Publisher: Microsoft Corporation
Developer: Turn 10
N Amer - 05/29/2007
Forza Motorsport 2 Review
A couple years ago, Microsoft came out with a racing game meant to give driving-simulator fans with an Xbox an alternative to picking up a PS2 with Gran Turismo 4. Forza Motorsport delivered where Sony’s premier racing series could (or would) not, with online play and vehicle damage, two things sorely lacking in the latter. Now, the series continues with the second entry in the Forza Motorsport series.
Forza Motorsport 2 continues the legacy of the original by expanding on the online element, building more of a community element and utilizing the strengths of Xbox Live, while improving the physics to extreme proportions and bumping the gorgeous visuals to 60fps. Forza Motorsport 2 is a great racing game for driving fans, and possibly the best racing game on the Xbox 360.
Forza Motorsport 2 gives you more than 300 cars from 50 different manufacturers to race with. Of course, some of these must be unlocked by winning races. The cars are split into classes, ranging from D (low-end vehicles) to S (racing class) and everything in between, just like in the first game. However, this entry streamlines things by offering an overall stat for each car, allowing you to take the acceleration, braking, rarity, etc. of any car and have a general rating for how the car handles and drives. The performance index (or PI) is a great way to gauge not only your cars, but those of your opponents on the track.
The driving physics have been tweaked for an even more realistic driving experience. Each car handles differently, and factors like vehicle damage will change this even more. The game feels very unique in that regard, and keeps the experience fresh even when racing the same tracks over again.
The game offers an arcade mode as well as the career mode. The arcade mode lets you race through the game’s 12 courses, unlocking new vehicles from the classes you race as you go as well as new tracks. The career mode allows you to earn money through races and buy new ones, or customize your current ones with tons of different aftermarket parts. The level of customization is very impressive, and in the career mode, it’s even possible to kick your car up a class through performance upgrades.
Forza Motorsport did a great job in allowing non-driving experts to handle the track with the driving aid. The sequel changes things up by offering a braking aid. This aid scales back things a bit, getting rid of the green arrows that told you when to accelerate, but still leaves the red and yellow arrows associated with breaking. This is a great addition, as it still provides assistance to the driver without holding their hand through the whole race, letting them effectively learn the handling of the cars.
Graphically the game is excellent, benefiting well from the high-def boost. The car models look better than ever, and the environments are extremely detailed, and boast a photorealistic aesthetic. The vehicle damage also looks fantastic, as cars will bend and break accurately, windows will bust out and pieces will fall off if you get into a more serious crash.
The sound on the other hand, is pretty standard for a racing game, with a soundtrack that you’d typically expect from the genre. The sound effects are stock for the genre as well, with cheering crowds, roaring engines, squealing tires, etc.
Forza Motorsport 2 is a great continuation to the series, offering the right degree of upgrades and online additions to take full advantage of Xbox Live. Hardcore racing fan or not, Forza Motorsport 2 is a worthy addition to any Xbox 360 gamer’s library.
Review Scoring Details for Forza Motorsport 2
Forza Motorsport 2 carries the torch nicely from its predecessor by offering a staggering number of cars (more than 300 from 50 different manufacturers) and upping the ante in terms of realism. Forza Motorsport 2 has incredible physics, which in turn leads to realistic driving mechanics and cars that handle uniquely, even down to wear and tear. However, considering the huge realism push behind the game and the level of immersion, the lack of a dashboard camera angle is pretty sad though.
With gorgeous car models and photorealistic environments that fly by at a steady 60 frames per second, Forza Motorsport 2 is truly a sight to behold.
Pretty standard for a racing sim, the game has a diverse soundtrack and stock racing sound effects, like squealing tires and roaring engines.
Forza Motosport 2 builds on the great online features of the original by adding more of a community element to the mix. Cars that have been upgraded and customized can now be sold off on the auction block. The game also offers robust weekly tournaments, as well as smooth ranked matches with little to no lag.
The game’s deep online features and insane physics modeling make it definitely a title that physics majors and car buffs will have a field day with.
Forza Motorsport 2 is easily the best racer you can find on the Xbox 360. The driving physics are deep and accurate, and the online features are a blast. While the game has its foibles, it’s still a highly recommended racer for any driving fan.
Microsoft’s quintessential driving sim hits the Xbox 360 in stunning form.
Reviewer: Steven Hopper
Review Date: 06/18/2007