As I briefly mentioned in my previous blog post about Forza Horizon, this latest Forza game is not a typical Forza Motorsport racing game, also because Turn 10 Studios, the developers of all the previous Forza games, has been only partially involved in the development of Horizon, which was done by Playground Games instead.
This resulted in an open world, free roam game much like Need for Speed titles but with simulation elements. It is not a real simulation game, which can be seen in the lack of mechanical car damage, but the controls really feel like a real simulation (try driving an upgraded Gumpert Apollo with traction controll off). This mixture of arcade and simulation elements works pretty good imho: because during free roaming sessions you often find yourself driving in the traffic, having a game that is too realistic would have probably been too frustrating (not that crashing into a van when you are driving at 380 km/h isn’t anyway).
The single player mode is not that long, although you get plenty of events to race in. Most of them are pretty short though, and you can win all of them in about 30 hours. Of course, you also have the time-consuming, incredibly boring achievements requiring you to drive through all of the streets and the like, which can help you play with the game a bit longer if you play for the achivements.
Speaking of which, as often happened with Forza Motorsport titles in the past, forget about earning all of them just because you own the game. Forza Motorsport 3 required you to have a Kinect, Forza Motorsport 4 required you to have played Forza Motorsport 3 and Forza Horizon requires you to have played either Forza 3 or Forza 4 and to buy at least some DLC. If you wonder why I haven’t completed the game 100% (and I never will), this is the reason.
Seriously, all these season passes and VIP memberships looks like they are not worth their price to me. Of course, if you are a heavy Forza player they might be a nice addition, but if you are not, you might be better off sticking with the regular editions and maybe buy the single additions in case you are interested in them.