An In-Depth Look at Forza Horizons @ E3 2012
- By: CM Boots-Faubert
- Posted 20th Aug 2012
Forza Horizons is a Whole New Ballpark
When the name Forza is uttered among racing fans it immediately conjures images of the highly charged atmosphere of classic and famous raceways like Hockenheimring, Maple Valley, Sebring, Sedona, and many others, each of which demonstrates the combination of petrol rich air, screaming fans, and the roar of the engines that are what the sport is all about... What the name Forza does not conjure is street racing, ripping through the countryside in a factory spec butt rocket, and the question of what CD to play in the deck in your car... But that is what Forza Horizons is all about!
Make no mistake -- it may be an alien environment, but this is still a driving game created by Turn 10 -- and that means that it is endowed with the larger-than-life cars in both appearance and feel, the rich game worlds that Turn 10 has built its reputation on, and despite it taking place outside of the traditional gladiatorial arena that is professional motorsports, it means that the game will include a stable of uber-realistic cars from well-known manufacturers, each of which easily fits into the dreams and the fantasies of most car enthusiasts. You are not inside a cage wearing a kevlar suit -- but that is probably a good thing since you don't expect to be so sartorially arrayed in a street-legal car, right?
One of the group of amazing rolling exhibits wearing Forza Horizon livery on display outside of E3 at the LA Convention Center.
Racing games are something of a "thing" in Chez Boots-Faubert, with both of my kids being fans, and in fact when they were younger it was not an uncommon occurrence to hear the patter of their running feet whenever they heard the sound of Forza or GT starting up in my office/game room, because they genuinely enjoyed watching me play those games. My then 9-year-old daughter had the strategies down cold, and as soon as I would break out of the last turn before the long straigtaway on an iconic track in Florida she would yell "go faster daddy!" as she hugged her plushy Torchic to her chest and cheered me on!
The older that they go the more that they wanted to play the games themselves, which probably explains why Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 were at the top of their Christmas Gift Request Lists once their confidence and identity as gamers was truly established. Both of my kids have their own decks, their own game collections, and their own convictions on what the "best" racing games are. My now--14-years-old daughter firmly believes that Forza 4 is the best traditional racing game for Xbox 360, while the latest offering in the DiRT series is her favorite "just for fun" racing title, while my 16-year-old son presents convincing arguments why Gran Turismo is the better modern traditional racing title, though his loyalties for just-for-fun-racing are evenly divided between Burnout Paradise and a few of the Need for Speed titles.
Of course their opinions were established before the release of the next great game in the Forza series, Forza Horizons -- a game that I am convinced will be received as a true genre buster and that will only add to the heat and the question of what is the best game of its type.
Outside of the Microsoft Xbox Pre-E3 Press Briefing LAPD Officer Rose (pictured right) a life-long gamer, is a fan of PC MMO gaming as well as driving games.
All we are saying is have an Open Mind
Forza Horizon is the upcoming open world racing game for Microsoft's Xbox 360 console that is part of the iconic and legendary Forza Series that was principally developed by the UK-based games studio Playground Games, who worked very closely with Turn 10 in order to create a racing game that fully lives up to gamer expectations for any title bearing the Forza signature. That is important because not only do the cars need to look and feel -- and perform -- to specific minimums, the physics of the world have to be just so, and the tyres have to perform just so, and do not downplay the importance of a killer soundtrack -- especially in a title that makes road racing its new playground!
Considered to be more of a spin-off rather than the next offering in the well-established Forza Motorsports series, Forza Horizon is expected to release on October 23rd, 2012, exclusively for the Microsoft Xbox 360, and present gamers with a factory spec driving romp as an open-world game based around the fictionalized racing festival known as the 'Horizon Festival', which is set in Colorado, USA, and about which I fully expect to read claims by teenaged gamers in coming months that praise the title for being just like the real Horizon Festival, which they will of course have attended recently with their parents.