Welcome to number two out of three of my new weekly pieces! In this regular column I will be talking all things gaming. From reviews to news, funny videos and whatever else catches my eye, if it’s gaming related you’ll find it here!
I have been wanting to start making more YouTube videos and reviewing games online for a while but thought that anything I had to say would get lost in the sea of bloggers, YouTubers, IGN and all that doohickey. But, I recently decided I’d much rather do it anyway rather than sit on my hands, so here goes nothing!
In the first edition of ‘The Next Level‘ I’m going to be discussing Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast & Furious, or as I’d like to call it ‘Ludacris talks you through a slightly bigger demo of Forza Horizon 2.’
If my sarcasm escaped you there, let me be blunt. This game, if that’s we are going to call it, was a bit of a let down. It’s just a watered down version of FH2. There’s no customizing your cars or upgrading them, only a small portion of the huge FH2 map to work with, a handful of cars and the exact same game modes/races you find in FH2.
It hurts me to say this because these are two of my favourite franchises. I owe my love of cars to F&F and Paul Walker (in case you’re wondering, yeah I cried at the end of Furious 7. I cried a lot. I’m still crying in fact.) and Forza is what helped me start to understand all the different aspects of tuning cars. So saying something bad about their love child is kind of going against everything I believe in, but boy did they blow the welds on the intake with this one (cue BA DUM CH! sound).
Bad referential puns aside, this was a huge flop and an even bigger missed opportunity in my book. They could have had you outrun cops, do ridiculous stunts or drop you out of the sky at the start. But none of the over-the-top Fast & Furious shenanigans made it into this stand alone title. What a shame. I would have even loved some night time drag races/car meets with girls in shorts skirts starting you off but we didn’t even get that. None of the classic F&F liveries made it in either. Come on guys! Where’s the fluro green Eclipse with neons!? Lame. Thanks to lack of customizing in Forza Presents Fast & Furious, there is actually more of the cars from the Fast & Furious franchise driving around the full version of FH2’s online world than there is in the Fast & Furious themed one. Explain that? Please…
I’m going to stop there because I think you get the jist of what I’m getting at. Let’s talk about some of the good things now.
First of all, it’s free. Or at least is was. I am thankful I didn’t pay any money for this but it’s nice that it was free around the time F7 was being released. I like that movies and games are tying in marketing material but it sucks for the people like me who are fans of both, but already own the bigger, better game. What about us? We wanted something new and exciting but instead we got a lame snippet of something we already had. If I wanted to listen to Ludacris talk I’d just play his music while I race around in FH2.
Now it’s about $10-$15ish depending on where you live in the world and I would say if you have the money just spring for the full version of Forza Horizon 2, even if you are a huge F&F fan like me. That said, this is a great way to ease you into racing games if you are starting from scratch and at that price point you can’t complain if you have nothing to compare it to. If Forza Horizon 2 is $100 (it’s definitely less now but for arguments sake let’s go with this) and Forza Presents F&F is $10, you’re not getting 1/10th worth of Forza Horizon 2, you’re getting more like $1 worth because Forza Horizon 2 is easily the best open world arcade racing game out right now in my opinion.
The second good thing is the addition of the nitrous boost or ‘NOS’. Basically what this does is make your car go faster, in the game though it’s a bit crap. I don’t like how sluggish and spongey the process feels but it does boost your speed. I have won a few races last second by boosting although that feels like a hollow victory to me. A downside is that you can only use it during races, not while free roaming. This is a bit of a bummer because I would have loved to see what crazy stuff you can get up to with NOS while just cruising around. The addition is pretty cool and a nice nod to the F&F franchise. Not enough to warrant going and getting the entire game for though.
Last but not least, and the best part of the whole game in my eyes, the ending. It’s a definite nod to the scene with the big ol’ plane from the sixth film. Even though it’s essentially the same as the other showcases from FH2 where you race a train or plane, in this one the thing you’re racing is a big cargo plane like the one in the film. I really enjoyed this race, particularly the last few seconds where it ends on the airport runway. Hitting the NOS at the last second and winning by an inch was a great feeling and the only time I was really enjoying myself while playing this, which is a bit of a bummer but hey, at least it ended on a high note.
Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast & Furious offers little for die hard fans of either franchise. Seasoned Forza players will find nothing new or exciting here, the same goes for Fast & Furious fans who are looking for an interactive version of the ridiculous stunts you see in the movies.
There is a lot left to be desired and I can’t see the creators ever adding anything to this stand alone game to make it better, but I could be wrong. For now, it is what it is. The downsides far outweigh the good, especially if you already own Forza Horizon 2. With that said Forza Horizon 2 was free for a few weeks and if you managed to pick it up in that time frame then I can’t see any reason to complain.
For those that missed out on the free period I would strongly recommend not purchasing this unless you really have no other options – for example, you can’t afford to pick up FH2. I would even recommend picking up Forza 5 over this, which can be found for $20-$30 these days. You will get a much more complete experience (also thanks to being able to customize cars you’ll also be able to get cars that look like the ones from the F&F movies) and not left feeling completely ripped off.
The new (and only) addition of nitrous is not enough to boost this (pun intended) to a level that I would say it’s worth getting. Even though the same core gameplay that makes Forza Horizon 2 great is still there – minus any customization or tuning options.
You can check out my thoughts on Forza Horizon 2 in this Podcast, it’s only about 3 minutes (7mb so won’t chew your data!) and I plan on making more gaming related Podcasts like this in the future, so let me know what you think.
If you played it, what did you think of it? Pretty lame or exactly what you wanted? If you haven’t played it are you planning on buying it now? Let me know in the comments below!