We received our first look at Forza Horizon 2 back at E3 earlier this year. Playground Games has been giving us tidbits here and there since then. At Gamescon they shared more in-game footage and unveiled some of the social aspects of the upcoming Xbox One open-world festival style racing game.
Based in southern Europe, racers will be able to play how they want, with who they want, when they want.
While Forza Horizon was a fun game, the social portion of it was somewhat lacking and I only really went online a few times to play with a couple friends. With Forza Horizon 2 however, it sounds and looks like Playground Games has focused even more on the social aspect of car and festival culture.
Car culture and festival culture are inherently social experiences. We wanted Forza Horizon 2 to feel the same way – something that’s best experienced together with your friends. That certainly means great ways to compete with and against your friends. If you’re a racer, you’ll have plenty of race events to enter. If you love to hot-lap, we’ve got tons of Rivals events for you where you can compete asynchronously against players all over the world in hundreds of events (and more added each month). If you want to player cooperatively, you can check out our Online Free Roam mode. In addition, Horizon 2 makes it easy to compare your performance against your friends – with leaderboards for everything from speed trap cameras to Rivals events, and more.
For the more structured player, the solo play will take you across Europe on Road Trips culminating in different Championships. Once you win enough Championships, you qualify for the coveted Horizon Finale. Online Road Trip allows you to experience portions of this in a guided game play experience which includes events and championship races before moving on to the next location.
However, Playground Games is really focusing on freedom of choice this time around. It’s apparent in many ways, such as an open world map three times the size of the original game, inclusion of 200 cars at launch, 168 different championships, over 700 individual events, and also in the online portion of the game.
There are no rules, the world and everything in it is yours to explore together.
Online modes “King” and “Infected” make their returns in Forza Horizon 2, and in the Online Free Roam mode you and your friends can travel anywhere, participate in events you pass, or simply cruise around and explore southern Europe at your leisure.
Clubs return with this installment but sound more flexible allowing you to create and use your Club how you want – setting up who can join, custom leadership structures, Club Ladder leaderboards, Rival Challenges, and more. Another new feature in FH2 is Car Meets. Located throughout the open world, you can show off your vehicles and liveries, or check out and purchase other liveries, tuning setups, or cars complete with livery and tuning setup. This addition really sounds like it ties into the social culture of cars, and if done right, it should give players the feeling of being at a physical car meet or car show.
Drivatars – or Drivatards as some have come to call them – make their jump to the Forza Horizon series from Forza Motorsport 5. When playing solo, you’ll see Drivatars of your friends and Rivals which you can then challenge at any time to one on one races. Unlike Forza Motorsport Drivators, the ones in Forza Horizon 2 will not only learn to drive like you do, they’ll also learn where you like to go. Make sure you follow your friend’s Drivatars, you never know where they may lead you and what unlockables you could potentially uncover.
Each time more footage and information about Forza Horizon 2 is unveiled, the more I can’t wait for September. Looking forward to playing this – what about you? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Facebook, or Twitter!