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Forza Horizon: A Closer Look with Playground Game's Ralph Fulton

When thinking of Forza, it is easy to think of your typical racing simulator. Buy a car, customize it, earn money through races around well-known tracks and then customize some more. But what about a racing game which allows you to cruise the highways? Maybe even challenge your friends by seeing who can get the highest recorded speed from an in-game speed camera? (don't try in real life kids). Well that is what you get with Playground Games' Forza Horizon. 

Last week ShopTo got the chance to get a hands on with the game as well as having a brief chat with Ralph Fulton from developer Playground Games, about the game and what it was that he and his team wanted to achieve with Forza Horizon.

One of the first things we chatted about was the cars and what they'll bring to the game. After all what is more important in a racing game than these fantastic driving machines, which range from 70's classics to modern greats.

"With other racing games, cars are disposable,? said Fulton. ?You get a car and upgrade it until you can afford the next best car; but with Forza Horizon each car handles different and feels different. We want players to find a car they love to drive and get excited about cars again."

Testing the game you can clearly see what Ralph meant. Throughout the playthrough there was a selection of a few cars, allowing us to get a feel and try to find the best car that suits specific driving skills until settling with a rather lovely Mitsubishi. So much did this car suit our play style that we ended up using it non-stop. To us, the handling of the Mitsubishi was so much better and so through this we enjoyed the game more. It was nice to have this more personal feel as we drove through the huge open world of Colorado USA, which features Summer Festivals hosting an impressive soundtrack where you can attend and race other players or continue the career mode.

The free roam is a nice feature reminiscent of games such as GTA and Read Dead Redemption meaning you can literally do what you like and when you like. Futon explained to me that this is exactly the sort of impact Turn 10 is hoping to achieve when gamers finally get hands on with Forza Horizon come launch day.

?With the free-roam feature of the game you don't have to just do the main career mode. There's loads of challenges you can do in the open world and you can do it at your own pace, so if you're a hardcore gamer you can plow through all of the content, or if you're a casual gamer you can just do what feels fun!?

Although Horizon shares the name Forza, it is not the game you have come to know and love. In saying that though, it still incorporates a huge catalogue of cars, beautiful graphics and mind bending physics. Here, the aim of the game is not to become a racing legend, but to collect wristbands that unlock more races to compete in and be crowned the king of the ?Forza Festival.? 

As far as features go, within the free roam mode is the "Barn find" challenge. Classic cars are hidden all over the map in barns and if you find them, you unlock a classic car. If you are cruising through the game you can hear a radio announcement telling the racers that a car has been abandoned, giving the player a clue that is near by. If you are determined enough to find the car, you can show it off to your friends or even random players online.

Forza Horizon also features a very competitive element for you and your friends. Set challenges for players on your Xbox 360 friends list such as fastest speed achieved or fastest time finishing a race. If you are able to beat your friends, send them a message and tell them its on! This also makes you appreciate the cars that you control even more by trying out new cars to see if you can control it better. 

Of course there is more to Forza Horizon than our brief hands on afforded to tell you about. The game seems to be packed with features and it won?t stop there, since Turn 10 have already announced DLC which will be available December 18th.

Forza Horizon is definitely set to be a genre-defining racing game which looks to the bar high for other racing games to compete against. If you're not into racing games, you will be after playing this. So grab a car that you love and cruise the biggest racing simulator you will play this year. Forza Horizon will be available October 26.

Words by Craig Tester.

Edited On 18 Sep, 2012

( 5 )
Kizzy's avatar
Kizzy 4 years ago
I'm not really into racing games but the few that get my attention (Sonic and Sega All Stars Racing, Mario Kart etc) are ones that feel like can be enjoyed with the family and friends more then something like Forza/Need for Speed. But looking at the screenshots it looks like a pretty smooth game :)
scourge's avatar
scourge 4 years ago
I'm keeping a close eye on this game, basically a forza/test drive unlimited game, which could be a very good game! lets hope it doesn't have the issues TDU2 had still have to this day.
angelus3889's avatar
angelus3889 4 years ago
Ive enjoyed previous forza games but this looks like it will play out very differnet and im looking forward to its release.
Joe2120's avatar
Joe2120 4 years ago
Sounds a bit like Motorstorm in some respects. We'll see. It'll be at EGX if anyone is going.
LFC Bywater's avatar
LFC Bywater 4 years ago
Seems a bit like Burnout paradise but without the insane jumps and jus generally more realistic. Graphics are top quality though which is always standard for Forza games.

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