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6 Must-Own Xbox One Games

Forza Horizon 2

The Horizon series trades in the realistic simulation gameplay style and circuit racing approach of the Motorsport games, for more arcade-like handling and, in Forza Horizon 2, a massive open southern Europe (across France and Italy). And you know what, it is pretty darn remarkable! Not only is each and every aspect of the graphics stunning and appealing, from the yachts sailing on the glistening sea, and the exotic vegetation covering the landscape, down to the mud in the tread of your tyres, but the gameplay is king here, and of the highest quality in the genre.

The cities are arguably as beautiful as the wilderness

The way Forza Horizon 2 shines compared to other racing titles is through its accessibility and frustration-free game-play. For starters, the controls are dead simple to master, and the cars handle with absurd (but welcome) ease, boasting very little reduction in speed whilst driving on rough terrain, and granting great benefit from drafting. On top of this, the rewind feature makes a return, allowing you to wind back time a few seconds and retry the last corner or apex that you missed or messed up. And so, if you are nearing the finish line and pull a blunder and end up smashing head on into a tree- in most games this would be an intensely infuriating moment, but in FH2, you can rectify that with ease. Furthermore, long-gone are the bland, linear circuits that require mathematical calculations for working out the best turn. Here, you can get off road and drive across the meadow and destroy shrubberies and road signs while drifting, to rack up points. Plus, you are not limited to just racing cars- as you will soon find out, there are a bunch of races involving planes, trains and hot air balloons. Absolutely anyone can enjoy the gameplay here no matter whether they are an experienced car fanatic lad or a girly girl that does not know a clutch from a catalytic converter.

Tally ho!

The drivatars make a return, which are effectively “ghost” CPU versions of you and your friends that learn and adapt to your driving style, and race for you even when your console is off. This also allows you to race with “your friends” even when your friends are not playing. Furthermore it is heavily community focused and so even when playing alone, you can still aim to beat your friends records. Even while stationary, you will always have something nice to look at. There was no expense spared in the detailing of this virtual world; items in shop windows, the vegetation, the dashboard in cockpit view and the draw distance, which is exceptional. Customization is also wonderful- with tons of ways to pimp your ride not just on the inside, but also the outside- with tens of thousands of user-created vinyl designs to pick from, and even the option to bring out the Rembrandt in you and create your own.

Some user-created vinyls are professional-grade

I can safely say that Forza Horizon 2 is the best open world racing game there has ever been. The multiplayer has never once failed me with drop-outs, and I have savoured every moment that I toured the seaside of Nice and the wilderness in Avellino with several other players, showing off my pimped out Audi R8 with a custom Hulk vinyl. The replay value of the game is also unprecedented in its genre, with its campaign lasting approximately 20+ hours, with still many other championships and tasks to complete, as well as over 200 cars to unlock and buy, tune and modify. You can potentially lose hundreds of hours in this game, and for any car-fanatic I am sure that will be very easy to achieve!

About Steven Russell

Steve belongs to a species of gamer whose natural habitat is England. He is a rare animal that is most commonly found hibernating in front of a tv with a controller in his hand. Occasionally he is spotted at the pub with the rest of his pack (he's definitely the alpha male). He makes growling noises while playing guitar, to show dominance. He's a dangerous mammal that will rip a game to shreds if it rubs him the wrong way, but he's a lovable creature at heart that likes hugs and pizza.

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