If you’re in that camp of people who find sim racers like Forza too hard and Need for Speed too unrealistic. Microsft has answered your very specific prayers. Forza Horizon is a new racing game coming to the Xbox 360 on October 23, and it appears to be riding the line between arcade racer and realistic sim. The demo at PAX Prime was, to my surprise, extremely enjoyable.
The cars and physics appear to have been pulled straight from Forza 4, but it plays like Forza 4 with most of the assists turned on. I wasn’t able to turn them off in the demo, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you could in the final product. The end result was that Horizon leans more to the arcade sige, and the racing felt fast and exciting.
While Forza 4 is confined to predetermined racetracks, Forza Horizon lets you loose on the open road, weaving in and out of traffic. It is very reminiscent of Burnout in that regard. And doing Burnout-like gameplay with realistic physics is a great combination. You’re still getting all the crazy close calls, but you have real physics to deal with, making those split second passes that much more exhilarating and rewarding. If you do mess up, the rewind feature from Forza 4 is there to ease your frustration.
There does appear to be some semblance of story, and I honestly can’t say how thats going to play out from the one level demo, but it did remind me a lot of the Burnout Paradise announcers. Even if that portion falls flat, I can’t wait to take this game on with a wheel and heavy foot.