The big story for me at E3 this year was Forza Horizon. While I was at E3 I got to ask a bunch of questions, play an early demo of the game, and check out a few screenshots. Since then, Turn 10 Studio has released small tidbits of information here and there but the community still thirsts for more! By “community” I mean the die-hard Forza fans that hang out on the Forza online forums. I was recently invited to a pre-launch press junket in LA and I decided that would be a good time to ask Creative Director, Dan Greenawalt some of the most common questions asked on the forums. You can see his responses below.
After chatting with Dan, I was allowed to play a near-final build of Forza Horizon to get a feel of what everyone else will get to experience when the game is released in October (on the 23rd to be exact). Obviously, there was a lot more to see and do this time around than when I played the demo at E3. The first thing I had to do as a player was race to the “Horizon Festival” in a VW Corrado VR6 for the chance to earn a spot in Horizon events. This is the developer’s way of throwing the player into the game head first and it definitely works. Running through the streets of Colorado trying to grab one of 10 spots will get your attention in a hurry. Once I earned myself a spot in the festival, the next thing that really pulled me into the game was the fact that there is something of a story. Now, when I say “story” I don’t mean a path that you are forced to follow to an ultimate end. What I mean is that there are human characters that the player will interact with and each of these characters have a role and a bit of a background. I will not go into it beyond that because I think it will be a nice surprise. I will say that it definitely added to the experience.
After the game’s intro I got to play two missions. The first was a point to point race in the Corrado against other cars of a similar class. Taking part in my first “official” race in the game reminded me of how, despite being a different experience, the cars handle the same way they do in Forza Motorsport 4 and have the same “weight” and percision. However, I had to remember that even though the cars handled the same I did not have to drive them the same way. I was constantly reminding myself that I could cut a corner through the dirt without being punished for it. Once I got used to that, the possibilities really started to come alive to me.
I managed to win the first race and then I took on my next event called “Mustang vs Mustang”. The name of event sounds self explanatory, and it is; Just not in the way you think. The event is not two Fords racing against each other. It is a Ford Mustang versus a P51 Mustang fighter plane! You get to drive a classic Ford Mustang and it is your job to race through a point-to-point course with checkpoints along the way. At the same time the Mustang plane is trying to beat you to those very same checkpoints. Every time you reach said checkpoint you will be buzzed from above by the fighter plane, which is 10 kinds of awesome! Who ever gets to a checkpoint first gets a point. If you have more points than the plane at the end of the race then you get the keep the classic Ford Mustang and then its on to the next event. Or, you can just drive around for whatever reason you want.
Should you look forward to Forza Horizon?
Despite having limited time with Forza Horizon I will make an early prediction that it will go over well with even the most die-hard Forza Motorsport sim purists. I will let you know my final thoughts when I do a full review of the game in a month or so.
For now check out some brand new screen shots and the interview with Dan Greenawalt I mentioned earlier. FYI all the screenshots are wallpaper size for your enjoyment!