Forza Motorsport 2 - Xbox 360 review

Since the tyre shreddingly gorgeous Project Gotham Racing 3, the Xbox 360 has been sorely lacking in classy racers.

Microsoft has finally decided to unleash their great racing beast onto the unsuspecting 360 owning public. We wondered what took them so long.

Forza, you’ll remember, was originally conjured up to compete with the PlayStation’s Gran Turismo series, but then the aging PGR3 came in to conquer both. This new release has got one hell of a scrap on its hands.

Project Gotham 3 still grips Xbox 360 gaming and is seen as perfect by many. So how to top it? Well, Forza 2’s answer is pretty simple. Throw in more features than you can shake a gear stick at.

The staggering number of modelled cars is likely to be the first thing that hits you. There’s over 300 of the buggers from the likes of Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini and even good old Nissan.

They all look pretty snazzy too. There’s literally hundreds of man hours been ploughed into getting those grills absolutely spot on. And, it shows. Expect your grandparents to utter “oooh, is that racing on the TV?”.

Don’t expect to drive the fastest from the off though. Each vehicle has been given a class and it’ll take you a healthy chunk of time to unlock them all.

Funnily enough, this is where all the excitement lies. We found trundling around 47 odd tracks in the slowest of the ‘D rated’ cars is just as exciting as flinging a TVR Cerbera Speed 12 around. That’s not just us either – try it yourself.

Career mode’s going to last you a fair old while. Like the last game, it’s a case of gradually improving your car and driving skills as you go, while slowly taking on better cars for the bigger rewards. By the time you reach the heady heights of the racing tree, you’ll feel like Lewis Hamilton.

For those of you schooled on arcadey racing, Forza 2 is ready to teach you some new skills. There’s a fair few driving aids to help you, but the feeling of switching them off one by one to shave milliseconds of your lap time is right up there with anything any other racing game has to offer.

Fans of Xbox original are going to be in sheer racing heaven here. The game plays like the original, only turning up the volume. Fluffy dice anyone?

The online version is way better too. You can race around any of the tracks with your mates, but we’ve got our eye on one of the official weekly tournaments. Someone should show Sony how online is done.

You can even customise and sell your own cars online. And when we say customise, we don’t just mean a few engine tweaks and a new spoiler. Nope, we’re talking full scale paint jobs here, so if you fancy cladding your freshly purchased motor in the Mansized logo or a character from South Park, you can do it with the cracking edit system included with the game.

Verdict

OK, so Forza 2 doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it didn’t need too. We bet even Clarkson would enjoy this one.