Much mystery has surrounded the release of Forza Horizon, Playground Games' hotly anticipated spin-off to Forza Motorsport that takes the established track racing simulation out onto the open road.
We've been itching to get behind the wheel of the secretive title ever since it was first announced. But can the new development team of Playground Games do the license justice in this new premise?
Alan Boiston traveled to a special Forza Horizon event to find out. As always, we have a host of revealing gameplay videos that show his findings along with an interview with Design Director Ralph Fulton to find out more about Playground Games seminal title.
Overall impressions seem to be positive: as we suspected, Forza Horizon offers the full Forza experience in terms of its comprehensive car collection and advanced physics. The omission of tuning may seem detrimental to some, but it makes sense in the context of the game – after all how often do you adjust the brake bias or the gear ratio to make a trip down the road?
The only drawback is that the map isn't quite as "open world" as we may have initially imagined, with little room for straying outside of the road network networks unlike in Test Drive Unlimited or Need for Speed Most Wanted which let you fully explore the environment without restriction.
We're nitpicking if we're honest, though. Forza Horizon is looking absolutely fantastic, and, if successful, could propell Playground Games up to the likes of Codemasters Racing and Criterion Games as part of the leading UK-based racing game developers for the future.