Forza Horizon 2 gameplay preview: Glorious racing, whatever the weather

Forza Horizon 2 is more than just the original racing game with some added weather effects. As you battle to stick your supercar to the tarmac in locations across southern Europe, it's hard to not marvel at the glorious graphics while dodging oncoming traffic. 

And when you do slip from the road by accident it, in some strange way, adds to the pleasure of gameplay. For Horizon 2 takes things off road: through fences, across fields, and how often is it you get to see a yellow Lambo Huracan skim a hay bale at great speed? If you mess up big time then a press-and-hold of the Y button can rewind your play by a portion - but it's not an unlimited tool, so you'll need to use it sparingly and at the right moments.

We played Forza Horizon 2 on the Xbox One at an exclusive Xbox event at this year's E3 expo in Los Angeles, which meant glorious 1080p at 60fps. The weather effects look great, even the kicked-up dirt looks awesome.

After placing 9th our of 12 in our first game the addictive nature of Forza got us wrapped up in the game. We stuck at the track and placed higher with each new bout, learning to drift around the corners with greater precision.

Precision is important too, because you earn experience points not just for placing high in each race, but for other feats such as closely skimming past traffic. You'll soon get addicted to experience points too as they're the must-haves to boost your driving experience. The more points you have the better the access to cars, perks and therefore progression.

Just like in Forza Motorsport 5, Horizon 2 utilises the Drivatar concept. That means your racing style is always learned by the game so that even when you're not playing the game your virtual self can continue to race against online opponents to give a more realistic sense of a real human driver behind the wheel. We didn't get to see this in effect given the restrictions of the demo.

Drive fast, drive dangerous, drive to victory. Whether on the road or off it, Forza Horizon 2 is a bona fide racer and continues to show both the Xbox 360 and Xbox One's strength for the genre. It will be available for both those consoles come 30 September.



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