Microsoft has released a standalone online download that uses the "Forza Horizon 2" concept while incorporating elements from the popular car film franchise "Fast & Furious." A few gamers managed to test out and play the game, "Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast & Furious."
For his review, Steven Hansen of Destructoid managed to legally download the game for free and played it alongside Brett Makedonski. However, Xbox One users will now have to pay $9.99 for the game on Xbox Marketplace after Microsoft ended the free download of the game back on April 10.
"I am so very torn (I'm all out of faith, this is how I feel) on 'Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast & Furious,'" Hansen wrote. "On one hand, I am playing ... a sampling of 'Forza Horizon 2' that feels like it contains enough of what 'Forza Horizon 2' is about -- especially to me, as not a car person. On the other hand, the 'Fast & Furious' partnership that bore this free thing feels too crass, too spurious."
When he was playing the game, Makedonski thought it felt "more like a large-scale demo" for "Forza Horizon 2."
"This might be the best that 'Forza Horizon 2' ever gets," Makedonski wrote. "No boring C and D class races -- just fun cars, and a campaign with a digestible scope. However, the 'Fast & Furious' veneer isn't fooling anyone."
Makedonski added that the NOS boost "doesn't do anything," noting that "you don't actually gain ground on other cars." Hansen agreed, noting that it was "probably the weakest boost I've felt in a racer."
Hansen then turned his focus on the pacing behind the game, which he thought was "kind of whack."
"I already drove a McLaren in one of those skill point challenges before I won one in a race, and even then it was arguably not better than the Nissan GTR I used to win it," Hansen wrote. "Plus, the few more cars you unlock down the line mostly drop from these super cars to A level or whatever, and it's like, why am I going to trade down? If you're a car nut, I guess."
Although Hansen thought the races were "engaging at any level," he thought that the game's "skill point challenges" were either "dull or too easy."
"I drove around haphazardly burning out and running into things and aced most of them without much effort, save for the one that was like 25,000 points, which just took a bit longer," Hansen wrote.
Makedonski argued that although the tie-in between "Forza" and "Fast & Furious" made "sense on a base level," he noted that the overall concept fell short in this game.
"Tacking a movie known for being ridiculous on top of a game known for being ridiculous elevates expectations in a way that's near impossible to deliver on," Makedonski wrote. "This game falls flat in that sense, because those are heights this never had a chance to soar to."
Hansen and Makedonski rated the game a 6 out of 10 points, adding that although they appreciated the efforts, they "won't be playing this repeatedly." Daniel Perez of GamerHub.tv appeared to agree with that sentiment, noting that the cross-promotion was "done poorly."
"The game starts with a number of high-octane clips from 'Furious 7,' but the only real connection I had with the film during play was the fact Ludacris was chatting with me about upcoming races, as well as praising or berating me depending on the outcome of a race," Perez wrote. "Ultimately, this just feels like 'Forza Horizon 2' with a light coating of 'Fast & Furious.'"
Unlike as portrayed in the film, Perez noted that players would have to earn 10 vehicles in various races and objectives as opposed to "boosting" them. Overall, he thought of the game as a great "demo" for "Fast & Furious" fans in deciding whether or not to buy "Forza Horizon 2"; at the same time, he contended that regular "Forza" players won't be missing much in this game.
"The game does a great job of giving players a taste of the 'Horizon 2' experience as I was able to complete the main story in approximately 3 hours," Perez wrote. "That's definitely enough time to get those who were previously on the fence about buying 'Forza Horizon 2' to pony up their cash for the full experience."