Why It's Not Too Early to Get Excited Over Forza Horizon

There aren't a lot of concrete details about this Forza spin-off, but there are some strong reasons for optimism.

The next game in the Forza franchise won't be called Forza Motorsport 5. In fact, it won't even be developed by Turn 10. It's a spin-off arriving this fall by the name of Forza Horizon, and it's the product of UK startup Playground Games. Now, if you're a Forza purist who's already prepared to write this game off, you might want to take a step back and rethink things. We don't know much about it yet, but what we do know has us very, very intrigued.

The first thing you need to know about Forza Horizon is that the developer, Playground Games, has quite a racing pedigree. Originally started by a handful of Codemasters veterans, the studio has since found fortune in the wake of a few unfortunate studio closures. According to Turn 10's Dan Greenawalt, Playground Games has built itself up with salvaged talent from both Bizarre Creations and Black Rock Studio--a pair of recently shuttered studios known for creating terrific racing games over the years.

So the pedigree is there. This is a shop that knows racing games, which certainly counts for a lot. But that brings up the question: What sort of racing game is Forza Horizon? Well, that's where things get a little hazy. It sounds like Microsoft won't be revealing too much about Horizon until the Electronic Entertainment Expo, but there's room for speculation.

Take a look at that trailer up there. Now, ignore for a moment the dance rave scenes, which are almost certainly the product of some overzealous marketing team somewhere up in Redmond. What piques our interest are the wide stretches of open road in the desert. It doesn't seem too far outside the realm of possibility that this could be a road trip game that has you chasing the horizon (see what we did there?) in a cross-country journey of some kind.

Tearing across open stretches of highway in a high-powered sports car is one of those deep-rooted fantasies that all car lovers share. It's the reason Need for Speed: The Run had so many of us interested before it wound up being just sort of OK. There have been precious few truly great road trip games. If Forza Horizon does end up being that sort of game, you have to believe Playground Games' pedigree gives it a good shot at succeeding.

That's a bit of speculation on our part, but there's not much to go on right now. Hopefully we'll find out more about Forza Horizon in the near future. Stay tuned.

Written By

Want the latest news about Forza Horizon?

Forza Horizon

Forza Horizon

Follow

Discussion

32 comments
cloudskipa
cloudskipa

@jpnelson82 Codemasters? What are you talking about? Playground games is largley made up of ex-Bizarre Creations staff, that alone should be enough cause for optimism. PGR 4 is still one of the best racers out there, a game truly ahead of it's time and still has an edge on Forza in terms of the "racing expereince". 

 

jpnelson82
jpnelson82

Codemasters veterans you say? I'm not impressed. OFP:RR had a nice interface, but was unimpressive as a game. Dirt 3 was about hooning, not rally racing. F1 2011 was too long, too monotonous, and lacked customisation. The Grid lacked selection, and was way too hardcore for most people. So unless Playground games has learned from the Forza team how to make a AAA racing game, I'm not optimistic. I also wonder why the spin-off happened? were people mad about the arcadey feel of FM4? You see Porsche in the advert above, is this a way of getting around the alleged bad relations between MS and Porsche? The more I think about it, the more it sounds like this will be a hardcore Forza, with Porsche cars

SadPSPAddict
SadPSPAddict

Sounds interesting - look forward to some more details about this one!

VeeArSick
VeeArSick

If Turn 10 is trusting them to represent their name, then maybe I can see some light for this game. If it lacks the physics that Forza 4 has, I won't be buying this game. I'm not interested in Arcade style racers where you can take a sharp corner at full speed.

squall_83
squall_83

What were those "few truly great road trip games"? Anyone know?

dark_rising76
dark_rising76

I want this to be what Test Drive Unlimited 2 failed to be, a true open world racing experience.

Granpire
Granpire

Anything with "salvaged talent from Bizarre Creations..." is a thing to watch in my book.

garyperson
garyperson

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Spacemancer
Spacemancer

One does not simply make a racing game trailer and not put gameplay in it.

joeingo
joeingo

I have been wanting a game with the test drive unlimited type of wide open, free roaming play style, but the physics and in-depth driving of forza. Hopefully this will be it....but I doubt it will be.

keyb0red
keyb0red

where is the chick with the bikini?

Lincvattic
Lincvattic

holy crap, chemical brothers sound track. that's awesome

BarkingSpider81
BarkingSpider81

Who just clicked this article for the hot chick in the bikini? Forza's good, but bikinis are better.

slayerSS-3
slayerSS-3

@ferrarimanf355 Nice new finally Porsche and not just Ruff :)

himsaad714
himsaad714

I would relish a game where im able to race across the USA in the gumball 3000 without the use of load screens. Being able to keep one long journey proceeding over a few days, or even being able to complete it in one sit down play-through if your hardcore enough, would be so much fun. Having officers in it that try and pull you over and end up chasing you in hot pursuit. real world hazards such as traffic stopping you if you take the wrong turn. hell they need to make a real world gumball 3000 game, we have the tech and we have the know how, now lets make it happen.

reducedfat
reducedfat

no guys it actually is too early. that trailer doesn't seem to indicate anything about the game.

Judeuduarte
Judeuduarte

This trailer reminded me of Gumball 3000. it would be epic to play that race

sheikweight
sheikweight

No night races in Forza 4 gahd I should of researched the game before buying. Oh well..trade in for a new controller.

Smokescreened84
Smokescreened84

I wonder if they are going to try a Test Drive Unlimited take with the series, if going by the last few seconds of the trailer. I wouldn't mind that - character creation with gender choice, earning your cars in a Test Drive Unlimited fashion, races, events and more. The series could do with a face lift in areas since it can get boring fairly quickly. Might be worth keeping tabs on.

talshiarr
talshiarr

I've been hoping someone would make a racing game in less "exotic" locations where you can tear across the country with real scenery like a flight sim. From L.A. to San Diego, say, during rush hour naturally. With cops.

DreadfulGlory
DreadfulGlory

I am still a NFS fan. This game looked alright, for what little bit of gameplay they actually showed.

Berkut666
Berkut666

Meh. Bored of the Forza and GT games, they are all the same.

X-7
X-7

Forza is good although that trailer was'nt. :P

anarchy2010
anarchy2010

as a long term fan of forza. (from day one) i would just be happy if there where more tracks for Forza 4. insted of just the same old tracks proted up to the new engine, and not get rid of the ones that evary one likes! hows that make secnes? (rant over :P) I will still wait for final jugment when it gets reviewed. you never know you mite be alble to port your cars from F4 to Horizon. that would rock.

RandyAU93
RandyAU93

Starting to sound a bit like Forza does "NFS: The Run" to me. Promising ...

hickabickabooya
hickabickabooya

I always enjoy a good racing game, and if a quality production team can put one together, then I'm all for it. I'll keep my eye one this one.

Gv0zD
Gv0zD

Seems like a mix of Forza and Test Drive Unlimited... I'm in! ;)

Raxyman
Raxyman

I like Forza, it's a good game on itself, despite MS's money milking... Now a Forza made by the racing genre experts Codemasters... Is something to look forward to.

ElJefeDeMedios
ElJefeDeMedios

As a Forza freak ... an open road-trip format would be a welcome change.