Forza Horizon 2 Revisited
Forza Horizon 2 was one gorgeous open world racing game that provided a true next-gen environment to drive around in. This was displayed through the quantity of cars, the quality of the assets and the world itself. There were also advanced weather elements that were later expanded upon with the "Storm Island" DLC. This was a key entry for the further advancement of various environmental systems and an expanded world to explore. There were of course many more races to take part in and larger showcase events than ever before. The goal was to once again collect better bands and there were countless hours of exploration to take part in across hundreds of fresh roads. The setting was great and the intro video is definitely something I'll recall for a long time as it set the pacing for this experience.
Forza Horizon 2 released in fall 2014 on Xbox 360 and Xbox One. The game is the only Horizon title to not be Xbox One X enhanced and it was removed from the digital store in fall 2018 due to licensing. The game was another spin-off of the main Forza series published by Microsoft and developed by Playground Games on Xbox One. For Xbox 360 it was developed by Sumo Digital with Turn10 supporting the development of both iterations. There were many additional DLC packs released featuring cars and maps. The two core packs included "Storm Island", an expansive new area to visit and a "Porsche" expansion with various vehicles, as well as challenges. Another neat fact is that in early 2015 a standalone version released titled Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast & Furious which was based on Furious 7 that was hitting theaters.
At the heart of the title was the expansion of the open roads to drive along and further use of the drivatar system bringing more realistic opponents to the game. There was Kinect support for some navigation elements which was nice, it really was an all around display of just what could be done in a large scale racing title on Xbox One. The setting of Southern Europe was perfect presenting many vast vistas to take in across multiple distinct biomes. The freedom of open world racing was furthered by just casually coming across another race to take part in or competing against others out there.
The multiplayer elements were great providing more fun ways to play the game and mainly extra content for those that wanted to race together. The car meets helped to present a seamless world and it was just one smooth experience the whole way through. It's a shame this distinct release is vanishing as the location was great, unique and it feels like a solid standalone even at this point. To build on that it'll always be the odd one out no being given a Xbox One X enhancement.
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