There’s good news for fans of Forza Horizon as a sequel has been officially confirmed for both the Xbox 360 and Xbox One – and it’s due for release this autumn.
Forza Horizon 2 will be developed for the Xbox One by Playground Games, who created the original game, and will use Forza Motorsport 5’s graphics engine. Meanwhile the Xbox 360 version will be developed by Sumo Digital using the original game as the baseline – both teams will share technology and key personnel, and will continue to collaborate closely with Turn 10 Studios.
The game will be set in Southern Europe, again based around a music festival. Importantly, that may lead to more diverse scenery, along with a weather system which will be greatly appreciated. There’s no confirmation yet if changing weather will apply to both console versions or just the Xbox One, and the same is true of the adaptation of Forza Motorsport 5’s Drivatar system. There is also a new lighting system to handle environmental changes, including the way your headlights will illuminate what is ahead, and Forza Horizon 2 will have three times the available driving area, and around 700 events including cross-country races. And in an IGN feature, it’s revealed there is also a new Perk system as rewards for skill points.
Clubs will a now be able to have up to 100 members, and can socialise in Car Meets, including checking out or selling vehicles etc.
While split development could be a cause to worry, Sumo Digital have some racing experience with Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed and console versions of Sega’s OutRun 2. Plus various TOCA and F1 PSP conversions for Codemasters.
The news came out via IGN prior to the forthcoming E3 show when more details will hopefully become available. Whatever happens, there are going to be hundreds of cars – we’ll wait and see how the list compares with the existing Forza games and if any motors will be Horizon-only.
Given the success of Forza Horizon in terms of realising a more open-world driving experience which previous attempts (such as Test Drive Unlimited) had missed slightly, we’re looking forward to this, particularly as the Forza Horizon Rally DLC showed that the team at Playground could handle both on and off-road action. It’ll be interesting to see what happens when it goes up against The Crew, the other open world online CaRPG, which includes former developers from the TDU series.