The Making of Forza Horizon, Digital Founry Interviews the engineers and technical director of Forza Horizon.
"It has given us a great new lease of life to focus on a single-platform game; we can be a lot more aggressive and the freedom is refreshing. We found we can extract a lot more performance from the Xbox 360 and still feel like we could do more."
Some important excerpts;
"Playground Games didn't take the obvious safe route and simply iterate on the existing formula using the established engine: instead the fledgling developer took that technology, retained its core attributes and then expanded upon them, taking the whole franchise in a new direction."
"The existing Forza engine is no slouch here - the image-based lighting of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (a technique that "wraps" the environment around the cars) was impressive running at 30Hz, but it becomes a thing of beauty at twice the frame-rate. Gamma correct HDR is also implemented, ensuring that detail stands out in all lighting conditions."
"In an era where game developers are killing off the memory and bandwidth-intensive MSAA in favour of the much cheaper post-process equivalents, Playground's solution is comparatively lavish. Not only is 4x MSAA retained - in line with the replays and time trials of Forza Motorsport 4 - FXAA is added too."
"Somehow, Horizon manages to maintain its exceptional standards with a level of consistency we rarely see in modern gaming."
"A few minutes in the company of Forza Horizon makes you realise that this isn't strictly true: most console games target 30FPS - Playground's debut offering is remarkable in that it actually hits that target without fail, transforming the experience. We've been conditioned to accept that frame-drops and screen-tear are necessary evils: in this respect, Forza Horizon is refreshingly compromise-free."
"The overall look and feel of the game is almost untouchable, with an extremely high standard of production values applied to almost every visual element - everything meshes together beautifully, making for a best-in-class presentation."
Some pretty positive remarks for Forza Horizon's technical standing; I'm surprised they polished it so incredibly well even after going from 60Hz to 30Hz and considering it's a whole new developer working on this--granted in their defense, they were hardly run of the mill. Well done, Playground.