Forza Horizon 2 bursts out of the screen with buckets of arrogance. Opening with an ASMR-inducing cutscene that puts your back up, it presents you with a lead character that’ll make you grind your teeth out. It then continues to show off for the next hour or so, with its stunning visuals, vast array of cars and its constant reminders of its 'Drivatar's.
For all of Horizon 2’s arrogance, it’s backed up with an impressive game and what seemed like needless swagger soon turns into endearing charm.
The game looks good. The cars themselves reflect their real-life counterparts with seamless ease and when you notice beads of water on your bonnet after a race in the rain, their place sits within the world perfectly. The environments you drive around are impressive, and create a sense of place that's rarely seen outside of a Rockstar game.
It may not be the most realistic racer you’ve ever played, but Horizon 2 shows no attempt to even try and replicate that side of the driving genre. Heading off-road in an Audi R8 wont leave you spinning around as you’d expect. Developer Playground understands that you just want to get back on the road and rejoin the race.
Drivatars make a return to the Forza series, with the AI mimicking the play style of your friends so that even when you're driving solo, you get the sense of your mates being around you and the rush of the multiplayer mode.
The racing is great - with the focus being on championships made up of a string of conventional races where you build up points by finishing higher - but there’s so much more to do in Forza Horizon 2. Speed cameras, rival races and crashing through bill-boards are all here, but this game has a few tricks up it sleeves to offer you more than just deja vu.
Discovering classic cars also offers more than simply buying cars from specialist dealers. In Horizon 2 you’re given a tip off as to where they might be and you have to go hunting for them. These are the moments that find you exploring.
Forza Horizon 2 delivers a looser, faster style than its Forza Motorsports counterparts, and it's a bucket of fun.