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Forza Motorsport 2 Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . Two years after releasing one of the best racing sims ever made, Microsoft is ready to take the genre to the next level. Forza 2 manages to improve on the original in almost every way, ultimately creating the best racing games of 2007 (and a real contender for game of the year)! Rating: 92%
Forza Motorsport 2
Forza Motorsport 2 Forza Motorsport 2 Forza Motorsport 2 Forza Motorsport 2
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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.

To make this whole experience even better is Forza 2's strong emphasis on the community. Forza 2 is more than just a great racing game, it also manages to innovate on how you interact with other people online. A simple example of this is the connectivity with the website, for example you will be able to take in-game pictures and upload them to Forza 2's official site. Better yet, you will also be able to keep track of your stats, races and tournaments using this site. If it reminds you of what Bungie has been doing with their Halo games then it should, because it seems pretty clear that Microsoft is making a big push for this kind of synergy between the Xbox 360 and websites.

On top of interacting with the website, you will also be able to trade cars back and forth with your online buddies. If you don't like the idea of giving your cars away, then perhaps you would be better served to sell your car on the auction block. If you have put a lot of time and effort into customizing your car and feel like you can get some extra money out of it then Forza 2 gives you the option of selling it, something that I hope to see a lot of in future games.

But you can't just add a few parts to a car and expect it to go for top dollar, instead you're going to have to spend a lot of time on it and give people a reason to buy your car instead of just earning it. To do this you're going to have to go into the customization options and work on adding a better paint job with more designs and colors. If this sounds daunting then it's because it is, you can easily spend dozens of hours simply trying to perfect the best look for any given car. But if you're the type of artistic gamer who loves design then Forza 2 is the game for you. Regardless of whether you're into designing the coolest looking cars on the planet or simply racing them, Forza 2 has you covered. Designing a car can be a time consuming venture that is definitely rewarding if you play your cards right, but it's not for everybody. The fact that there's such an impressive optional feature located in the game makes me all the more impressed with where Microsoft was going with this racing sim.

With so many cars and modes it almost doesn't matter if Forza 2 looks good, the game is going to be amazing no matter what the visuals look like. Thankfully the graphics in Forza 2 are easy on the eyes; even if they aren't the huge step up that some people have been waiting for. To be fair, the original Forza was one of the best looking games on the original Xbox and came near the end of that system's lifespan, while Forza 2 is hitting the Xbox 360 relatively early in the system's life. That's not to say that Forza 2 looks bad, but at first glance it's not going to blow you away like the original did. The graphics are definitely sharp and the locations look stunning, no matter how fast you're going by them. The only real gripe is that the improved graphics barely come through when you're playing the game on a standard def TV. Obviously you are going to need an HDTV to get the most out of your Xbox 360 games, but there are quite a few games that still look amazing on a standard def TV. Unfortunately this is not one of them.

One of the first things you'll notice about Forza 2 is how fast and smooth everything runs, the game keeps its 60 frames per second rate no matter what, which is definitely impressive when you see the visuals the system is pumping out. Also impressive is the car damage (which will actually affect the way your car controls in the career mode). It's always cool (and a little scary) to see your bumper fall off your car or your hood get dented from hitting too many walls. But considering that most realistic racing games (like Gran Turismo) skirt the issue of damaging entirely, it's definitely refreshing to see Forza 2 address this issue.

Forza Motorsport 2 manages to do everything it's supposed to; it's an exhilarating racing game with enough cars to keep you busy for months to come. Even if the game didn't support online play this would still be the ultimate racing experience on the Xbox 360, but the addition of a robust online mode only makes this package that much better. With its sharp presentation and emphasis on variety, Forza 2 is definitely one of the best games of 2007. While the future is always uncertain, there's one thing I can say with confidence: Polyphony is going to have their work cut out for them if they are going to top the brilliance that is Forza Motorsport 2.
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