Horizon Chase 2

Horizon Chase 2 (XSX) Review

Previously released on Switch and PC, Horizon Chase 2 is now available on Playstation and Xbox complete with crossplay. It isn’t deep racing gaming but still has some entertaining qualities despite being simple and modern.

The main selling point of this sequel is all about the crazy cool sense of speed. It doesn’t have the comical weapons of Mario Kart. It does not have the destructiveness of Burnout. And it definitely doesn’t have the simulation of Forza or Gran Turismo. Instead, every aspect is built around speed and how it makes you feel like a constant badass on the track. Even if you crash on the side of the road, you only lose a second of momentum. Speed is far and away the main gimmick here. Everything is built around it.

Like most racing games, the goal is to reach the finish line first and it only takes a couple minutes to complete most tracks. As a change of pace, sometimes there are different mission objectives, like completing a time trial within a certain amount of time, but these variants can unfortunately be unbalanced. You see, coming in first place while collecting the handful of coins in each match will reward the player with currency to unlock new cars, car parts, and car upgrades. However, it takes forever to unlock a single upgrade and multiple upgrades are required to enhance the vehicle far enough to earn a ranking spot on the time trial missions. Since it is impossible to beat the best times with the default cars, it probably would have been better to leave these strict match requirements as unlockables at the end. There are a lot of things to unlock, which is cool, but it takes so much grinding to get to the good stuff, which is not cool.

Thankfully, the fun sense of speed will keep the player entertained even though there isn’t much in terms of track variety. Sure, each track looks different, and they all are very colorful and some even feature some impressive weather effects, but each one is composed of the same twists, turns, and straightaways. For a game that moves at such an impressive speed, it is a shame that jumps, ramps, and shortcuts were not included. There aren’t even many dips or hills either. And for us American players, it is a little weird driving in km/hour instead of miles per hour with no option to toggle between the two. The soundtrack is also a highlight and reminds me of the fast guitar riffs of an F-Zero game at times.

One aspect that needs to be mentioned is the emphasis on the casual player. Meaning, despite driving at super-fast speeds, the game keeps the car on the track. As long as you tilt the analog stick in the general direction of the turn, the game will keep the car on the track for you, without having to slow down, drift, or break (for the most part).  Since the game has this friendly auto-drive feature, it makes all players competitive and on an even playing field. The only way to really get ahead is to grind more than your opponent to unlock better equipment. There are no Mario Kart boost turns here so the best drivers will need strategically time their nitro boosts to shave fractions of seconds off their time to earn a higher spot on the leaderboards. That, or know how to avoid the AI racers that always get in your way.

In addition to the standard campaign races against the AI, online matches with crossplay are available. There are also optional Challenge missions to complete which offer some slight variety to the gameplay. For example, the game might task the player with coming in first but while avoiding all coins on the course. These Challenges will rotate over time and labels each one as complete with a checkmark, rewarding the player with extra cash and a sense of accomplishment. 

Horizon Chase 2 is a totally fine, fun, and playable racing game but there is no denying the lack of variety and depth. It is fun to zoom through each track at stupid fast speeds, but without breadth and variety, this arcadey racer is best playable two races at a time before the repetition and boredom becomes obvious. It doesn’t make it a bad racing game, just disappointingly shallow.  

SCORE: 6/10

Also Play: Formula Bit Racing DX

Don’t Forget About: Electro Ride: The Neon Racing

For More Speed Play: Redout II

By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief

Twitter: @ZackGaz

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