Finally! Well that’s what I thought when Microsoft announced the release of Crackdown to the Backwards Compatibilty program on the Xbox One X. In fact, only last week I was wondering why it wasn’t already there and assumed it would be linked to the release of Crackdown 3, in a pre-order bonus kind of way. Does the fact that the release of this now mean that Crackdown 3 is delayed again, or that news is imminent and this release is being used to get gamers all excited about the franchise again?
And it’s not just Crackdown that is coming to the Backwards Compatibility program. Also now available are Fable Anniversary, Forza Horizon and The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings.
A new feature has also been added which allows greater control over the graphical settings of the 360 games on the X. When you play Enhanced Xbox 360 games on Xbox One X, you can now choose how to experience them—with enhanced graphics or in their original form. Enhanced graphics will be turned on by default, running your game with higher resolution, 9X the pixel count, increased texture details and antialiasing, allowing you to enjoy greater visual clarity than ever before. If you turn off the Graphics setting, the graphics will be comparable to the experience on Xbox One or Xbox One S.
This new setting can be found on the old 360 guide, opened by pressing the “View” and “Menu” buttons together on your controller.
Playground Games blockbuster franchise returns for a next-gen outing on Xbox One with Forza Horizon 2. Take a glamorous road trip across the glorious European scenic setting for the racing festival event of the year as you head from southern France to northern Italy leaving behind all your worries for a competitive beautiful ride across some breath-taking terrains.
The original Xbox 360 Forza Horizon was a surprise hit when it first launched in 2012 and we scored it rather favourable noticing a less serious take on Turn 10’s more realistic racing series being Forza. Within Forza Horizon 2, the fun continues offering a vast range of competitive events both online and offline in the biggest open world racer yet for Xbox One with a choice of around 200 vehicles to race! Maintaining the high standards of a first class racing game; and for those gamers who may never of experienced the joys of its predecessor, this time around everything within the world of Forza Horizon 2 is highly polished, fine-tuned and raring to be enjoyed with a more socially integrated experience courtesy of the Forza Hub (available as an App download and jam packed with rewards). Extremely detailed and bursting with Mediterranean atmosphere, you’re not only in awe of the environments whilst playing, but you’re fast drawn in to ambiance and electricity of the festival events – you’re definitely playing to win as Forza Horizon 2 encourages cutthroat competitions between your Xbox Live Friends.
When playing in Solo Mode, your primary goal is to obtain as much CR Rewards as you can by winning races to progress further within the Festival events. A combination of CR and XP rewards score will also contribute to you levelling up, and to assist with even more score improvements you need to think about unlocking Skills. Levelling up grants you additional unlocks and bonus CR rewards, but Skills are actioned by completing certain events within a race that including wrecking, drafting, drifting, near misses and the more you complete you will later be able to use these Skill Points on in-game Perks. Perks are boosting bonuses that once unlocked grant you a vast range of additional benefits from having more credits unlocked than normal, winning better prizes, increased scores when playing and even discounts on Upgrade Parts for your vehicle. So, as you can see it’s not simply just about entering a race or challenge, but evolving and upgrading through-out your journey within the Festival with an aim to become a racing Champion. To get anywhere even close to unlocking the main Horizon Finale, you have to participate and win 15 Championship events…TWICE!
Being an open world racing game sets the challenge of mass exploration as you have an aim to explore as many or all of the open roads as possible. Using the World Map available at the touch of a button you can view a birds-eye view of Southern France and Italy as alternative you may set way points to explore Nice, Saint-Martin, Castelletto, Montellino and many more cities each with their own Street Races, Challenges, and unique events to take on as you drive through. You may also explore an Online Road Trip within each location that focusses on racing from city to city with a group of Friends online or a group of random folk for the fun of it. The great difference between Forza Horizon and other ‘serious’ racers is that within Horizon you are never limited to just the roads because short cuts can be explored by taking off-road routes through valleys, fields and wherever you fancy even if you end up in wreck and ruin! Easily comparable to Test Drive Unlimited, Forza Horizon 2 is a massive living open world with full day and night cycles and varying weather effects that challenge your skills as take on each city and their surprises.
The previous Forza Horizon had everything central around one Horizon Festival HUB, but this has completely changed within the sequel because each section is now about a series of Road Trips within each city. In short it’s a journey of exploration and challenges where friends become Rivals and Rivals can become enemies if you’re easily irritated by others beating you. The benefits of Xbox One and its cloud powered features can make Forza Horizon 2 appear real time as your friends Drivatars are heavily present; this allows you to race your friends even if they aren’t online because their digital presence lives on and often joins you in your own events. For gamer’s with Forza 5 you may be familiar with the Drivatars functions already, but if you’re new to this – then Forza Horizon 2’s Drivatar offerings is a system that constantly analyses your gameplay, reactions and skills to replicate how you would or could respond in real time if you were online at the time your friend is racing against you. It’s very clever tech, but naturally changes if you advance and improve your racing skills to keep inline with your predicted efforts.
Adding more social awareness within the game is a Car Meet Up; this is where you get the opportunity to show off your precious vehicle and any fancy designs you’ve crafted for it and show it off to other players online. Car Meets allow you to intermingle with other players and set challenges to each other – and maybe you’ll even grab yourself some new friends in the process. The sharing and social aspect of Forza Horizon 2 can be entertaining as you seamlessly are able to switch between offline and online modes. The ability to don your best created decals, logo’s, and vinyl’s with a paint job of many colours returns, and is still one of the best ever tools to pimp out your automobile in some fancy artwork. Forza is renowned for its customisation options and storefront for designing your cars to suit you and depending upon the time and your artistic flair – it might end up an in-game masterpiece that could rise in popularity as players can download and hit a LIKE on other player’s designs.
Naturally, as a game about cars, you are getting an impressive number to choose from that are available to you after completing events and earning as much CR Rewards as humanly possible. There are more than 200 of the world’s greatest cars to drive from extreme off-roaders to modern supercars, classic muscle and more recreated in obsessive detail, with full cockpit views, including functional windshield wipers, working headlights, and authentic interiors exactly as stated and advertised by Playground Games and Turn 10 Studio’s so although every track will look the same, your experience of the race varies by car and even by how you tune it. The driving physics appear perfected on any mode other than easy difficulty which is a somewhat less than challenging setting to ideally avoid. To experience the true nature of a good race rack up the difficulty and enjoy all the offerings of a steep learning curve that will give you a better sense of satisfaction with every race. At the end of each event you will be given the choice to race your Rival (a person to beat as selected by the power of the cloud) and race them head to head again in the selected track to earn rewards and be forever revelling in glory that you beat the bastard! Assuming you win of course, but if you do not then just naturally try again – and again! Even when exploring the open world cities you can challenge a Drivatar just by getting up close and hitting the X button at your own peril.
Forza Horizon 2 is a beautiful and stunning racing game with a high element of fun and challenging tracks that you can enjoy in offline solo mode or online with friends. It doesn’t offer the same level of progression as found in the serious racers available, but this title is all about open world exploration and casual competitive racing events to keep you occupied for an eternity. It is a natural next-gen successor to the original Forza Horizon with improved and larger environments, a better structure to the Festival events and a more socially integrated experience when challenging your friends on Xbox Live. The racing game of the year you simply must own!
Thank you to Xbox for providing the review code to thisisxbox.com
The Xbox Wire has revealed the date for the Forza Horizon 2 Demo on Xbox One which will launch on September 16th 2014 plenty of time before the full game hits digital and retail stores from September 30th.
Forza Horizon 2 fans, you’ve been asking for it and today we’ve got news: The Forza Horizon 2 demo for Xbox One is coming on September 16! If you haven’t been lucky enough to be at E3, Gamescom, PAX, or any of the other shows where Forza Horizon 2 has made an appearance, September 16 will be your day to finally get hands-on with the latest open-world action racing game from Playground Games. Explore the beauty of southern Europe in a handful of the world’s most beautiful cars in this demo, which has been designed to give you a brief taste of what to expect when Forza Horizon 2 launches on Xbox One, beginning on Sept. 30.
A complete list of achievements was also revealed based on challenges, tracks, and experience. For more details on these head on over to the Xbox Wire on Xbox.com if gamerscore floats your boat!
Update: Sumo Digital has been confirmed developers for the Xbox 360 version which will run on the original engine from the previous game. Playground Games will focus on Xbox One using the Forza 5 engine.
Playground Games and Turn 10 Studios have finally announced the long-rumoured Forza Horizon 2; one of our favourite Forza spin-offs which will hit the Xbox One and 360 later this year.
Due for release Fall 2014, development of the title is being handled by the original Horizon studio Playground Games, but are reported to be collaborating closely with the Motorsport team at Turn 10 Studios according to IGN today.
Horizon 2 creative director Ralph Fulton
[Turn 10 and Playground] share this belief that we can create a true home for racing fans on Xbox One.
Forza Horizon 2 on Xbox One has been said to include hundreds of cars, but the headliner vehicle is set to be the 2015 Lamborghini Huracán. A long-awaited weather system will also come into play alongside an adapted version of Forza 5’s Drivatar system.
Forza Horizon was one of the most visually stunning arcade style racers around when it was released on the Xbox 360 in 2012. As the player, you raced around a festival on some of Colorado’s long open roads whilst the attention to detail on both scenery, environments, cars and tracks was impressive enough for us to rate the game 9.5/10 in our review.
Although we posted that Forza Horizon 2 was looking likely to be in development last year, this rumour has surfaced again through Ultima Sports Ltd, the UK based sports car manufacture who has signed a deal for their cars to be included in an upcoming game this year. The announcement first appeared on Facebook with Ultima boasting about being included in Forza 4 and Forza 5 and was swiftly removed including:
We have also recently agreed a new contract with the Microsoft Corporation to be included in a new video game to be launched later in 2014. The Ultima [one of the firm’s cars] is proving to be very popular and is providing excellent worldwide publicity and recognition for our marque.
The announcement from Ultima is unlikely to be related to a Forza 6 racer for this year. With Playground Games developers looking for Senior Game Designers, Car Handling Designer, Vehicle QA Technicians among many more who must have “an excellent working knowledge of, and a real passion for, the racing genre” as well as “an excellent knowledge of cars, tuning and car culture” – we are expecting a Forza 2 announcement in due course?
Unless it is Project Gotham Racing then we’ll just scream with excitement!
If anyone missed out when Xbox gave Forza Horizon away for free during the summer, you can now pick it up at a reduced price as Deal 3 of the XBox Store Sale ‘Countdown to 2014’ goes live. The discount is only valid for 24hrs before being replaced by Deal 4.
Following the relaunch of the Xbox Rewards Scheme, Xbox have today revealed and launched the Forza Rewards programme for the successful Exclusive Xbox Franchise.
Xbox Wire, news site for all things Xbox, and the official Forza Site, www.forzamotorsport.net, explain how the loyalty reward scheme works.
By playing Forza games, you earn points in Forza Rewards. The more points you earn, the higher your Tier level and, the higher your Tier level, the better rewards you can earn. Each month, you can redeem rewards in games like Forza Motorsport 4 and Forza Horizon, including cars, in-game credits, tokens, and more.
Forza players simply have to visit the Forza Rewards site to see how they are doing, what points they have claimed and this works for all Forza games going back to Forza 2 in the series should you have played them. It also features a Friends Comparison feature so you can check your own stats against other Forza Players on your friends list.
With Forza 5 being released for the Xbox One, there is no better time to check out your stats and see how your racing skill stack up against other Forza Players.
Forza Horizon on the Xbox 360 was one of the most visually stunning arcade style racers around when it was released last year. It looked to take inspiration from Test Drive Unlimited as you raced around a festival on some of California’s long open roads. The attention to detail on both scenery, environments, cars and tracks was impressive enough for us to rate the game 9.5/10 in our review.
The developers’ Playground Games has listed a flurry of new job ad’s that suggest a new AAA racer is in the works which leads us to assume that a sequel or new side-line Forza racing game is in the development stages. The jobs on offer include, Senior Game Designers, Car Handling Designer, Vehicle QA Technician among many more that state the ideal individuals must have “an excellent working knowledge of, and a real passion for, the racing genre” as well as “an excellent knowledge of cars, tuning and car culture”. All ideal candidates must have had at least one game published on current gen consoles to be considered for the role.
Due to requiring experience of a full development cycle on a AAA game of current generation consoles, it is not yet known what platform the “obvious” new racer is intended for. It hasn’t been confirmed as a Forza Horizon sequel, but the development teams first ever project was the original Forza Horizon. The studio is made up of developers from Codemasters, Bizarre Creations, Criterion Games, and more who are well known to the racing genre.
The April Top Gear Car Pack launches today for “Forza Horizon”, featuring six new cars specifically selected by the Top Gear Magazine team and Turn 10 Studios’ developers, as well as two car models appearing for the first time: the 2012 Bowler EXR S and the 2011 Alfa Romeo TZ3 Stradale Zagato. Included in the pack for free for all “Forza Horizon” fans is the ultra-rare 2002 BMW M3-GTR.
The April Top Gear Car Pack is available to download now on Xbox LIVE for 400 Microsoft Points. Players who own the “Forza Horizon” Season Pass will be able to download the April Top Gear Car Pack for no additional cost.
The April Top Gear Car Pack includes:
2011 Ford Transit SuperSportVan – The SuperSportVan is the latest creation in a long-standing series of Ford-built custom transit vans dating back to 1971. The 2011 Ford Transit SuperSportvan dons Le Mans bonnet stripes and an eye-catching livery on the outside. Inside is the 3.2-liter, 198-horsepower engine taken from the much larger Transit Jumbo. What’s the point? It’s a one-off design to show that Ford engineers can have fun too, and it was unveiled at the 2011 Commercial Vehicle Show in Birmingham, U.K. It also presents a vast canvas for designs and further customisation for “Forza Horizon” fans.
1998 Mercedes-Benz AMG Mercedes CLK GTR – Only a street car in the loosest sense of the word, the CLK-GTR is nearly identical to its pure racing counterpart, which dominated the GT1 class at Le Mans so thoroughly that after a few wins no competitor wished to challenge it. Buying a CLK-GTR to use for lightning-quick grocery runs is a questionable plan, but for dominating your friends in Horizon’s Colorado, there are few street-licensable cars that can keep up, putting these drivers in a very exclusive club.
2012 Aston Martin Vanquish – With styling nods to previous Astons and a welcomed upgrade in the engine department, the new Vanquish retains much of the familiar Aston Martin grace, while still receiving a much needed boost in performance. Its 565-horsepower V12 produces a pleasing growl and will zip the car past nearly everyone else on the highway, all while you bask in the Vanquish’s considerable interior creature comforts.
2012 Bowler EXR S – The Bowler EXR S is the result of the 2012 brand partnership between Land Rover and U.K.-based rally raid manufacturer Bowler. The striking all-terrain vehicle is fitted with a modified version of the Range Rover Sport’s supercharged 5.0-litre V8, and produces 550 bhp, giving it a top speed of more than 150 mph. The first Bowler designed for road use, the EXR S is equally at home in the deepest parts of Horizon’s back roads.
2011 Alfa Romeo TZ3 Stradale Zagato – Combine traditional Alfa elegance with 600 horsepower of pure Dodge fury and what do you get? The 2011 Alfa Romeo TZ3 Stradale Zagato. This street-legal sports car features an 8.4-litre V10 and the kind of gorgeous curves you’d expect from Italian design center Zagato. In short, this one’s as easy on the eyes and as it is fun on the road.
2002 BMW M3-GTR (FREE Download) – The 2002 BMW M3-GTR is synonymous with rarity. As BMW puts it, “The GTRs (both race and street copies) were never sold to anyone. Only three street copies were built. Not all three were ever shown. A street copy was shown in the U.S. only once, and for less than an hour.” Little wonder, then, that this M3 is bound to be a prize for “Forza Horizon” players.
Where Cars Belong: “Forza Horizon” is available now on Xbox LIVE Marketplace and anywhere games are sold. Car packs are available individually or as part of the “Forza Horizon” Season Pass (4,000 Microsoft Points), which also includes the Rally Expansion Pack.
The latest DLC pack for Forza Horizon is now live on the Marketplace and includes another decent batch of Cars to drive around the beautifully recreated Colorado USA. If you’re not convinced check out the trailer below.
The March Meguiar’s Car Pack includes:
2013 Audi RS4 Avant – Featuring performance usually reserved for sport coupes, the RS4 Avant starts with a wide body, low stance and roof spoilers designed for attention. Throw in a direct-injected V8 capable of more than 400 hp, and you’ve got a wagon that can haul your family and a weekend’s worth of gear at speeds of up to 174 mph.
2013 BMW M135i – Filling in the gap for the out-of-production M Coupe, the M135i combines the comfort, styling, and road-gripping enthusiasm that you expect from an M-badged BMW with the day-to-day drivability of a standard model. The M135i will earn approving nods from the folks strolling down Main Street and will turn the heads of drivers as it disappears headlong into the horizon.
2012 Mercedes-Benz G65 AMG – A pinnacle of off-road performance, the G65 AMG has a price tag that’s nearly as staggering as the power delivered by its twin-turbo V12. Little wonder then, that Mercedes calls this “the most powerful series-produced cross-country vehicle in the world.” Take it for a spin along the back roads of Horizon’s Colorado and try to disagree.
2003 Ferrari Challenge Stradale – Get behind the wheel of this track-bred beast from Maranello and prepare to exercise your grinning muscles. Based on the 360 Modena, the Challenge Stradale is lighter, more powerful, and more responsive. In other words, it’s more of what makes the Prancing Pony so special.
2004 Peugeot 206 RC – A hot hatch with French flair, the 206 RC borrows its two-liter power plant from the larger 306 line and brings a nimble sports suspension to conquer the twisting roads of Forza Horizon. While it’s a fine drive on tarmac, the 206 RC absolutely comes alive with rally upgrades, attacking those dusty bumps and curves with relish.
1998 Nissan R390 (FREE Download) – Its race-bred twin, the R390 GT1, took four of the top ten spots at the 1998 24 Hours of Le Mans. That’s just one of the reasons this carbon fiber masterpiece is highly valued by collectors and racers alike. The R390’s ample V8 delivers more than 550 hp of power in a body that weighs just over a ton. In short, it’s light, fast, and oh so much fun to drive. The R390 is this month’s free download sample car.
2010 Joss JT1 – Season Pass Bonus Car – A prototype with serious aerodynamic cred, the Joss JT1 is a fine choice for some high speed “Forza Horizon” cruising. In the real world, Joss fans expect the first production models to hit the streets this year; until then, see what’s in store for deep-pocketed speed freaks with the JT1.