). 1000 layers per car area (left side, right side, top side, front bumper, rear bumper and wings) mean that only those creating a mobile Sistene Chapel will be limited. even then, a clever artist would probably get away with it.

Okay, so the front-end isn't as attractive or intuitive as, say, CM Dirt's, and the track graphics are a little basic and polygon light. But all locked at 60fps gives a full on smooth driving experience where you are in control of every 60th of a second. Adn the replays look fantastic, when the cars come over the hill the graphics engine is unrivalled at creating the realsim and the feeling of the original Gran Turismo. And that is indeed a compliment.

For the peopl directly comparing the grahics, track and car count to that of the latest GT installment, remember that this is only the second game in the franchise. GTHD will be the FIFTH gran Turismo game. And it STILL doesn't have Porsche and Ferrari.

With the way Forza is progressing, I know where I'd rather be this time next year.

So buy Forza 2, buy the wheel, immerse your self in the world of Forza car owning and make the game YOURS. That's what it's all about. You are the OWNER of your cars, you make them appear as you want them to appear and drive them how you wish to drive them. With Forza 2, the only limitation is the Arnco barrier.

Go for it.
Posted 15:33 on 26 June 2007
dbosh's Avatar
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as Derms has rightly said the official steering wheel really makes this game so much more playable. i got it yesterday, hooked it up & found myself actually getting real enjoyment from lapping round the nurburgring in the mk5 vw gti.

3 laps/30 mins later and i took the zonda for a spin - the difference in response from the wheel really made you feel like the cars have different dynamic setups, and you can really immerse yourself in the whole experience such that you get under the skin of the cars & tracks.

and hey, using the wheel & pedals effectively to get round the track is much more rewarding than just flicking the joypad's analogue-stick left & right.

i don't really see the graphics as a big issue when the game plays so well (esp with the wheel imo), it looks good enough to be playable and you honestly shouldn't be looking at the crowd detail when participating in a race - if you do that driving on the uk roads then you're not concentrating where you should be (unless she's a real honey!).

forza 2 is a very well done game (as the review & others have said) but you get the most out of it with the steering wheel/pedals which in itself is a decently made piece of kit.
Posted 11:59 on 16 June 2007
Derms's Avatar
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I bought Forza II & the official Xbox 360 steering wheel on Friday past!.... & I gotta say that it's the best £100 I have spent in ages!! The game is very extensive with the career & arcade modes delivering for both single player & when u've mates around!!!

There was a general consensus between all my friends at 3am & (pretty pissed) that Forza II was f**king quality esp. with the wheel!!

Whatever debates rage between PS3 & 360 owners, no1 can deny that this game is impressive. I would just like to conclude by saying that the review above helped me in my decision to buy Forza II so Mr Orry your a f**king legend!!


Posted 11:49 on 11 June 2007
thebigman87's Avatar

thebigman87@ duhh

Originally Posted by duhh
over 300 cars not 200...

Well don't I feel stupid. :blushing: :glare:

btw Have these members been banned?
Posted 09:57 on 10 June 2007
duhh's Avatar
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over 300 cars not 200...
Posted 09:49 on 10 June 2007
albi's Avatar
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i disagree with the review.. it seems nobody has ever played Forza on Xbox 1. Where are enhancement apart from Hd graphics? this Game is almost Identical to its predecessor! just some new tracks, and what about the GREAT paint shop? i was expecting at least a better way to design car..maybe on a computer ..not still the same time wasting horrible ¨Paint" like me this is simply the only one race game on 360, and this doesn`t mean it`s the best one... it`s seems that microsoft and turn 10 forgot the existence of xbox and forza motosport, a lost occasion to make a Better game from the old one.. I wonder how Colin McRae DIRT will be...
Posted 23:46 on 09 June 2007
thebigman87's Avatar


Yea but you can really compare GT HD with Forza, because one is a finished game with over 200 Cars and the other is Demo-Style Game available Free on the Playstation Network with a Couple of Time Trails.

But as soon as it becomes a Full Game than let the Bitching commence.
Posted 16:51 on 09 June 2007
ben's Avatar
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The graphics don't come close to those on Gran Turismo HD on PS3. The proof is here:
Posted 15:48 on 09 June 2007
paul360's Avatar


this is a cool game good graphics good sound (BAD PEOPLE GO AWAY) !
Posted 12:05 on 08 June 2007
thebigman87's Avatar

thebigman87@ Benzie

Originally Posted by Benzie
terrible graphics, it doesnt deserve an 8 for it, rest of the game is quiet good.

I agree to a certain extent, although the Graphics on the Cars are appealing and the Tracks look good. The Crowds are terrible especially from a Spectators view and the Track surrounding look equally as bad.

The travesty really comes into it's own when the Car's start to take Damage, I think it's far from realistic damage that you expect to get from what is meant to be a Simulation type Game.
Posted 22:51 on 07 June 2007
NinetiesKid's Avatar


Cool can't wait until it's released here in the UK on Friday!
Posted 20:45 on 07 June 2007
Benzie's Avatar
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terrible graphics, it doesnt deserve an 8 for it, rest of the game is quiet good.
Posted 19:48 on 07 June 2007
Richard Petty's Avatar
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Richard Petty

Forza Motorsport 2 for the Xbox 360 really is the best racing simulation game ever developed!

Forza Motorsport 2 is like you are really a part of the racing; it is like real life!

The cars use physics like they do in real life, and the awesome thing about Forza Motorsport 2 is the way the cars can receive actual damage!

Trust me, Forza Motorsport 2 is the BEST!!!!!!

Xbox 360 is the BEST birthday present I ever received!!!
Posted 15:08 on 07 June 2007

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Forza Motorsport 2
Out of 10
Forza Motorsport 2
  • The paint shop is incredible
  • Driving feels perfect
  • Tons of content
  • Online modes galore
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 08/06/2007
Platform: Xbox 360
Developer: Turn 10
Publisher: Microsoft
Genre: Racing
No. Players: 1-8
Rating: PEGI 3+
Site Rank: 1,422 12
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