My first hour with Forza Horizon 2 (Xbox One)

Forza Horizon 2 Day One edition

It’s been quite awhile since two must buy games released on the same day, but the stars have aligned today in a sense with both Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor and Forza Horizon 2 seeing release. I had been quite excited for both these games and from my early impressions, neither has disappointed.

I absolutely love the Forza series, nothing comes close in the racing game genre. I never really enjoyed other ‘street’ or off the closed track racing games until the first Forza Horizon came around. Forza Horizon took everything great about the Forza series (authentic looking, sounding and handling cars, and all around great racing) and brought it off the track and it was a blast. I loved all of the different challenges in the world and the online multiplayer was amazing.

Forza Horizon 2 takes influence from Forza 5 and Forza Horizon and brings it to a new open world that’s absolutely stunning from what little I’ve seen of it so far.

First of all it’s worth noting that Drivatars return in Forza Horizon 2. I saw a lot of my friend’s drivatars in the first few races I did (they also show up in the open world) and since I only knew one other person to be playing Forza Horizon 2 so far it seems that they’re pulling Drivatars from Forza 5 and bringing them over to Forza Horizon 2 which is nice as it populates the world and gives you something more than just AI to race against.

Some other new additions to Forza Horizon include more realistic rain and cross country (off road) racing. The rain effects in Horizon 2 are pretty neat, especially while driving with the inside the car view (which honestly is the only view you should be using in Forza games!). You’ll even see your windshield wipers at work which is a neat little addition. Cross country races have you cutting through deep patches of grass and other plant life, navigating between trees (some of which are destructible) and other obstacles in between sections of asphalt or dirt road. It’s crazy looking out from within your car because you’ll find it hard to see anything and it’s an absolute thrill attempting to navigate between obstacles and other cars while trying to make your way to the front of the pack.

I have yet to try out any of the online features, but I’m excited to give them a try tomorrow. If they’re anything like the original Horizon I’m sure they’ll pack hours of fun.

Lastly, one of my favorite features from Forza Horizon is still around in Horizon 2. Everytime you level up you’ll get a chance to ‘spin the wheel’ where you can be rewarded with varying amounts of credits (including some large amounts) or even a brand new car! It’s a fun and addicting feature that’ll keep you racing toward that next driver level.




  1. X · September 30, 2014

    Okay, I know this post is mostly about the new Forza game, but I must say it really brings me joy to see another fellow regard Shadow of Mordor as a must-buy. I asume you’ve picket it up on Xbox as well, right? Could you elaborate then on how’s the presentation quality of this version? All the distributed review copies so far were of the PS4 edition and with all the rumours of the XB1’s version being noticebly downgraded circulating around I wonder how it actually performs?

    • jdh5153 · September 30, 2014

      I think it looks just fine, but I’m not one to ever notice much of a difference between even 720p and 1080p. I’m also playing on a 19″ monitor right now, so I’m sure it’ll look better when I get back home and play on a better TV. The gameplay video I posted might give you some idea, but keep in mind it’s from my Twitch stream so it’s not a completely accurate representation of the visual quality of the game.

      • X · October 1, 2014

        Thanks for the reply. I was actually wondering whether or not it pulls 60 fps like the PS4’s edition does, because I’ve heard rumours the XB1’s is locked at 30. If so, that would be a surprising disparition since so far all the multiplat titles seemed to peform quite alike on both systems IMHO.

  2. orangerful · October 4, 2014

    I am so excited about this game! I’m hoping to get a One sometime this fall (Dragonage!) and then put lots of games on my wishlist for Christmas. I love the first Forza Horizons. Very curious to hear about Shadows of Mordor!

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