Update (September 2015): Forza Motorsport 6 is now available. This comparison of Motorsport vs Horizon still stands as it compares the core of the 2 series. Motorsport 6, although improved in some aspects, still offers a comparable experience as 5 and Horizon 2, being still updated with DLCs, is still a relevant game to this day.
You have an Xbox One and are itching to get your hands on a good racing game. Should you get Forza Motorsport 5 or Forza Horizon 2? If you already own Motorsport, should you bother with Horizon?
No, they are not the same game…
While they are both within the same series of racing games and built using the same graphic engine and user driven A.I. called Drivatar, they do not offer the same gaming experience.
Motorsport is all about professional racing. Speed down famous racetracks from around the world in a variety of cars. Tweak the difficulty settings to go from arcade to full on simulation.
Horizon is about the open road. Follow a road trip around southern Europe. At each location you stop, you’ll participate in racing events that range from closed circuit to off road rally. Win enough championships to earn your place at the Horizon Festival finale. This game also has a day and night cycle and a dynamic weather system. You thought driving at night in the pouring rain was straining in real life? Wait until you do in a McLaren at 200 km/h in the countryside.
… but they are somewhat similar.
Since Horizon is built on Motorsport, the driving itself feels very similar: from how the car drives to the controls and the haptics. Where Horizon goes off-road and a weather system, offers a wider spectrum when it comes to the driving experience.
Both games use the Drivatar technology which means your friend’s data fuels the A.I. It doesn’t matter which Forza you and your friends play, your Drivatars will appear in both and earn credits from both. However, if you want to play together online, you’ll need the same game. If you want to play together in the same room, Motorsport is the only one that offers a split screen multiplayer mode.
So, which one?
It really depends on what you are looking for. My friend said he prefered Motorsport because it offered a more authentic driving simulation. I said I liked Horizon best because it offered more variety and I loved driving around the map looking for hidden secrets. I dug the aracade style more.
I personally think Horizon’s variety of challenges and open world concept offers a bigger replay value. However, if all you want is closed circuit races, check out Motorsport.
Here’s one full hour of Forza Horizon gameplay for your viewing pleasure:
And here’s a quick clip of some Forza Motorosport 6 gampplay: