Forza Motorsport 2

Review

posted 8/21/2007 by Cyril Lachel
other articles by Cyril Lachel
One Page Platforms: 360
No matter what kind of event you choose, you will be entered into a race where you have to battle seven other cars over several different tracks. With only a dozen locations (47 variations on the tracks in total) and more than a hundred events in the single-player mode, Forza 2's career tends to repeat a lot of the same tracks multiple times. The good news is that most of these tracks are worth playing and don't get boring as fast as you might think. In fact, a lot of these tracks are digital recreations of real-world tracks, including Laguna Seca, Mugello, Sebring, and the insanely long (and curvy) Nürburgring. The locations look fantastic and you can tell that a lot of attention was paid to the little things, such as the way the sun hits the track, the objects that litter the sides and the crowds in the stands.
 
Of course there are a few tracks that aren't quite up to par. It's not that they look bad (because nothing in this game looks particularly bad), but some of these tracks just feel boring and aren't as exciting as some of the others. It's also disappointing that there aren't more locations found in the game, it won't take you long before you've seen all of the backgrounds and start wanting a few more areas to explore.
 
Thankfully the large selection of cars will take your mind off of these minor complaints. While the first Forza only housed around 60 different vehicles, Forza 2 features more than 300 vehicles from fifty major manufacturers. I'm talking about some of the most popular photo-realistic cars ever to be placed in a video game, complete with body damage and realistic physics. Car lovers shouldn't be too surprised by the collection of manufacturers found in this game, you should expect cars from Ford, Honda, Aston Martin, Peugeot, Saab, Volvo, Hyundai, Buick, Saturn, Toyota and more. Nearly every corner of the globe is represented in this strong line-up of vehicles.
 
Like all good racing sims, each of these cars feel significantly different. It's more than just changing what your car looks like, you'll find that all of the cars handle differently. On top of buying and selling cars, you will also be able to buy aftermarket parts for every vehicle in your garage. Like Gran Turismo, these parts allow you to affect every element of your vehicle, from the breaking to the acceleration to the way it looks. Best of all, these parts actually affect the way the car handles, so you will definitely notice a difference in the way the car controls when you sink 40 to 50,000 credits into it.
 
But Forza 2 realizes that not everybody is a gearhead, some people like the idea of driving simulators without having to spend a lot of time and effort researching the best parts and experimenting with the various brands. Forza 2's customization is extremely easy to use and will appeal to both experts and novices alike. Thanks to easy to understand graphs and charts upgrading your car has been made easy, but there's still room for you to experiment if that's your kind of thing. It's an impressive feat that Forza 2 has been able to pull off; this game manages to appease just about every group of gamer out there.
 
There are a couple of things that will keep you coming back to the career mode for more. For one thing it's always fun to win new cars, and if you are able to get gold in the various events you will always be rewarded with a brand new car (along with some much needed credits). There's just something about having hundreds of cars in your garage that feels satisfying, and Forza 2 makes it easy for you to quickly amass a large collection of different vehicles from the get-go.
 
But beyond simply collecting hundreds of vehicles, Forza 2 has a cool leveling system that will keep you coming back race after race. As you complete each race you will be given a certain amount of credits which go towards your overall experience, as you go from one level to another it opens up new events and gives you a real sense of accomplishment. Like playing a role-playing game, leveling up your racer (as well as the various cars you use) makes you want to come back for just a little bit more. Obviously there's more to Forza Motorsport 2 than leveling up, but don't underestimate the addictive quality of seeing your level increase.
 
Beyond all of the single-player stuff you also have an impressive multiplayer mode that is almost as robust as what you get in the career. Forza 2's online game features just about everything you could want, from quick races to tournaments to team-based battles. Feel like you don't have enough people to fill up a big room? Don't worry about it, because Forza 2 allows you to add as many computer-controlled vehicles as you want. Do you just want to jump into a quick game and test your skills? Forza 2 is ready for that, too. Thanks to a great matchmaking service that works with your online rank, Froza 2 is a breeze to jump into if you don't have any friends. What sets this game apart is how it often feels like the developers predicted every situation, so no matter how many people you have ready to race you will always have fun. 
 
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