The review embargo for Microsoft's Forza Horizon has lifted, and critics appear to be generally positive about the latest title.
CVG's review is incoming but the editorial team has decided to postpone it to ensure that the full experience - including the mass of online options - can be properly absorbed. Stay tuned.
So far other reviews have been highly positive though the game has not quite swept the board. Forza Horizon has been in co-development at its regular studio Turn 10 along with the new UK studio Playground.
Gaming Examiner: 9.5 - The Forza series is expanding beyond the racetrack, and Horizon represents a fantastic first salvo into the greater Forza world.
Destructiod: 9 - Forza Horizon mixes authentic racing with an open world to create a unique game that will appeal to both hardcore car freaks and casual racers. Playground Games took a humungous, beautiful world, packed it full of entertaining challenges and events, added in tons of personality and style, and built it all around the proven Forza tech, giving racing game fans an exceptional automotive experience that they didn't even know they wanted. For as much as I love Forza Motorsport, it's going to be hard to go back after this.
Eurogamer: 9 - Forza Horizon is a big, exciting game that finally brings car enthusiasts together with the realistic open roads they crave.
IGN: 9 - If you love Forza 4, this is the perfect companion. If you love cars, this is essential. The school of thought may be that it's hard to push racing games this late in a generation, but Playground Games hasn't just moved the needle here. It's buried it.
Gamespot: 8.5 - Despite Horizon's newfound focus on style and flash, sim enthusiasts need not be alarmed: this is no arcade racer.
Pocket Lint: 4/5 - There are so many elements at play which make Forza Horizon so different to the most recent Forza outings. This isn't a replacement for Forza Motorsportby any means, it's an addition. Forza Horizon delivers on one of the fundamentals that Turn 10, the game's developer, has always pushed: it's a game for car lovers.
Polygon: 6 - Forza Horizon is never fleshed out enough to reach its potential. There's value to the idea of making a more outwardly accessible entry in a series that's normally targeted at hardcore car nuts. But Horizon's accessibility gives way to a lack of foresight. Its open world feels empty, its economic model is questionable, and its armada of cars are powerless against arbitrary AI escalation. Forza Horizon has more flash than its predecessors, but it's hollow by comparison.
VentureBeat: 83/100 - While Forza Horizon can come across as demographic-mongering, interactive junk food, you'll find a deeply engaging racing experience below its overly gaudy candy-paint top coat. The game truly shines when it lets you live out your childhood fantasies, driving that car from the poster on your bedroom wall down a meandering motorway toward the sunset-soaked ... well, horizon.