In Scotland, we have a few sayings to sum up how into something you are. For instance, if you were chocolate daft or chocolate stupid you would love chocolate. I’m not really sure how this came about, and I don’t care enough to inform myself but for some reason we’ve taken that daft/stupid methodology and applied it to the word mental.
Mental when used informally can mean mad or insane and whether it’s right or wrong I’m going to say it right now, I’m Forza mental. I bloody love Forza. I’ve followed it from its humble beginnings on the original Xbox. I love a good sim racer, and in my eyes Forza delivers.
Back in 2012 a studio called Playground Games decided to take the Forza name and work with the aid of Turn 10 and Microsoft to create something a bit different for the franchise. They wanted to capture the magic of the likes of open world racing as seen in games like Need for Speed whatever the hell, Burnout Paradise and Test Drive Unlimited.
Playground Games are made up of a pretty strong team of people born out of developers from other studios that have worked on titles such as – Juiced, DiRT, Toca Touring Cars and even the best arcade racer ever (IMO) Project Gotham Racing. So Horizon was due to be something epic.
What a damn good job they did. They linked a fictional music festival to an interpretation of Colorado, pumped it full of gas and let you loose. There were circuit races, point to point and even wacky challenges (race the biplane, bitch!), a day night cycle and multiplayer, but it wasn’t perfect – first attempts rarely are.
Fast forward to the present day and Forza Horizon 2 is about to land in the disc tray or hard drive of YOUR Xbox One, you lucky devil you. This year it’s full of extra promise, they’re growing the brand and want you to taste the gasoline, to smell the burning rubber, and to weep at your insurance premium for the year. 210 cars to play with, a setting in Southern Europe and more of what made the last great with the added bonus of drop in multiplayer. Everything is on a grander scale, with the same brilliant input from Turn 10 and the dark overlords that are Microsoft. There’s dynamic weather (a first for the series), and whilst the game is only running at 30fps it still looks stunning. So before you get all pissy about 30fps, the technical hurdles involved with getting an open world game to run at 60fps whilst you’re travelling at 200mph in any direction would be no easy feat.
Forza have this reward system that they’ve been running for a while now, it gives you a score based on your culminated Forza efforts – how many achievements you have, etc. This system gives you points and monthly money to use in game. This year like last when they kicked the whole party off, they’ve decided to reward players with cars for Horizon 2 from the very start, depending on your tier. Now since I’m a badass mega racer I’m in the top tier, so I’ll be rewarded with some seriously ridiculous cars. Here are the rewards:
Forza Horizon 2 Launch Rewards
Tier Level 2 – 2011 BMW 1 Series M Coupe
Tier Level 3 – 2013 Viper GTS
Tier Level 4 – 2015 Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4
Tier Level 5 – 2014 Local Motors Rally Fighter
Tier Level 6 – 2013 McLaren P1
That’s just brilliant, but when does all this mechanical mayhem kick off? Well it kicks off on September 30th in the US, and October 3rd pretty much everywhere else. I know what you’re thinking though, you’re thinking Baz you just haven’t given me enough of a taste of this wonderful game. If only there was a demo out on September 16th, with a full on event that you can win in game rewards from and maybe even an extra Xbox One for the bathroom. Well that’s lucky because they’ve lined up Forza Fuel for that very reason. You pick a team and race in each of the four events from the 15-18th of September (don’t ask me how, the demo’s out on the 16th). By the looks of it there are 8 Supercars to go with the 8 teams you can choose from. Here’s a few trailers to lubricate your pistons. That sounds filthy, sorry.