On September 1st, the original Forza Horizon became free with Games with Gold to Xbox Live Gold subscribers. Forza Horizon was the first off-shoot Forza title that took the gorgeous sports cars off the track, and let them run loose in an open world environment, to the setting of a car and music festival in Colorado. How does it hold up after all these years?
Forza Horizon launched at the end of 2012 on the Xbox 360, and it was stunning and beautiful to look at. It also had a killer soundtrack and felt like a powerslide in the park compared to its older, more serious brother. Forza let its hair down and went with a more arcade feel, and it worked like a charm.
When it hit backwards compatibility on Xbox One however, it brought a few problems along that weren’t present on the 360. Frame drops and stuttering started interrupting gameplay, making it almost impossible to successfully compete competitively in races. Quitting the game and restarting it didn’t help it either. Apparently hard resetting your console will aid in its symptoms, but Xbox are aware of the issue and are working to resolve it.
Bill Stillwell of Team Xbox offered up a temporary fix, but reports say the issue returns after about 30 minutes.
Lots of people saying delete 360 storage on X1 to improve BC stutter. Not related. We know of the issue and are getting a fix out soon.
— Bill Stillwell (@wcstillwell) September 1, 2016
Let’s talk about the positive sides of Forza Horizon though. The cars, the environment, the music, and Showcase events. Racing a Mustang versus a Mustang propeller plane early in the game offers a great sense of excitement.
Horizon sees you race to a local annual event, with the first ten cars to arrive getting a golden ticket to compete. You make it in, otherwise it wouldn’t be a very exciting or playable game! You’re introduced to the game mechanics early enough, and before long, you’re off exploring the world, taking part in races, building up your popularity (rank) and buying new cars. You can paint them too, just like in Forza Motorsport.
Horizon gives you the chance to take part in multiple events from the aforementioned Showcase events, to closed circuit racing and off-road rally pursuits, illegal street racing (minus the police) for pink slips, speed camera leaderboards, rivalry, multiplayer racing and others.
Forza Horizon was developed by Playground Games in the UK, and the studio have gone on to make a sequel set in the south of Europe, while Forza Horizon 3 launches at the end of this month. Seeing where it started and where it is now is truly something special to behold.
Give it a whirl. You won’t be disappointed. Unless you run into the frame rate drops later in the game, but these shouldn’t be here, and will hopefully be addressed soon.