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post #1 of 83 Old 10-09-2012, 01:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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AVOID THIS GAME. Further thoughts on the retail version are posted here: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1433206/forza-horizon/60_60#post_22658920

In short, the game hates you as a player, is offensive, and is loaded with F2P mechanics in a full-retail package.


http://marketplace.xbox.com/en-US/Product/Forza-Horizon/66acd000-77fe-1000-9115-d8024d5309c9?nosplash=1

The demo for Forza Horizon just came out. It gives you about 45 minutes of gameplay if you also take the time to drive all the available roads.

What is Forza Horizon? It's Forza married to Burnout Paradise / Test Drive Unlimited. Given that Forza is my favorite track racer, and Test Drive Unlimited is my favorite open-world racer, this sounds like a great combination.

On the technical side, the game runs great. It runs at a very smooth 30fps instead of Forza 4's 60fps, but that is the tradeoff for a more open world. Of note is the variation in terrain and the "god rays" that the rising and setting sun cast around objects. I didn't notice any tearing when they were in play. By comparison, Borderlands 2 that I have been playing recently runs at a smooth 30fps until those light rays show up. Then it turns in to a 25fps no-vsync tearing mess. It proves that Playground has a certain level of technical mastery, and I appreciate that.

Gameplay? The handling is more arcade than Forza, but not nearly as much as Burnout. It actually feels pretty close to TDU in my estimation, at the settings that I selected. The over-load of driving settings from Forza 4 is still present, so you can probably tune it to be a bit more Forza 4 feeling for those fans. The world is fairly large, probably on the scale of Burnout Paradise. The demo lets you drive a total of 13 of the available 216 roads. At the rate of gameplay in the demo, I'd estimate 12 hours of driving before you see everything. That's probably more than Forza 4, about the same as Burnout, and far less than Test Drive Unlimited. Horizon also give you plenty of side quests to do it seems. Track down things to run over, speed traps, road discovery, etc.

The bad? Like Burnout Paradise, the game is a bunch of corridors. If it's not a road, then you aren't allowed to drive on it. One of the special things about Test Drive Unlimited is that it lets you drive anywhere you can fit a car. You see that mountain off in the distance? Want to park your car on top of it? Find a shallow enough slope to keep traction and go to town. This allowed for a lot of player-driven gameplay that we won't be able to do here. Also, TDU always found other players physically near you in the game-world to drop in to your game. I have heard nothing about this in Horizon.

In the end, Horizon looks to be more competent than TDU, but also a lot more sterile. I'm still pretty excited about it, and I did have a lot of fun driving around in it, but I wish they had hewn closer to TDU than to Forza 4.

Forza Horizon: Forza 4.5 with a better menu system.
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post #2 of 83 Old 10-09-2012, 08:43 PM
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well, first impressions is that it was a very arcadey Forza. super easy to handle. very easy to drift. hard to get in trouble.

the graphics look simpler and lower res. the speed seemed fine even though it was 30 fps. the cockpit was much simpler than Forza Motorsport 4. kind of like back to Gran Turismo level of cockpits.

The races were decent at first. But then I went to a Rivals challenge against a friend with the Mustangs... And man, I kept seeing my friend's ghost outrun me. How did she go so fast??? So I replayed that race over and over like 10 times til I finally beat her. Man, I was on a razor's edge with every turn trying to keep up and then trying to keep her off my tail. Every slight mistake, I had to restart because she had such a great run.

Man, my heart was pumping. Okay, as a single player game, I'm not sure if this is holding up, from early impressions, but the rivals mode is still great as always. Can't wait to try more and get into some real racing.

edit: alright put more time in it this time. I know they wanted a fun arcadey feeling. but is there no consequence to crashing? maybe because it's a demo and I need to change some settings for more realism. but even head on collisions don't really hurt you. the cars just bounce off you like bumper cars. I can see people getting uber aggressive in racing because damage doesn't matter.

I liked the arcadey driving and the sensation of speed was great. The GPS Kinect feature was pretty nifty though I wish you could tag the destructible signs with the Kinect which was a missing feature. I just want some consequence for bumper car action. Otherwise, people are playing demolition derby to jockey for position.
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post #3 of 83 Old 10-10-2012, 05:45 AM
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Loved it! I tried to "see" the 30 fps difference and could not. Test Drive Unlimited 2 is unplayable with a wheel, so this game is leagues beyond that one in every way for me. I've read fifteen articles about racing the plane but doing it myself was so exciting. I found Forza 4 to be clinical and boring, so I am really looking forward to getting the LE of this on the 23rd. W00t!
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post #4 of 83 Old 10-10-2012, 06:29 AM
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I'm on the fence with the controls, but the P57 versus the 429 Boss race was awesome. Never heard or read anything about it prior to playing it last night - if there are similar types of races in the game, I'd have to consider picking it up. I just question the timing of this coming out with NFS Most Wanted releasing soon - haven't seen anything on it yet, but I'd think they'd both be competing for similar audiences.

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post #5 of 83 Old 10-10-2012, 07:44 AM
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I threw it on for a few but didnt hook up my wheel cause I was exhausted. It certainly didnt wake me back up and the 30fps is a real step backwards to me. The sense of speed was nonexistent, the controls really floaty. I'm kinda iffy on the idea of open world racers anyway, I didn't really like burnout paradise either. I like them straight up arcade like hit pursuit or total sim like forza, this one seems like its just not for me.

Also, the video intro was absolutely ridiculous.

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post #6 of 83 Old 10-10-2012, 10:55 AM
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did you finish the demo? because later on, it's wicked fast and hard to tell that it wasn't 60 fps.

It thought the control was good and easy.

I'm not getting the race against the plane. weren't there times when the plane was doubling back? it was neat when it buzzed me. but I find it hard to imagine beating a plane.

oh, forgot about the night driving. was it just me or there wasn't a real day to night transition? maybe I wasn't paying attention but it was weird to suddenly be driving at night. and I need to check my brightness settings (may be remnants of when I was checking and had cranked it up to see easier in a shooter) but it wasn't really dark at night.
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post #7 of 83 Old 10-11-2012, 05:14 AM
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No, I basically decided almost immediately after the first race that I wasnt going to play a 30fps racer, unless its phenomenal like hot pursuit. Some people say they can't tell, I can always tell. 30fps just takes me right out of the experience.

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post #8 of 83 Old 10-11-2012, 06:38 AM
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Hmm, after playing this demo, this is easily my most anticipated game of the year.

Sublime, in the intro the plane race, they explained that the plane has a higher turning radius, so he's making a complete turn after every checkpoint apparently.
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post #9 of 83 Old 10-11-2012, 08:26 PM
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I consider myself a hardcore Forza player, i.e. I use a wheel, play without assist and am an avid tuner. This demo has really divided the Forza loyalist over at forzamotorsport.net. You have half up in arms because to them it doesn't "feel" like the serious sim they're used to, and the other half defend it like they own stock in T10/Playground Games.

So from a sim fan perspective who's still trying to keep an open mind about it, here's my opinion-

The Good- The simple fact that we get off the track and out on to the open road is a refreshing change. As much as I enjoy hotlapping around the tracks in FM4, after a while the same old tracks eventually get old. And to be honest, tracks have never been Forzas strong suit. Not in quality, but definitely in quanity. They have offered us car packs every month, but they never offer us new tracks. So just a change of scenery is welcome. The graphics, while looking a bit fuzzier than the razor sharp look we're accustumed to in FM4, are still quite eye catching. And the reduced frame rate from FM4's 60fps to 30fps is not as big a jolt as I expected. It looks really smooth, and is never really distracting, and I consider myself a framerate snob when it comes to racing games.

The driving "feel"- here's the biggest bone of contention with the faithful. Even with all the assist off, the driving model is still far too forgiving. Not as arcadey as TDU or NFS, but it just doesn't have enough of that Forza feel. For the life of me, I can't understand why the dev's couldn't have provided more options in the driving model diffuculty. Forgiving and fun for the casuals they're trying to lure in from the NFS's and TDU's of the world, but keeping a harder setting for us who perfer a more realistic feel. That said, I'll give it props for this- when you're just casually cruising, the driving feels spot on. Very close too the feel of driving a real car. It's when you start to throw it around that the arcadeyness kicks in.

The Bad- Part of the driving model problem in the demo is the sever lack of vibration. While I usually use a wheel, I tried it with the pad just to see what everyone else was complaining about. There's practically no difference in driving on tarmac and dirt. That's an issue they need to address. The lack of controller feedback is the main thing that makes you feel disconnected from the car. And even when I use my wheel, there's still a lack of vibration. The force feedback is there in spades on the dirt sections, but the vibration, the part that gives you most of your cars feedback is almost nonexistant. I can feel the road under me, but it feels like I'm coasting.

The presentation- the whole music festival thing is a little too "brotastic" for my taste. And for the love of God, please let us skip past the video/cutscene stuff in the release version. The inability to do this in the demo is maddining. There is a lot of other little nits to pick, but I won't bore you with them, and they're not necassarily deal-breakers.for me.

I'll pick this game up, but mostly because my 9 year old son is excited for it, and loves the demo. I just wish they would've made it to where I could've been as excited for it as he is.

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post #10 of 83 Old 10-11-2012, 09:21 PM
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I know the traditional Forza owners really want Forza Motorsport 5. I get they want Forza Horizon to be traditional Forza.

But I think there's a reason it's called Forza Horizon and not Forza 4.5 or Forza 5. It's that they wanted an alternate reality spin on things. To try the fun arcade side of things.

But right now, they're kind of in a limbo. Halfway between FM4 and Burnout. As if it's not a sim but it's not really arcade either. It's definitely closer to arcade than sim but if you're going arcade, go all in.

I'm still in as the game has a lot of potential and I do like all kinds of racing games. Heck, I still love racing in Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing.

I agree with most, if not all, of ratpacker's takes. I think I'm going to be playing my own music. If it was as diverse as say, Saint's Row, then I like the radio station idea. But from the few tunes I heard, it sounds like the hit-and-miss tracks you get with a Burnout game. The most distinct vibration I remember was when the plane buzzes you. That was intense.

My friend, who never plays Forza and never ever imagined playing Forza, totally loved Forza Horizon. And honestly, because she never played Forza, she played with reckless abandon. I actually had to do the rivals race multiple times to beat her. Her favorite racing game was Burnout 3. And she thinks the traffic in Horizon is pretty lame (they don't add much consequence to the race) compared to Burnout.
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post #11 of 83 Old 10-11-2012, 10:03 PM
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As I said in my first post, I can't understand- for the life of me, why they couldn't have just added a more difficult "sim" setting for us hardcores. If you play FM4 with all of the assist on, it plays much more like an arcade racer, thus making it more accessable for casual players. I have a nagging suspision that the games vast open world enviornment and 30fps framerate are what really cause the game to take a hit on the physics front. I get the feeling that it's not they didn't want to give us FM style simulation racing, it's that with everything else going on, they just simply couldn't. Still a bit more unforgiving driving setting would've been welcome. As an aside, when my 9 year old (who's autistic btw) was playing the demo earlier tonight, was trying to weave through traffic, he started yelling at the slow poke ai drivers to "go the speed limit!" and "they need to learn how to drive!" I almost feel outta my chair.

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post #12 of 83 Old 10-11-2012, 10:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Anybody looking for Forza 5 isn't paying attention. Forza 4 is only a year old. A Forza 5 this early would be a poor quality product, like a Madden. Horizon is obviously Microsoft's attempt at filling the hole that they created when they screwed up and sold the Project Gothem devs off to Activision. Horizon is to Forza as Black Ops and Medal Of Honor are to their respective bi-yearly counterparts.

This lets MS put out a racing game every year.

Also too, music? The first thing you're supposed to doin a racing game is go in to the options and crank music down to 0%. Music in racers is universally terrible. Listen to the engine, yo.
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post #13 of 83 Old 10-11-2012, 10:46 PM
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Bizarre Creations was never owned by Microsoft and Microsoft was not going to buy that studio since they spent so much on Rare.

Bizarre Creations tried their best to bid up their company but MS didn't bite and Activision did. Too bad they did. Only EA is worse than Activision in scuttling companies for parts.
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post #14 of 83 Old 10-11-2012, 10:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ah, you are correct, I was misremembering there. Bizarre the studio was never owned by Microsoft, but the PGR property became Microsoft's at some point.

In either case, Microsoft misses the revenue from the PGR/Forza bi-yearly cadence, as evidenced by this Forza spin-off. The original point still stands. I was just wrong on a minor detail. smile.gif
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post #15 of 83 Old 10-11-2012, 11:02 PM
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Sounds like a rental for me, unfortunately. Or maybe it's fortunate considering that I'm making my way through AC Revelations to prep myself for AC3.
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Originally Posted by ratpacker View Post

As an aside, when my 9 year old (who's autistic btw) was playing the demo earlier tonight, was trying to weave through traffic, he started yelling at the slow poke ai drivers to "go the speed limit!" and "they need to learn how to drive!" I almost feel outta my chair.
Awesome. Dude needs a headset.

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post #16 of 83 Old 10-12-2012, 01:46 AM
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finally a video that shows more of the Colorado world. and showing a lot more of what you can do...
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post #17 of 83 Old 10-12-2012, 10:11 AM
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8.5 from Gamestop (in that video) and now 9.0 from Destructoid: http://www.destructoid.com/review-forza-horizon-236429.phtml

Excitement rising!
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post #18 of 83 Old 10-12-2012, 12:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Eurogamer and Ara also really liked it.
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post #19 of 83 Old 10-28-2012, 10:09 AM
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I'm really loving the huge open world aspect of this game. It has some amazing cars for cruising (I actually didn't navigate very much of the map because the video was already too long):

I'm cruising in the 1956 Jaguar D-Type.

0:00 A Real Hero (College ft. Electric Youth). 3:27 the Colorado sunset.
4:26 Strangers in a Car (Marc Cohn). 6:44 checking out the full moon.
7:16 Neela Drifts (Brian Tyler). 7:57 the observatory.
10:34 Blindsided (Bon Iver). 10:35 sunrise.
16:01 We Own the Sky (M83). 18:29 the beautiful wind farm.
21:04 Rez (Underworld). 24:15 one of the beautiful waterfalls. 25:49 going over the dam.
31:03 Holoscene (Bon Iver).
36:40 Every Night (Imagine Dragons).
40:16 Take Over the World (The Courteeners).
44:01 Everything'll Be Alright (Will's Lullaby) (Joshua Radin).

I barely covered the area in the game which is a testament to how huge it is. I did backtrack a few of the roads because when I was recording, I didn't know I'd be making this kind of video. It covers a full day cycle. Editing the audio for the video resulted in a lot of video compression which I apologize for.
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post #20 of 83 Old 10-28-2012, 09:57 PM
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I really enjoy the game. I'm not hardcore sim player, but I still like it for its differences from Forza 4. I liked the demo and I feel the game really gets good past the demo. The demo doesn't really do the experience justice.

I also just got a Microsoft Surface. The Smartglass functionality is nice. You basically have the map up on your tablet and can do all your route changes without having to pull up the menu in the game.

Add my gamertag (Shizelbs) to your friends list. I need to get more people showing up on my speed check leaderboards.

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post #21 of 83 Old 10-28-2012, 10:21 PM
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if you want more people for the speed zones, traps, etc., join a car club. I joined the cheapassgamer one. now, i'm inundated with messages all over the place ("so-and-so just beat your speed trap at blah blah blah"). it's almost to the point that i'm going to leave that club for a smaller club so there aren't so many people and so many messages.

here's my vid on the smartglass feature for Forza Horizon, using a preview version of Windows 8:

the smartglass GPS is a neat feature but I think the Kinect GPS is more useful.
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post #22 of 83 Old 10-29-2012, 06:55 AM
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I wish the GPS could differentiate between finished showcases and not, etc. It only does unfinished festival races.
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post #23 of 83 Old 10-29-2012, 09:51 AM
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doesn't the unfinished showcase have a "new" tag on the map?
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post #24 of 83 Old 10-29-2012, 08:00 PM
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Yes but how can I tell the voice controls that?
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post #25 of 83 Old 11-05-2012, 04:35 PM
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After putting some time into this game, here's my review, coming from the perspective of a long time Forza player-

Graphics- 30fps as opposed to 60fps I'm used to in FM. No big deal here. They really did a good job in making it smooth in spite of the frame rate hit. And lets face it, this generation of hardware couldn't run it at 60. The visuals themselves range from jaw dropping to eye rolling. Sometimes they look so real, they'd pass for real life, other times it looks so cartoony that I feel like I'm cruising around the town of Bedrock. And the custom car liveries aren't as sharp as they were in previous Forza games. A lot of detail gets lost in Horizon. All things considered, the graphics are very good, but not great.

Car selection- Really, really thin. Not nearly as many as the parent franchise, and what there is to choose from is very supercar-centric. Like Ferrari and Lambo? You're in luck. If you prefer muscle or JDM, you don't have much to choose from. By far the biggest disappointment in the game for most. They obviously catered the car selection to appeal to the "casuals", as most of the 12 year olds their trying to appeal to will be drawn to the fast exotics. Genuine car buffs aren't left with much. Any hope for a more diverse car selection will have to come in the form of future dlc.

Physics- The bumper car effecollisionslisons really undermine whatever "Forza dna" this game has. I get that it's supposed to be arcadey, but it's just ridiculous how head on collisions have almost no effect on your driving, And what good is it to include FM's part upgrading if you can't tune specific parts? You can't adjust things like aero downforce or gear ratio's, which has a real detrimental effect when you upgrade a cars transmissiondevelopersolpers claim tuning wasn't included for various reasons, including "you tune for tracks, not the open road." Which is a flawed argument since the game includes sectioned off parts of the road for racing, making them defacto tracks. The physics of this game is it's biggest strike against it for me.

Community Generated Content- Here's where PG/T10 team really put the screws to a large portion of their community. Much of the Forza franchise's appeal has been the various different things players could do- Paint, tune and sell cars in the auction house. The painters still have a place in Horizon, but with no tuning and no AH, they've taken away things that gave the parent franchise so much vitality.

DLC- To much to go into here, but let's just say Horizon's dlc is not exactly going to be considered a bargain.

Now with all that said, all the things I mentioned before aren't necessarily deal breakers to me. It's when you add them up with all the other various anyoances and absurdities of the game that it becomes hard to enjoy it as much as I had hoped to, things such as-

The constant, irratating chatter from the female race organizer, Anyone who's played the game will know what I mean.
The clumsy menu system that makes it a pain to switch between painting, changing cars, upgrading, etc.
The day/night cycle that goes way to fast.
The barn cars- A Shelby Cobra coupe or a Ferrari 250 as barn finds? Really? When you think of barn finds I'm sure those are the kinds of cars that come immediately to mind.rolleyes.gif Absolutely absurd, and shows a lack of immagination on the developers part.
The lack of vibration and rumble. Kinda' important in a car game. Everyone's been howling about this one, and it's hard to understand how the dev's allowed the game to ship with this obvious flaw.
The lack of freedom to drive anywhere. When it was annouced, it was touted as being open world. Then as the launch date neared it was tempered to being "open road". But after you've played it for a bit, you realize it feels even more restrictive than promised.

For me it all boils down to this- If this game had just been called Horizon, it would've been a fairly good driving game. But with the word Forza in it, I was exepecting a lot more. And it failed to deliver. My only consulation is my 9 year old likes it.

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post #26 of 83 Old 11-06-2012, 05:56 AM
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ratpacker, I like it more than Forza 4 for most of the reasons that you list as negatives. biggrin.gif

I do hate the day/night cycles in this game and Borderlands. I'd like to imagine games as being in summertime with longer days and shorter nights. Or at least make it like TDU where you can choose the time of time. Hate exploring at night time.

The lack of true openness is a strike against it. The world also feels a lot smaller than I expected.

I don't understand Forza buffs who race with controllers. Just don't get it.

I love this game. Can't wait for the rally DLC.
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post #27 of 83 Old 11-06-2012, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by NoThru22 View Post

ratpacker, I like it more than Forza 4 for most of the reasons that you list as negatives. biggrin.gif
I do hate the day/night cycles in this game and Borderlands. I'd like to imagine games as being in summertime with longer days and shorter nights. Or at least make it like TDU where you can choose the time of time. Hate exploring at night time.
The lack of true openness is a strike against it. The world also feels a lot smaller than I expected.
I don't understand Forza buffs who race with controllers. Just don't get it.
I love this game. Can't wait for the rally DLC.

I guess it comes down to expectations. If this game were called Project Horizon Racing or Dirt:Horizon, I'd be a little more forgiving of it's flaws. But with the Forza name on it, I expected something different. My MS WRW's paddle broke while playing this game. Apparently even my wheel didn't like it. Oh well, I guess I'll spring for a Fanatec wheel now. At least some good came of it, lol.

XBL GT: deathpallie
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post #28 of 83 Old 11-06-2012, 02:20 PM
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I think the cars handle a lot better in Horizon than either PGR or Dirt.

I think they wanted to inject some more fun into the Forza DNA. For as awesome as Forza Motorsport is (and I do love FM4), it is a little sterile and it's heavily structured.

I do agree that the day/night cycle should be a little longer. I have the same complaint about Minecraft but in Minecraft I want max day and min night because of the possibility of death. Good thing you can't die in Horizon.
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post #29 of 83 Old 11-07-2012, 05:55 AM
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Originally Posted by onlysublime View Post

I think the cars handle a lot better in Horizon than either PGR or Dirt.
I think they wanted to inject some more fun into the Forza DNA. For as awesome as Forza Motorsport is (and I do love FM4), it is a little sterile and it's heavily structured.
I do agree that the day/night cycle should be a little longer. I have the same complaint about Minecraft but in Minecraft I want max day and min night because of the possibility of death. Good thing you can't die in Horizon.
This.

I still have an almost brand new MS wheel and Xlerator stand just sitting behind my couch.
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post #30 of 83 Old 11-11-2012, 12:55 PM
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http://marketplace.xbox.com/en-US/Product/Forza-Horizon/66acd000-77fe-1000-9115-d8024d5309c9?nosplash=1
The demo for Forza Horizon just came out. It gives you about 45 minutes of gameplay if you also take the time to drive all the available roads.
What is Forza Horizon? It's Forza married to Burnout Paradise / Test Drive Unlimited. Given that Forza is my favorite track racer, and Test Drive Unlimited is my favorite open-world racer, this sounds like a great combination.
.

My impression was more Forza + Dirt2, partcularly when it came to the menu styles.

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