Gaming Hype: Falken Tire Car Pack DLC Launches For Forza Horizon 2 (With Video)

Posted on 11.04.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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The DLC train keeps on rolling for Forza Horizon 2 as their latest DLC drops today in the form of the Falken Tire Car Pack.  For only $5 bucks you can get six cars that would probably cost over $300k in real life.  That is a pretty darn good deal if you ask me!  So what’s included?  Allow me to fill you in!  In the Falken Tire Car Pack players will get access to the following:

-2014 Alfa Romeo 4C
-2014 BMW M4 Coupe
-2014 Chevrolet SS
-1988 Lamborghini Jalpa
-1969 Toyota 2000 GT
-1990 Subaru Legacy RS

I am personally looking forward to hooning a pristine 2000GT all over Europe!  For the official trailer for the car pack check out the video below.  If you want to grab this DLC for yourself its available NOW for $5 in the Xbox Live Marketplace.  If you bought the “Car Pass” when you got Forza Horizon 2 then this Car Pack is already yours!

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Hype Review: Forza Horizon 2. Its Back. Its Bigger. But Is It Better? SPOILER ALERT: ..Yes, Yes It Is.

Posted on 09.30.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Its been a long time coming, but today everyone can finally get their hands on Forza Horizon 2!  First announced a short while before E3 this year, Forza fans have been waiting to sink their teeth into a brand new open world and full of bright shiny tasty cars!  So, is it everything we hoped it would be?  Is it worth the wait?  More importantly, is it worth $60?  Here is my take…

DISCLAIMER: Microsoft provided an early full copy of Forza Horizon 2 as well as a loaner Xbox One console for the purposes of this review.  Since I needed a console to play the game I have had significantly less time with the game than most of the other outlets who reviewed the game.  This is why I am doing a written review rather than my typical video review.  This review will also be a bit leaner since I did not have as much time with the game.  That being said, lets dive in!

What is Forza Horizon 2?

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Just in case you haven’t been paying attention to this website or various others for the last 6 months or so let me fill you in on what Forza Horizon is all about.  “Horizon” is a virtual music and automotive festival that usually takes place in a sprawling, scenic local, and is essentially a free-for-all to any gear head to drive their dream car in an open world in anyway they see fit.  Forza Horizon 2 greatly expands on what the first Horizon game did, specifically by moving the location from Utah to southern Europe with locations like Nice, and Sisteron.  All in all the area in which players can explore in Forza Horizon 2 is double what it was in the first Horizon game.

How does it look?

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As stated in the disclaimer I played the Xbox One version of Forza Horizon 2 and like its cousin Forza Motorsport 5, Horizon 2 seems to take full advantage of the Xbox One’s power.  The visuals are stunning.  The cars look very realistic and sharp inside and out.  I was half expecting the visual quality to be lower than that of Forza 5 but the standards were still set the same.  In some ways Forza Horizon 2 actually looks better than Forza 5 but more on that later.  Anyway, its more than just the cars that look good the environments are amazing.  Whenever I plow through a vineyard in first person view its almost like I can smell the soil and the grapes being stirred up and smashed by the car. To make things even better visually Forza Horizon 2 has dynamic weather.  This is the first and only Forza game so far with weather effects and it looks awesome!  The way the water beads on the car’s paint surface and windshield looks incredible.  The weather also realistically affects how the environments look as well.  Reflections of the car and its surroundings can be seen on wet asphalt.  Random puddles form, differences in the terrain create pools of standing water.  Once the rain stops the moisture doesn’t just magically disappear, it actually takes a while to dry off!  Because of the extra visual detail that the weather adds it actually makes the game look even better than Forza Motorsport 5 in a way. For their first time doing weather the team really knocked it out of the park!

How do the cars drive?

When the first Forza Horizon game came out many were skeptical as to how the car physics would play out.  At first glance Forza Horizon seems very much like an “arcade” style racer, which typically means very floaty loose physics meant more for forgiveness than accuracy.  The first Horizon game eased fears by using the same physics system used in Forza Motorsport.   Horizon 2 follows the tradition by keeping its physics firmly based on the simulator side although things are tweaked just a little bit to make things a little more accessible for less experienced players.  However, just like in Forza Motorsport assists can be turned off for increased realism in handling (as well as difficulty).  Additionally tuning has been expanded so that parameters can be more finely adjusted that previously allowed in the first Horizon game.  The only thing that would have made this better is if they allowed for a tune to be exported from Forza Motorsport 5 to Horizon 2.  Maybe in the next version?  Also, as I mentioned earlier the new weather system adds a whole new layer to the game’s physics.  When it starts the pour everything changes and players will have to take real care to make sure they stay in control.  This isn’t to say that as soon as it rains handling goes out the window but it does get more difficult.  Combine that with the fact that players will never know when the rain will come and you have the makings of challenging gameplay.

How many cars are there?

I wont spend too much time here since this info is pretty easy to find but there are over 210 cars available at launch with more coming via DLC in the future.  As far as the curation of the cars available trust me when I tell you all your bases are covered.  There are plenty of exotics, supercars, sports cars, classics, and cult classics to choose from.  Anyone will be hard pressed to find a car that should be in the roster but isn’t.  Its all there!

How much is there to do?

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I am just going to flat out say it now.  It will be a very long time before any player does all there is to do “officially” in Forza Horizon 2.  There are hundreds of roads and over 700 (yes 700!) events to do.  Depending on how casually one games they may not even finish it all before the next Horizon game comes out.  The possibilities are expanded even further when considering other events such as “bucket lists” (one-off events that encourage major hoonage), the return of “barn finds”, and the fact that you can challenge just about any car on the road to an impromptu street race.  That last part is even more special in Horizon 2 since this time around players deal with “drivatars” just like in Forza Motorsport 5.  Each “AI” car is literally based off the “driving personality” of another real player.  This adds a whole new dimension to not just every random street race but all the races in the game because you are always racing against drivatars.

The seamless multiplayer mode adds even more to do with open world roaming lobbies in which players can explore the world as a group and decide what they want to do and literally just do it.  The experience is much smoother, easier, and more fun.  There really is no place where single player ends and multiplayer begins, and that’s a good thing.  Everything about the events and other experiences of this game are really meant to pull players in.  Some people may even find themselves having to reserve time to go back to Forza Motorsport 5 because they will be so involved in Horizon 2.

What’s not to like?

No game is perfect and Forza Horizon 2 is no exception.  While there is a lot to love about this game there are some things I didn’t quite like.  The first is how the driveatars look.  Now that might seem like an odd statement considering drivatars use the same cars that everyone else uses but there is one key difference.  For some reason driveatars are given graphics schemes and those schemes tend to be on the tacky side.  I know this is kind of a knit pick but its just weird to see a Lamborghini Aventador with a 1992 Hot Import Nights-style checkered flag theme.  In Forza Motorsport 5 this treatment can be turned off but as far as I can tell, that option isn’t available in Forza Horizon 2.

Another thing that took some points off is the music.  Now, I am not saying the music is bad.  In fact, music is a big part of what makes the “Horizon” series what it is.  Just like in the first Horizon game there are radio stations with different genres of music that the player can choose on the fly.  The choices of music are even greater now with over 150 stations to choose from.  The problem is unlike the first Horizon game in which all the stations are available at the start, in Forza Horizon 2 only three are available and more stations are unlocked as you progress in the game.  This lead to me getting tired of the music real fast in the early hours of playing and I found myself just keeping the radio off for the most part until I unlocked more stations.

Conclusion

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Back when Forza Horizon 2 was first announced many of the hardcore fans had a lot of specific and technical questions like “how many cars will there be?”, “how much bigger is the open world?”, “can we turn on the headlights and windshield wipers?”.  I will admit that I had some of those questions myself as I waited for this game to arrive.  Yet, I can honestly say that within the first 10 minutes of playing the game none of that stuff matters anymore.  All that mattered to me was “OMG I am driving a Ferrari through a random field plowing through giant hay bales on a southern European country side and its awesome!”  I think in the end it was that feeling that Playground Games was really going for when they began to work on Forza Horizon 2.  They really did create this virtual theme park of automotive pleasures with seemingly limitless possibilities for having obnoxious fun.   That, my friends is well worth 60 bucks.  I would easily give this game a 9.5 out of 10 and recommend you go out and buy it immediately if you haven’t done so already!

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Gaming Hype: Forza Horizon 2 Demo Coming Next Month

Posted on 08.27.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Despite how packed it seemed to me when I was there, only a small fraction of the planet’s population got to attend the E3 expo or Gamescom this year and thus far those were the only times when Forza Horizon 2 was available to play to the somewhat general public.  However, that is about to change!  It was announced today that a Forza Horizon 2 demo is coming next month!  Yes!  Finally, many more people will get to enjoy driving through a grassy field in a brand new Lamborghini Huracan!  The demo will be available on Xbox Live on September 16th.  Unfortunately, despite the fact that when the game releases on September 30th it will be available for both Xbox One and Xbox 360 the demo next month will only be on Xbox One.  If you already have an Xbox One then you’re set!  If not then well, you’ll have to wait a bit longer before you get a chance to play; OR you can find a friend who has an Xbox One and go play at their house!

Right now we don’t know what cars will be available in the demo but I would not be surprised if it was the same offering of cars offered at the E3 demo with a few added extras.  If you do get to play the demo and are unsure if you want to pick up the game or if you miss out on the demo completely hopefully our review will help you come to a decision!  Stay tuned!

[Source: Microsoft]

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Gaming Hype: First 100 Cars In Forza Horizon 2 Revealed! (OFFICIAL)

Posted on 07.22.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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One of the most commonly asked questions when Forza Horizon 2 was announced, and then debuted at E3 2014 was “how many cars will there be?”  Despite my best efforts I was unable to get an exact number out of Ralph Fulton, the game director.  However, it looks like today the team at Playground Games and Turn 10 are ready to spill the beans!  Well, most of them anyway.  They have officially released a list of the first 100 cars that will be in Forza Horizon 2, some of which are completely new to a Horizon game as you will see below.  If you look closely at the “poster” above (click on the thumbnail of it below for an HD sized version) you can see that there is room for at least another 85 cars or so.  Chances are as we get closer to Horizon 2’s release those cars will be revealed as well!

In the meantime check out the list of the first 100 rides!  You can also click on the thumbnails for larger pics.

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Never before seen cars:

-1973 Renault Alpine A110 1600S
-2009 Vauxhall Corsa VXR
-1945 Jeep Willys MB
-1962 Volkswagen Type 2 De Luxe (23 window!!)
-1954 Jaguar XK120 SE

Full 100 car list:

1.       2002 Acura RSX Type-S

2.       2007 Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione

3.       2011 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Quadrifoglio Verde

4.       1986 Alfa Romeo Spider Quadrifoglio Verde

5.       1964 Aston Martin DB5

6.       2010 Aston Martin One-77

7.       2012 Aston Martin Vanquish

8.       2013 Audi R8 Coupé V10 plus 5.2 FSI quattro

9.       1995 Audi RS 2 Avant

10.   2006 Audi RS 4

11.   2011 Audi RS 5 Coupé

12.   2013 Audi S4

13.   1997 BMW M3

14.   1991 BMW M3

15.   2012 BMW M5

16.   2011 BMW X5 M

17.   1990 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z

18.   1979 Chevrolet Camaro Z28

19.   2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

20.   1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS-454

21.   2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

22.   2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1

23.   1995 Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1

24.   1964 Chevrolet Impala SS 409

25.   1970 Dodge Challenger R/T

26.   2012 Dodge Charger SRT8

27.   1957 Ferrari 250 California

28.   1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa

29.   1994 Ferrari F355 Berlinetta

30.   2012 Ferrari F12berlinetta

31.   2007 Ferrari 430 Scuderia

32.   2013 Ferrari LaFerrari

33.   1980 Abarth Fiat 131

34.   2010 Abarth 500 esseesse

35.   2013 Abarth Punto Supersport

36.   2009 Ford Focus RS

37.   1969 Ford Mustang Boss 302

38.   2000 Ford SVT Cobra R

39.   1993 Ford SVT Cobra R

40.   1987 Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500

41.   2011 Ford Transit SuperSportVan

42.   1997 Honda Civic Type R

43.   2006 HUMMER H1 Alpha

44.   2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 Track

45.   1956 Jaguar D-Type

46.   1961 Jaguar E-type S1

47.   1954 Jaguar XK120 SE

48.   1945 Jeep Willys MB

49.   2011 Koenigsegg Agera

50.   1997 Lamborghini Diablo SV

51.   2014 Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4

52.   1982 Lancia 037 Stradale

53.   2013 Lexus GS350 F Sport

54.   2010 Lexus LFA

55.   1956 Lotus Eleven

56.   2012 Lotus Exige S

57.   2010 Maserati Gran Turismo S

58.   1994 Mazda MX-5 Miata

59.   2011 Mazda RX-8 R3

60.   2013 McLaren P1

61.   2013 Mercedes-Benz A 45 AMG

62.   2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Black Series

63.   2009 Mercedes-Benz SL 65 AMG Black Series

64.   2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK55 AMG

65.   2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

66.   1965 MINI Cooper S

67.   1999 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI GSR

68.   2004 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII MR

69.   2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X GSR

70.   2010 Nissan 370Z

71.   1969 Nissan Fairlady Z 432

72.   1994 Nissan Fairlady Z Version S Twin Turbo

73.   2000 Nissan Silvia Spec-R

74.   1971 Nissan Skyline 2000GT-R

75.   1993 Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec

76.   2012 Pagani Huayra

77.   2009 Pagani Zonda Cinque Roadster

78.   1969 Pontiac GTO Judge

79.   1973 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am SD-455

80.   1987 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am GTA

81.   1973 Renault Alpine A110 1600S

82.   2003 Renault Sport Clio V6

83.   2010 Renault Megane RS 250

84.   2011 RUF Rt 12 S

85.   1965 Shelby Cobra 427 S/C

86.   1998 Subaru Impreza 22B STi

87.   2005 Subaru Impreza WRX STI

88.   2011 Subaru WRX STI

89.   1994 Toyota Celica GT-Four ST205

90.   2013 Toyota GT86

91.   1995 Toyota MR2 GT

92.   2005 TVR Sagaris

93.   2012 Vauxhall Astra VXR

94.   2009 Vauxhall Corsa VXR

95.   2013 SRT Viper GTS

96.   1992 Volkswagen Golf Gti 16v Mk2

97.   2010 Volkswagen Golf R

98.   1984 Volkswagen Rabbit GTI

99.   2011 Volkswagen Scirocco R

100.   1963 Volkswagen Type 2 De Luxe

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Gaming Hype: We Get Our Hands On Forza Horizon 2 And Ask The Hard Questions! (With Video)

Posted on 06.12.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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A few days ago E3 2014 kicked off in downtown LA With Xbox’s official press conference.  At the event Forza Horizon 2 got its grand debut in front of a ground of thousands at the event and millions more watching online.  However, once the cool intro, pretty lights, and theatrical trailer was over there still were not many details revealed other than its release date: September 30th 2014.  Luckly, I was invited to a much smaller event right after the Xbox press conference to get some hands-on time with Forza Horizon 2.  I also had the chance to interview Ralph Fulton, director of Playground Games, the studio behind both Forza Horizon games.  During my time with Ralph I asked him some pressing questions.

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Although these questions weren’t from me but questions we selected from the official Forza Motorsport forums!  How did Ralph handle the tough questions from the hardest of the hardcore fans?  Like a ninja back flipping in the shadows!  Check out the video below to see what I mean.  There is also a video of my impression of Forza Horizon 2 after playing AND a short interview with Dan Greenawalt on the new Nurburgring Forza Motorsport 5 DLC.  You can also click on any of the thumbnails in this post to get enlarged screen shots from Forza Horizon 2!

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Interview with Ralph Fulton:

Gameplay Impressions:

Interview With Dan Greenawalt:

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E3 2014 Hype: Nurburgring Announced For Forza 5 & New Official Forza Horizon 2 Info

Posted on 06.09.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Just moments ago in Los Angeles Dan Greenawalt of Turn 10 Studios and Ralph Fulton of Playground games took the stage at the Xbox E3 2014 press conference to officially introduce Forza Horizon 2 to the world!  We already knew it was coming but we did not know exactly what to expect from the latest Forza game.  Today we know much more about what is coming and we now have a whole new list of reasons to be excited for Forza Horizon 2.  First of all those early adopters who plunked down cold hard cash for an Xbox One will be happy to know that they will soon have a second Forza game to add to their “next gen” library.  Although not to be left out, Turn 10 will release Forza Horizon 2 for Xbox 360 as well.

Now that we know that everyone gets to play here are some bullet points about the Horizon sequel that we think you will be happy to read:

– Over 200 cars

-Xbox One version uses Forza 5 game engine

-Dynamic weather

– 1080p resolution

– Introduction of “Car Clubs” with up to 1000 members

– Release date is September 30th 2014

If that wasn’t enough goodness, it was also announced at an event after the conference that the Nurburgring is finally coming to Forza Motorsport 5!  Many Forza fans were quite disappointed that it was not included with the game at launch and kept hoping and wishing that “the green hell” would soon make an appearance in Forza 5 and today their wishes came true!  Players can expect to tackle the massive Nurburgring TODAY for free!

Looks like it is going to be a merry Christmas for all the Forza freaks out there!  Oh by the way, we also had a chance to hang out with Dan Greenawalt and Ralph Fulton to ask them a few more questions about Forza Horizon 2 and the new Forza 5 DLC so stay tuned for that interview and stay tuned for more racing game news from E3 2014!

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Hype Video: Forza Horizon 2 Teaser Trailer Released!

Posted on 06.06.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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We had a very strong suspicion it was coming and it has finally been confirmed that Forza Horizon 2 will be officially announced at E3 2014!  We will get more info on the game as we will likely have some hands on time with the game but so far we know a few things.  First: Forza Horizon 2 will be coming for Xbox One and Xbox 360.  Second: It looks like the location of the Horizon festival from the first game has moved from Utah to Europe.  Third: The Lamborghini Huracan will be the feature/cover car.  It also looks like the “drivatar” feature from Forza Motorsport 5 will make its way into Forza Horizon 2 and many fans will be happy to hear that Horizon 2 will have weather effects!  As mentioned before we will get you more info on Horizon 2 as E3 2014 unfolds but for now check out the latest teaser trailer that was just released a few moments ago!

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Video Game Hype: Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach Track Added To Forza Motorsport 5 As FREE DLC! (Video)

Posted on 04.09.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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This is probably one of the best days in my gaming life.  I have been a huge fan of games like Forza Motorsport and Gran Turismo for years but today Forza has really made a dream come true by adding the Long Beach Grand Prix track to Forza Motorsport 5 in its latest DLC.  For those who don’t know, MotorworldHype is based in Long Beach, CA which is pretty much where I was born and raised.  I have been attending the Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach since I was a kid so to be able to virtually race on such a detailed recreation in an Indy Car is beyond mind blowing.  Heck, not only can you race the full Long Beach course but it looks like you could re-create Formula Drift Long Beach as well.  This is beyond awesome!  Before this the only way to virtually race Long Beach was with an expensive PC based simulator set up.  No more!  I can’t wait to try this out for myself when we finally get our hands on an Xbox One (hopefully soon).  For now check out the preview video below.

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Gaming Hype: “Honda Legends” DLC Car Pack Released For Forza Motorsport 5 (Video)

Posted on 02.04.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Are you a hardcore Honda-head? If so you will definitely want to know that today the “Honda Legends” DLC car pack was released for Forza Motorsport 5 on Xbox One.  The car pack includes the 1984 CRX Mugen test vehicle, the 1994 Prelude Si (my favorite car when I was in high school), and the 2014 Civic Si coupe.  That is a pretty strong trio for any Honda enthusiast (especially the Prelude!!).  OK, now here is the best part about this news: the car pack is FREE!  Yep, its is all part of a promo deal with Honda as they get ready to reveal the new Civic Si coupe at the Chicago Auto Show this week.  Pretty sweet huh?!  You can download the Honda Legends DLC pack right now on Xbox Live but if you want to get a closer look at what  you will get then scroll down for the official trailer.

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Gaming Hype: Forza Horizon 2 Coming To Xbox One This Fall? (Rumor)

Posted on 01.30.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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For those who do not know me, I am into video games almost as much as I am into cars so I tend to keep my ear to the ground in both areas.  Today I got a bit of juicy news that just so happens to cross over.  Apparently a “verified” Xbox/Microsoft insider took to the biggest video game forum on the internet NeoGAF and leaked a TON of info about the Xbox One and several of their upcoming games.  What got my attention was that the very first tidbit mentioned was that a Forza Horizon sequel is supposedly coming to Xbox One in the fall of this year.  Here is the exact quote from the user “ntkrnl” (edited for profanity):

“Forza Horizon: “Fall 2014, probably September. Super sexy weather system and… bleep-tons of co-op/social stuff. 1080P and open-world, so you can road trip with your bros.”

Yep, not only is Forza Horizon coming to the Xbox One but it will apparently have a new “super sexy” weather system.  Which is something that Forza fans have wanted for a long time in Horizon and Forza Motorsport.

So, how much credence do I give to this “leak”?  Quite a bit actually and I will tell you why:

-NeoGAF is seriously one of the biggest gaming forums in the world and consistently used as a credible source from other major gaming media outlets.  The users on NeoGAF are serious and they used their own contacts to “verify” that this “ntkrnl” person really is who he claimed to be.

-Since Forza Motorsport 5 was an Xbox One launch title it would be pretty unlikely that Turn 10 studios would be set to announce Forza Motorsport 6 so soon and even more unlikely that they wouldn’t show up to E3 this year at all with nothing to talk about.

-This is how things played out when the first Forza Horizon was announced.  It came in between Forza Motorsport 4 and 5, so its not too crazy to think that Horizon 2 is meant to hold everyone over until Forza Motorsport 6 is ready.

-A separate studio produces Forza Horizon (Playground Games) and its logical that Playground was probably developing the next Horizon game while Turn 10 worked on Forza Motorsport 5 which makes the Fall 2014 release plausible.

So there you have it, a few good reasons why this rumor may be true.  Although the only way we will truly know for sure is to wait until E3 to see if Turn 10 makes any announcements.  I will do my best to keep you posted!

[Source: NeoGAF forums]

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