Forza Horizon Demo Reviews

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Post by BiggLou55 on Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:28 pm

OK.... So let's start a new thread where we can each post our thoughts on the Forza Horizon Demo.....

Since I got up a little early this morning and played the demo a bit (it's a long demo and I didn't finish), I'll post my thoughts...

First I will say that I am NOT canceling my LCE pre-order... I thoroughly enjoyed the opening race to the first event, the rally style race (first event) and the followup Rival race against Rag, the drive to the next event, and then the Mustang -v- Mustang race (second event) with the rival follow-up....

I can say that I am impressed with what I've seen so far, and I'm now really looking forward to 10/23/2012....

Other notes:
  • I only used the controller so far (I will test with my FANATEC later today)
  • I love the fact that you can go OFF the track and still win (cutting corners, knocking down signs, etc).. There is no such thing as a dirty lap....
  • I turned off ABS, Traction Control, and set it to Manual, which made it feel like I was driving a car in FM4. The physics seem spot on.
  • The in car radio is nice, but I hope they add variety and change up the playlists over the course of the game. I can see me turning the in-car music to ZERO pretty quickly if it's the same crap over and over....
  • The driving cameras are the same as FM4 and cockpit view feels EXACTLY the same as FM4 (another really good thing)...


Closing thoughts so far?
It "feels" like FM4 to me, which is AWESOME! I was worried that it would look and feel like some of the other open world racers. It doesn't. I'm interested in how the upgrade/tuning and painting systems will work, but I'm sure that it will fit the game (even if it's very simple tuning I'll be OK).... The Graphics and Audio are on par with FM4, and I'm gettting excited for release day. Do I think this will replace FM4? No, FM4 will still be where we do our monthly series races.... What I can see is FH is where we will do all of our playground stuff....

More later when I have more time to finish the demo with both the controller and the FANATEC wheel....

Cheers!

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Post by joekorn on Tue Oct 09, 2012 3:28 pm

Edit - After re-playing the demo, I was a little harsh on the graphics. Still not FM4 quality, but better than I originally thought.
I'd say my opinion differs a bit.

First, I found that my enjoyment was greatly affected by which view I was using. In chase view, I thought the scenery was a step backwards in terms of graphics quality. I understand that the difficulty level of mapping miles upon miles of trees, mountains, etc. etc. (especially since rendering has to be done very quickly while driving) is much higher than just having to do a few tracks, but still thought it was lacking when compared to FM4. In cockpit view, though, the scenery was much more 'organic' feeling, and the driving experience was indeed quite fun and very similar to FM4.

Second, I just couldn't shake the feeling that the driving was much easier than FM4. I also turned off virtually all assists, and found it odd that driving a stock Viper on curving, sometimes bumpy roads with plenty of elevation changes was just not that difficult. For comparison, think of turning assists off in FM4 then taking a stock Viper out on Laguna Seca. Just didn't seem the same to me. Not terrible, just not the same.

Third, I feel the overall experience (the commentator, the over-the-top challenges/airplane race, kinda cheesy characters, signs to hit for upgrade discounts) has a very arcade racer feel, and I've just never liked those types of games.

That being said, here are the reasons I'll still be buying the game:

I like the ability to just cruise around wherever you like, allowing you to test cars in different environments on the fly, while also just checking things out;

Seems like you can just randomly run into other players while out cruising, which could lead to some spontaneous racing/drifting/showing off your paintwork, which is pretty cool;

After taking a few deep breaths (and likely as many drinks), I think I can let go of the ingrained clean-lap mentality and have fun trying to find every off-road shortcut, chasing others through the countryside, and generally just smashing stuff.

I don't believe I'll be dropping the cash to buy Horizon on Day 1, but for those of you who are getting it, I'll see you out there sometime!


Last edited by joekorn on Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:14 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by BiggLou55 on Tue Oct 09, 2012 3:53 pm

OK.... So I'm indeed "Working from Home" for the rest of the day, and I just went through the demo start to finish (including beating Joe and Shinsoon in Rivals post race! Very Happy ).... that being said, I do agree with Joe, that there seemed to be lots of grip in that stock Viper for th espeed sat which I was taking the turns. I turned off all of the assists but kept steering at normal, and there was still tons of grip...

I'm going to go back through it later with Sim steering on the controller and then play with the wheel...

If I remember the FM4 demo correctly, the cars were pretty easy to drive in that as well. Much easier than in the actual game....

I love that you can change the radio stations (between 3 stations)... When I changed to the Rock station, the Black Keys were playing, so that made me happy...

Joe is correct that this has a lot of Arcade aspects, and less Sim... but that's the point of an open world racing game. It needs to appeal to a wider audience. While it's going to alienate the die-hard racing sim fans that hate arcade racers, it's going to appeal to the "Average Joe"... Very Happy Like me...

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Post by Lowflyinmx3 on Tue Oct 09, 2012 5:28 pm

My review on Horizon........

I agree on the graphics, leaves a little to be desired but I'm not reall y going to wonder if its a maple or pine tree as I fly by it at 120. I will also go one step farther and say that the colors are on the dark side. Maybe its part of the 24 hour cycle, I would hope so.

Driving: the driving to me feels somewhat arcade-ish to me. Not a bad thing but I feel it is more "drifter" friendly in terms of control. Still OK tho. Feels slower too, maybe that's just me.

I think there's more to it just have to wait for the real deal. Also, like Joe, its hard to shake the "stay within the lines" mentality.

My semi-final overview (I haven't played the whole demo)

Cool concept, but it does remind me of burnout paradise, in the fact you get points for running thru stuff, hitting cars, and taking out signs. That's cool and all but I definitely suggest trying to keep our lobbies private for a while because that kind of gameplay really promotes the "basher" mentality.

That said, of course I'm buying it. What kind of leader would I be if I didn't, t

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Post by Red Sniper 213 on Tue Oct 09, 2012 5:32 pm

Downloading it in about a minute. Remember, it is the demo so the graphics won't be as good (hopefully) as the full game.

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Post by xXhpi racingXx on Tue Oct 09, 2012 6:20 pm

it was okay didn't expect much so wasn't to let down. this may be kind of mean and harsh but, here is my opinion. the driving was cheesy, the cars did not look as realistic, the racing was awful, i didn't like the grafics, the off road driving on gt5 is better. i also don't like the fact that its arcade-like. maybe im wrong but in my opinion forza should always stay as realistic as possible. the arcade games should be left to need for speed and such games. sorry but i was not impressed. but i'll probably still get it so i can play with our club Sad

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Post by BiggLou55 on Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:12 pm

Let's clear something up here.... Maybe I'm the only one who actually knows this one....

For the beginning, it was stated that this was not intended to be FM5. They stated that this was a new branch in the Forza universe. One that appeals to a wider range of gamers. an attempt to draw in more of the GTA, TDU, and other pure arcade, "open world" racing gamers out ther to the Forza universe. Ones that have stayed away from Forza Motorsports due to the more sim-style racing....

That said, I didn't expect it to be a port of the FM4 physics. More of a hybrid. After playing through the demo fully and racing around the limited part of the FH map in the demo, I think they might have gone a little to far to the arcade side... I haven't changed the AI difficulty yet or tested my wheel (or sim steering)...

My hope: That the full game is not as "easy" to drive as the demo. I may grab the FM4 demo and race the 458 and then do the same car/setting/track in FM4 to see if there is any difference...

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Post by xXhpi racingXx on Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:35 pm

yea i knew it wasn't going to be as realistic but i was just hoping the driving was going to be the same as forza i mean thats why we play forza as a club and not need for speed rite? but, its still fun and i did enjoy the demo its nice to be able to just go for a drive Very Happy

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Post by Insanefrank on Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:43 pm

i'll probably still get it so i can play with our club
Those are exactly my thoughts.

I think it is too much arcade for me and I had all settings like on Forza (Steering: sim) and the racing was really easy and only the traffic could stop me... Mad.

I don't know if the arcade way was a good idea from T10.
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Post by U2SCDoli on Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:44 pm

honestly i still can't tell how it feels, i'm so used to driving cars that i or someone else has tuned and being confined to a track. regardless of how good or bad the game is i'm getting it

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Post by marmuttlebow on Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:52 pm

Have yet to try this. Hopefully I can stay awake to get it.

I just hope it's not like NFS, or too much like it. I tried one of their games and just didn't enjoy it. It was just too hectic for me.
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Post by BiggLou55 on Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:04 pm

w000000t!!! I just beat Mark in the Mustang Rival!!! by .500 Very Happy

OK guys... I'm rerunning the demo with my FANATEC and Sim steering and It's a friggin BLAST!! Much more difficult as far as the driving goes (much closer to FM4 in the control department... Give it a try! I spun out a few times and I could "feel" the dirt rod in my hands! Very Happy

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Post by BiggLou55 on Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:14 pm

One more though... This is being developed by Playground Games primarily, so it will have a different more arcadeish feel to it....

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Post by Markve91 on Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:38 pm

First I just want to say I really enjoyed the demo and am definitely looking foward to release day.

Overall, I really enjoyed the demo, just being able to drive around is fun. The graphics are definitely a little off compared to fm4 but the scenery itself is fantastic in my opinion. I turned the radio off pretty quickly. The roads do seem a tad empty though.

In terms of driving feel, it definitely feels like forza to me. In games such as NFS and TDU, it felt completely off in terms of the way it felt to drive. Horizon feels almost exactly as FM4. I say this because it does seem a bit "easy". But I still found myself understeering in the Viper and Lancer, where in other games i might've been able to take that corner faster.

Crashing is pretty lame, I hit one of the 100s of beetles out on the road at like 120+ and it barely went anywhere.

tl;dr demo was great, feels pretty much like fm4 and i can't wait to play the full thing

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Post by Red Sniper 213 on Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:39 pm

I actually enjoyed it and ended up in the top 7% in the world for the Recaro Rush thing I think. But I liked it and I kept thinking about what a big cruise night with you guys would be like. Definitely looking forward to the actual game though.

The driving did feel a bit different. Went back to FM4 and it felt a little changed. And the controller setup I had changed from the camera change from X to Y. No biggy though. Like Mark said, crashing is kind of wierd. Its like in Gran Turismo where you just kind of bounce backwards.

Other than that, I cant wait.

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Post by beefsupreme42 on Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:45 pm

Red Sniper 213 wrote: Like Mark said, crashing is kind of wierd. Its like in Gran Turismo where you just kind of bounce backwards.
darn, I was looking to do some 250 mph + crashes in the hennessey... looks like it won't be as fun as I thought it would be...

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Post by BiggLou55 on Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:02 pm

I was doing some "advanced" testing with the wheel and found some really cool stuff...

You can really feel the road when steering is set to SIM and it's not overly sensetive like it is in FM4. SIM steering in FH gives you more of an FM4 feel to the control of the car.

You can ride up the banks!!! Beware though you can flip too (as I did a few times when I went up the banks... You can also use the terrain to gain an advantage over the other drivers... It really will be tough to get the clean lap mentality out of my head.. there aren't any "sand traps" lurking off the track!

Manual w/ clutch is a bit "off", at least in the stock cars. I'm actually looking forward to seeing what the upgrade and paint system is like.

The collision model is indeed lame, but I think if they made it more like FM4, it would attract less of an audience. It's also good to tone down the effect of the "smash-n-dash" style drivers (like Beef).... Very Happy

I'm with Joe though... Smashing the signs to gain discounts on parts is hella lame, but I guess it's what we have to do. I wonder if there is going to be a simulated damage mode in Lobbies? If so, the game might have interesting race potential. From standard FH racing to sim-like runs where if you crash you're basically done!

All in all, I like what I've seen in the demo. I've played through it 2 times (once with the controller and then with the wheel. I have to say I liked it with the wheel WAY better than with the controller. The realism was much higher and it felt more like "Forza" to me..

Anyone else with a wheel care to chime in on the differences...?

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Post by beefsupreme42 on Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:52 pm

BiggLou55 wrote:I'm with Joe though... Smashing the signs to gain discounts on parts is hella lame, but I guess it's what we have to do.
Looks like I will be getting a lot of discounts Very Happy

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Post by marmuttlebow on Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:09 am

Here's my take on it.

MEH.

Driving was very different. That Viper stuck to the road. All my inputs went in without a problem. And that's the issue. I'm too used to F4. Very very arcade-y controls.

Graphically, meh. I didn't notice that much of a difference when I started playing it. Then I went back to F4. WOW can I ever tell the difference. Maybe it's because it's a demo? But the frame rate wasn't there.

As for the kudos/ in-game cheevo's, meh. Didn't care for it one way or another.

I guess I'm still getting the game. But I don't see FH getting as much play as F4 has.
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Post by Markve91 on Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:35 am

BiggLou55 wrote:
Manual w/ clutch is a bit "off", at least in the stock cars. I'm actually looking forward to seeing what the upgrade and paint system is like.

I agree I was trying to use m w/ clutch with all three cars and it felt like the car was struggling to get through the gears. Manual felt much nicer.

And as for the different road surfaces you can really feel the effect on handling...I've still yet to test it with the wheel, looking foward to that very much!
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Post by Markve91 on Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:53 am

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found this little video up on the fm4 forums. I wonder what other little things like this there will be in the full game.
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Post by shinnsoon on Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:04 am

Overall, I enjoyed it.

Yay - The main thing I want from Horizon is TDU with decent physics. Sometimes I want to take that TT from FM4 I love so much and just cruise around in it.

Nay - The crashing, especially in the open world, is disappointing.

Yay - I love how Rivals is infused into the main game. Finish a race, there's a message saying Joe did it faster, do I want to race him? Bring it!

Yay/nay - I don't really have a problem with arcade racers if done properly. (I loved the first Most Wanted.) But I do prefer more realistic handling. Using the same assists as in FM4 (ABS and TC), that Viper sure handled way better than it did during that Rivals event around TopGear.

Nay - The vibration on the controller is weird. Maybe it's because I've been playing a lot of DiRT3 since Friday, but driving on dirt and there's nothing? Even on asphalt, the feedback is pretty poor compared to FM4.

Yay - Offroad racing is cool, and finally I'll buy an ML63 or a Q7 for a reason other than, well, it's required for this event. Should be fun to drive the dirt roads with them. And the Raptor. And hopefully the Hummer.

Conclusion: I'm looking forward to Oct 26. The approach to Horizon reminds me a lot of DiRT2, and I loved that game. It won't replace FM4, and that's good. But it will be a great addition.

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Post by swviper on Wed Oct 10, 2012 9:56 am

I like it.

Playground is a bunch of ex-Codemasters folks, and since I like DiRT so much, I had hoped this would be similar fare....and I was not disappointed.

Is it 'sim' ? No....but neither is Forza. Evidenced by the fact that I should not be able to jump in a GT1 Vette, and beat the laptime of Johnny O'Connell on Road America in 3 laps.

Does it need to be? No. It's meant for more 'fun' than serious, and it does that well...VERY well so far imo.

The Mustang Vs Mustang thing was amazing, I can't wait to see what other insane challenges await.

Have not played with the wheel yet, but will try it out.

In other news, I'm going to be in Seattle the week this is released, so I won't be home to try it out. I am going to be at Microsoft tho'...maybe I should email Johniwanna to see if I can sneak by for some launch festivities =)
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Post by U2SCDoli on Wed Oct 10, 2012 11:45 am

swviper wrote:
Does it need to be? No. It's meant for more 'fun' than serious, and it does that well...VERY well so far imo.


i really agree with this. i think i've been so stuck in the seriousness of FM4 that going around smashing things, cutting corners and just going wherever i want it is SO relieving and satisfying. hopefully there are some improvement tweaks between the demo and the final game. for one, the cars are just to grippy; i could hardly drift with the viper! the graphics/frame rate is actually noticeably worse than FM4, but that's to be expected since the you're on a huge map, not just one track.

overall, i'm still really excited to get on the final game and have fun doing everything i could do in FM4 + more. excluding tuning.

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Post by BiggLou55 on Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:24 pm

Glad to see we are starting to see where this game fits... I never expected this to be an open world FM4...

As for the "Feel" through the controller, try Sim steering! I was getting a TON of feel and feedback when using that combined with the wheel! I have not tested it with the controller, but it's worth a try...

A some points to consider (further):
  • The Physics (Tire Temps & Stuff): The tires are most likely set to the optimal temps from the start (probably sport tire grip too). There was mention of the Viper Top Gear rival. A high HP car on COLD tires = bad news. But once the tires warm up on most of the "stock" cars in FM4, they start to handle MUCH better. I ran the 458 rival on Alps last night, and I was amazed at how controllable that car is "stock" once the tires warmed up (2 laps), and I was able to really push it in the turns.
  • Upgraded cars: How often do we really run the "stock" version of cars in FM4? The occasional rival even and maybe some production hoppers if that's your thing. Sure some of the cars suck in "stock" form, but most of the cars require a lot of tuning to get them to be really good once upgraded.
  • Upgrades & Tuning: from what I've heard, upgrading and tuning will be pretty basic in FH. With that in mind, they are correct to not go overboard with ultra realistic handling. Without a way to infinitely adjust the parameters of a car's performance, there has to be some sort of middle ground that is set as a default. Otherwise, there will be cars that are never used because they just suck!
  • The point of FH: To have fun and drive really fast on public roads (even if the collision system is borked and an Evo shouldn't be able to climb a 45 degree loose dirt slope). Realism in FH is meant to be on the surface, but you are going to have to apply "suspension of disbelief" if you are going to have fun.
  • Sim vs. Arcade: As Swviper pointed out, this was never meant to be a Sim. As such, we should only compare it to FM4 on the surface. Compare the car models, audio, graphics, etc., but try not draw too many comparisons with the driving mechanics. It's going to feel like a watered down version of FM. We'll get FM5 soon enough (I'm betting spring/summer 2013, but probably not until fall 2013). I'm pretty sure that Turn10 is doing what so many other game production/dev houses do. Have 2 or more titles and stagger their release to keep people interested in the franchise when allowing more time to develop individual titles.
  • "Campiness": Yes there are going to be some things that are just "meh" or "campy". I feel that way about career mode in FM4. I can't really be bothered to go back and finish. The AI is horrible, and the races are way too easy. I'd rather spend my time tuning, painting, hot-lapping, racing rivals, and (most of all) racing with you guys in a lobby. Even the rivals can be really meh at time. Like I cannot stand the track day or autocross rivals. The AI sucks and I HATE the cone thing (I feel like it's friggin pointless). The FM4 PI system is a little wacked out at times too, as is some of the imbalance with cars (which they had to patch if you remember). Now I will say that smashing signs to gain points and parts discounts is pretty cheesy, the points for speed traps, average speeds, 180's, burnouts, near misses, two wheelin, drifting, etc is pretty cool. The good rewards far outweigh the bad ones.
  • The Radio: OK... The radio is going to get annoying FAST. Hopefully there will be more music that is DYNAMIC. As it stands, there are three (3) tracks per station. I love all of the tracks on the Rock station, but I'll end up hating them after the first day due to overplay. My radio will be turned OFF in game, and I'll just spin up Pandora on my PC if I want music in game! Very Happy


Anyway... No game will ever be perfect, but as long as I'm racing with this crew, I know I'm going to have a GREAT time!

Cheers!


Last edited by BiggLou55 on Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:07 pm; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : added/updated some content...)

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