Horizon Chase 2 is not essentially the most fascinating racing recreation on the market, however rattling, if it is not onerous to place down! It could not match the high-speed hijinks of kart racers starring Mario, Crash Bandicoot, or Sonic the Hedgehog, nor does it hit the identical harmful highs of Burnout or the high-fidelity, simulative thrill present in different platforms’ unique driving video games, Forza and Gran Turismo. As a substitute, you simply go quick and really feel good doing it. In different phrases, Horizon Chase 2 is arcade-y enjoyable, and good at just about precisely what its title implies, although not far more, and it hits some bumps within the highway on Swap.
Like Aquiris’ predecessor, Horizon Chase Turbo, Horizon Chase 2 is a throwback to a bygone arcade period; the one factor that issues is that horizon and the end line that lies someplace past. There is no gimmick or catch. Every thing round you turns into a blur as you hit dizzying speeds as you race by means of low-fidelity programs providing cute renditions of locations like Morocco, Japan, the Continental U.S., and Brazil.
That mentioned, Horizon Chase 2 appears to have realized the fallacious issues from the primary recreation’s success. In what looks like an effort to push the collection ahead, this sequel goes too far in some locations and never far sufficient in others. As a substitute of Horizon Chase’s shiny, sharp environments, a few of Chase 2’s really feel muddier and far more drab. There are nonetheless highlights, however it’s nearly like Aquiris tried to create extra lifelike ranges and obtained caught in a clumsy lane between charming, retro visuals and trendy, high-fidelity graphics.
Fortunately, the soundtrack’s excessive power hasn’t faltered. Composed by Barry Leitch, it nails that synthy, pulsating really feel you’d count on from a traditional racer from the ’90s and early 2000s. Each observe this is a ripper, and it is taking part in always, pushing you into the subsequent horizon.
Sure modes convey small tweaks that add a modicum of additional depth to Chase 2’s pure ‘gotta go quick’ mentality. In World Tour, you may (you guessed it) race in programs all over the world, doing all of your finest to podium as you choose up collectible blue cash that populate the race observe. The blue cash are the one actual change from the races in different modes. For those who handle to position first in a race and accumulate all the blue cash scattered throughout a observe, you may earn a particular trophy and unlock automobile elements. Upgrading and leveling vehicles in World Tour may very well be higher. As a substitute of incomes garage-wide level-up choices, you earn upgrades and unlocks for one automobile at a time, that means you are in all probability going to be locked to 1 automobile at a time.
Horizon Chase 2 does do a very good job of supplying you with new, leveled-up vehicles every time you full a particular nation’s programs, although. They can not all be winners, however every automobile feels distinct from the final. A luxurious sedan with a number of horsepower feels tanky and onerous to steer however simply sings in lengthy straightaways. Conversely, the maneuverable hybrid zips round corners like a deal with however would not hit very excessive speeds. Not one of the programs are precisely unattainable to finish with any particular car, however there are some that reward completely different traits greater than others.
Figuring out these strengths and weaknesses in a standard race is not as essential as it’s in Time Trials, the place your pace, precision, and ability are put to the check. These challenges (that are all utterly optionally available) operate a bit in another way from the time trials you may discover elsewhere. As a substitute of racing alongside a path in opposition to the clock, you are tasked with hitting a particular time by selecting up time cash, which is able to every cut back your race time by one second, and making intelligent use of strategically positioned enhance pads (like what you’d count on from a Mario Kart or F-Zero). Out of the blue, instances that appeared unrealistically low – like 11 seconds for a three-lap course that sometimes takes 90 seconds to finish – seem inside your attain. It’s going to normally take just a few tries, however these are one of the best a part of Horizon Chase 2. And so they’re powerful as nails (and sadly sparse).
Different modes boil right down to the identical sorts of races in different codecs. For essentially the most half, they swap blue cash out for little energy pickups that, when you accumulate all of them, provide you with a brief pace enhance that lasts longer than the 4 boosts you begin every race with. In any other case, the one factor that varies is the order of the programs offered to you in a four-race collection.
Zooming by means of these races with reckless, breakneck abandon feels good, however the Swap would not precisely like it and there are some vital dips within the body fee. The Swap actually chugs, however on the plus aspect, as a result of your eyes are nearly at all times on the highway forward and your automobile, the body drops do not have an effect on your efficiency — they’re simply noticeable. The body fee did maintain up surprisingly properly in split-screen, although. The dips occurred on the similar frequency out and in of split-screen multiplayer.
However, crashes are a unique story. We encountered a number of full-on crashes. Whereas they appear rooted in Horizon Chase 2’s irritating insistence that you just log into an Epic Video games account, they’re nonetheless irritating nonetheless. Clicking on an choice that requires the login, like beginning the sport, after which declining earlier than clicking it once more precipitated the sport to crash. In different phrases, when you have an web connection, you are all however compelled to log into an Epic Video games account to play Horizon Chase 2. The virtually-always-online nature that comes from the multiplayer itself works properly sufficient, with on-line play feeling easy and lag-free. However requiring an Epic login to view leaderboards or begin the sport takes a heavy toll on the sport’s in any other case breezy on-line performance.
Its UI has a bizarre bug that appears tied to Chase 2’s insistence to be at all times signed in and on-line the place each button immediate within the UI — stuff like ‘A Subsequent,’ ‘X Retry,’ or ‘B Again’ — all get changed with a immediate for a button that does not exist on Swap: ‘RB’. It is a irritating bug that leaves a whole lot of the menu navigation as much as guesswork. Certain, ‘A’ to proceed or go to the subsequent display screen completely is smart, however it’s nonetheless a reasonably critical difficulty that lacked rhyme or purpose.
Horizon Chase 2 is not going to set the world on fireplace. Irrespective of how enjoyable it’s to fly throughout the freeway at blazing pace, no quantity of pace can disguise the pretty restricted breadth of content material out there. The truth is, that pace solely makes programs blur collectively much more. Finally, you are left with a enjoyable however shallow arcade racer that feels disappointingly shaky on Swap.