It's An Open-World Driving Game

User Rating: 8 | Forza Horizon 2 (Day One Deluxe Edition) XONE

Playground Games and Turn 10 have created a fabulous open-world driving game. I say driving game because that is where the game excels. It's extremely fun to just traverse the world that has been created for players. There's a ton of things to do between hunting billboards, flying through speed traps, to doing bucket list challenges. It's easy to just lose track of time doing these things.

One of the best features about this game is the two system leveling, essentially there is regular levels, which are gained through regular experience. Then, there are the skill points, which are leveled up by doing a number of things such as, driving extremely fast, tricks, narrowly missing cars, generally just being a daredevil. The skill points are leveled in such a way that you may just find yourself doing all sorts of crazy (fun) things without touching any other objectives. Not to mention I find myself losing track of time easily trying to get the max skill points.

Graphically the game gorgeous for the console. The cars look just as good as in Forza 5. The world looks great. Weather is a welcome addition, and it's cool because the rain actually affects the road conditions. You'll definitely notice it. The only drawback is the open-world forced the game to be capped at 30FPS. That's not a huge deal to me as a console gamer though. I'm sure it's noticeable that it's not 60FPS, I just don't care.

If you've managed to read this far, you may have noticed something missing. Two things in fact, and both are related to AI. First, the racing is sub-par in the solo world. Drivatars were definitely a huge step in the right direction with Forza 5, but it doesn't seem there was any upgrade with Horizon 2. My main gripe is that (in solo) the starting grid is always predetermined, and guess where you start? Near the back. Always. Frustrating. The same drivatars in a championship are always positioned near the front, and usually finish near the top. To cap off the drivatars, they are extremely aggressive. I don't know if this is because they're supposed to be based on the actions of real players, and maybe those players are just that aggressive? The other downfall of AI? Traffic, which is a mix of drivatars and AI traffic. The traffic is annoying as drivatars and traffic ingeneral make questionable choices on the road that tend to interfere with you. It's just downright annoying. Plus, from a technical standpoint it seems to me that pop-in is an issue at high speeds.

All that said, it's a highly enjoyable game that is recommended. You will find a good cost/time value here.

The final verdict: 8/10 - recommended.