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Horizon Chase 2

Horizon Chase 2

Written by Jason Dailey on 5/29/2024 for MOB   PC   PS5   SWI   XSX  
More On: Horizon Chase 2

While I appreciate how far racing games have come over the years, sometimes I just want to play a racing game that takes me back to my arcade glory days. Outrun and Cruis’n immediately come to mind from those decades long past, with the former serving as a clear inspiration for Horizon Chase 2. But the thing about bringing retro-style games forward to modernity is that, sometimes, it reminds us just how good we have it nowadays.

Horizon Chase 2 is not a bad game, but it has only so much runway to expand on the retro-style arcade racer without comprising on the spirit of what it is trying to be. It plays more like Outrun than Cruis’n, with a tremendous sense of speed as the courses fly by at a blistering pace. It’s so fast, in fact, that I don’t think it is a good game for others to spectate. My wife stopped by the game room at one point and said it made her feel queasy. That’s not a knock on the game, as I take issue with racing games that lack that proper feeling of going fast – Fortnite’s new racing mode immediately comes to mind as feeling too slow.

With that high rate of speed comes some major guardrails; the game won’t let you run off the track unless you do it on purpose. It feels likes those wired RC car tracks from years ago where the cars would never come off the track, even when you held the little speed knob all the way down. I even looked in the settings for an option to take the training wheels off, but none exist. Combine that with the fact that I never had to use the brakes – ever – and the result is racing that lacks teeth, meaning it won’t always hold your attention.

From a content standpoint, Horizon Chase 2 features a decent suite of game modes. World Tour takes you across the globe, one region at a time, unlocking new tracks and cars as you progress. Each track has blue coins you physically drive over to collect, which are required to unlock vehicle upgrades to suspension, nitro, and more. Where you finish determines how many trophies you earn from each race, as well as credits, which are used to buy customization items. It’s a lot of different currencies but it’s not hard to keep track of. If you are the kind of gamer that must 100% everything, or clear every part of a map, getting all possible trophies and coins gives Horizon Chase 2 a collect-a-thon vibe that will resonate with you. Not that I would know from experience or anything.

Beyond World Tour is the Playground – the place for online racing against other humans if you can find them. It does feature cross-platform play but I was rarely matched up against other players, despite the game already being available on mobile, PC, and Switch. The game backfills online races with AI drivers, but that wholly defeats the purpose of venturing online, rendering the mode altogether moot. There are online challenges as well, which are races with specific requirements that you continually try to lower your time on to climb the global leaderboard. Online you earn tickets (yet another currency) which you redeem for even more cosmetic items. If you’d rather just race against your pals, you do have the ability to form a crew with up to four players to race both online and locally in split-screen.

There is also Tournament mode which features a series of races in a circuit, with you earning points depending on where you finish. The driver with the most points after all races wins the tournament, and consequently huge payouts of credits, which again, can be used to buy vehicle cosmetics like paint jobs, rims, and body variants.

No matter which mode you partake in, Horizon Chase 2 features great track designs, each themed around the part of the world you are in – Florida has RVs and palm trees, Morocco a desert, and so on. The music is themed accordingly as well, which is a nice touch. You’ll also encounter changes to time of day and weather as you race; the arid courses may experience a dust storm that reduces visibility, or the temperate locales may get a rain shower, for instance. Both are nice inclusions that add a necessary bit of spice to the racing itself, which can grow stale at times.

Horizon Chase 2 is a quaint, retro-style arcade racer that sputters across the finish line. It’s not bad, but on the track, it will struggle to keep you enthralled due to built-in guardrails and inconsistent challenge from the AI. An apparent lack of a player base means there is nowhere to turn online to up the ante either. For those old enough to remember playing its inspirations, Horizon Chase 2 serves as a reminder of just how far racing games have come over the years. If you have children or young people in your orbit, this is a great game to acquaint them with the genre, but beyond that, I don’t know how long it will keep you entertained.

Good track design and a blistering sense of speed are not enough to compensate for relatively mindless racing. Horizon Chase 2 serves as an ode to arcade racing classics that reminds us just how far the genre has come.

Rating: 6.5 Below Average

* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company.

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About Author

Jason has been writing for Gaming Nexus since 2022. Some of his favorite genres of games are strategy, management, city-builders, sports, RPGs, shooters, and simulators. His favorite game of all-time is Red Dead Redemption 2, logging nearly 1,000 hours in Rockstar's Wild West epic. Jason's first video game system was the NES, but the original PlayStation is his first true video game love affair. Once upon a time, he was the co-host of a PlayStation news podcast, as well as a basketball podcast.

Follow me on Twitter @TheDualSensePod, or check out my YouTube channel.

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