A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Forza Horizon is a game about illicit street racing. It places players in the shoes of a driver who regularly get into races with rivals on the open road, resulting in high-speed chases and a lot of civilian car wrecks. Police never show up, drivers are never injured, and cars usually keep on going. This might have an impact on younger players who are still learning about the sort of consequences that result from mishandling vehicles. Parents should also note that this game facilitates open voice communication with strangers.
What's it about?
The fifth game in Turn 10's acclaimed racing series, FORZA HORIZON steers the series in a new direction by marrying the franchise's authentic driving physics and realistic vehicles based on actual cars with the action-packed design of an open-world arcade racer. Players are part of a street racing festival set in the backcountry roads of Colorado, and spend much of their time freely roaming hundreds of miles of open road, challenging other racers on their way to official festival events. Players earn scores of cars as the game progresses, as well as credits used to upgrade vehicles and skill points for completing a wide array of challenges ranging from driving on two tires to narrowly avoiding head-on collisions. An online mode filled with standard races (circuit, point-to-point) and novel objectives (cat and mouse, king of the road) gives players plenty of ways to race against friends and other people from around the world.
Is it any good?
Forza Horizon is among the very best racing games of this generation. Equally appealing to players who crave a realistic driving simulation and those who enjoy the more game-like qualities of an arcade experience, it keeps players glued to the screen by offering up cars that feel great to drive and creating a terrific sense of progression. Its open roads offer unparalleled freedom to play and experiment with satisfyingly authentic cars -- something sim fans aren't used to. And arcade-racing fans can enjoy a sense of precision and realism to which they're unaccustomed without giving up the spectacle and thrill of action-packed street racing. It tries to be the best of both worlds and succeeds admirably. This is a great racing game to add to a library of the best video games.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about online safety. What precautions do you take when playing games with strangers over the Internet? How can you tell if they mean you harm? Have you considered playing online with voice communication disabled?
Families can also discuss responsible driving. Parents who have teens learning to drive may want to consider studies that suggest playing some racing games can lead to taking more driving risks in real life and share it with their children.
- Platforms: Xbox 360
- Subjects: Hobbies: collecting
Science: momentum, motion, physics
- Skills: Collaboration: teamwork
Thinking & Reasoning: strategy
- Price: $59.99
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Microsoft Studios
- Release date: October 23, 2012
- Genre: Racing
- Topics: Cars and trucks
- ESRB rating: T for Drug Reference, Language, Suggestive Themes
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.