Microsoft decided not to wait until E3 2014 to announce the next Forza. Today they revealed that Forza Horizon 2 will hit Xbox One and Xbox 360 in Fall 2014.
Forza Horizon was a spin-off of the main series developed by Playground Games rather than Forza creators Turn 10 Studios. The game was centered on a racing festival in Colorado. Horizon was less straight-laced than the other Forza games. Players were rewarded for performing stunts or causing property damage. They also weren't limited to race tracks; instead, they were allowed to explore the game's open-world to find events or abandoned vehicles to restore.
Forza Horizon 2, like its predecessor, is being created at Playground Games. Turn 10 Studios will assist them, though - a smart move, given their experience with Xbox One from Forza Motorsport 5. The Drivatar system from Forza 5, which generates A.I. opponents based on your Xbox Live friends' racing styles, will appear in Horizon 2. Presumably other Forza 5 improvements will appear in the game as well.
Playground Games told IGN that Forza Horizon 2 will have hundreds of cars. The cover vehicle is the 2015 Lamborghini Huracán, a stunning yellow sports car. This car normally costs about $250,000 so this game will probably be your only chance to take it for a spin.
“[Turn 10 and Playground] share this belief that we can create a true home for racing fans on Xbox One,” Horizon 2 creative director Ralph Fulton said in an interview with IGN.
Forza Motorsport 5 was criticized for not having any weather effects. Come to think of it, several Forza games were criticized for that. However, that tradition is coming to an end. Horizon 2 is said to feature a weather system to give players an additional challenge. Does that mean we're getting night driving, too?
Horizon 2 will be centered around a music festival so expect a deep soundtrack. Rather than returning to Colorado, players will now explore Southern Europe.
Additional details on Horizon 2 will be shared soon. IGN got some hands-on time with the game and plan to publish a full preview on Tuesday. They'll also release information throughout the month on the racer's various features.
The first images from Forza Horizon 2 can be seen below. They show the Lamborghini Huracán skidding along an off-road course somewhere in Europe.