Not deserving to bear the Forza title. This game should be called NFS: Horizon

User Rating: 4 | Forza Horizon X360
As a die hard racing sim fan I have been absolutely fanatical about the Forza Motorsport series since the very first release for the original XBox. Late in the summer I was thrilled to hear about the forthcoming open-world/sandbox Forza Horizon and I was strongly looking forward to experiencing the familiar Forza physics and simulation aspect of its racing series out on the open roads of Colorado.

Sadly this game has disappointed me at many levels. The simulation aspect, albeit slightly present, lacks much integrity and the handling of the cars is far too forgiving especially when the wheels make contact with the dirt. Furthermore the cars all feel roughly the same and the feedback through the controller's is really weak and disconnected. There is no feel for the road that you are driving on. Just put your foot down and drive like a wreckless idiot! There is no finesse required to master this game, just a gas pedal.

The selection of vehicles to drive is shockingly limited in regards to what the other Forza Motorsport games have to offer. However the limited choice of cars is a minor setback as regardless of the vehicle choice, the only notable difference from car to car is the sound the engine makes and what speed it tops out. I'm not saying that all the cars are the same but there certainly lacks much excitement in the driving experience from car to car.

The AI traffic is annoying at best, seemingly seeing you from impossible angles and suddenly stopping without warning. The AI racers are equally insane and unruly, with driving that is absolutely ridiculous and unrealistic. Easy and Medium difficulty are no challenge whatsoever and when the game is set to Hard or Insane the AI racers take on a seemingly impossible amount of grip and acceleration in comparison to the car that I have chosen for the race; they're in the same class as myself yet they manage to pull away like a Saturn V rocket and the only way to get ahead of them is to crash your way through and cutting corners at absolutely dumb speeds that would truly send even a Forumula1 car straight into a wall.

The game offers me some consolation when it comes to exploring the open world and driving on some very nice looking mountain roads. The asphalt is smooth and the different types of roads do offer some various driving conditions however the lack of feel with the cars handling physics quickly makes for a boring and unchallengeable drive. What is even more regrettable is the small scale of this open world. It is not very big especially if the game is compared to what the Test Drive: Unlimited series has to offer. The Colorado of Forza Horizon is small and out of scale and is quickly discovered.

Most frustrating of all is the storyline of the game: the Horizon Festival, which, paradoxically, promotes street racing in a State within a Country where such activity is illegal and frowned upon. Understandably the game is not designed to be a driver's ed game with rules of the road to follow, however the cutscenes and the characters of the story indirectly promotes wreckless driving behaviour. The game could have gone on its own without a story line to hold it together. It defeats the purpose of an open-world game when there is a linear story to follow. I Also do not need endless cutscenes that I cannot skip. Please, just let me drive!

Overall this game has completely blown my expectations to pieces. This is far from being the racing simulation that Forza Motorsport titles have offered to date. This is a full out arcade style racing game that doesn't feed a true racing sim enthusiast such as myself. The game is unrewarding and bears too much resemblance to the NFS titles being pumped out by EA. Forza Horizon is a massive let down and Horizon is completely undeserving to bear the Forza name in its title. The game should be called NFS Horizon except that EA would have done a far better job at executing the gameplay and storyline.