Basically, take the open world of Midnight Club, some of the recklessness of Burnout Paradise (build rep by speed, drifting, destroying road signs, passing cars [or avoid head-ons] as close as possible), and the cars of Forza and you get Forza: Horizon. When I heard about this, I really didn't think it would work, but then I got the game on sale, and except for a couple hours playing Game Room, I haven't stopped playing Horizon. Now, maybe it's not as exacting on tune-ups and it's missing Autovista (and for that matter Clarkson ripping on the cars), but this isn't Forza Motorsport 5. When that comes out (probably late 2013 or 2014 [or XBox720 or whatever the next one will be called]), all that will be there. This is a spinoff of FM, and one that is equal to it.
It isnt perfect,but for what it is this game is right on point. They really tried to bring a bit of the nfs world or midnight club feal to the Forza stable,and I give them credit for that. The game does lack the depth of roads and tracks and cars that a normal Forza title brings but again,this one was meant to be more of an arcade style departure,you know that right away when you find you cant custom tune the car for the race,sure ya add the parts and paint it and design it as crazy as most other forza games but the lack of tuning lets ya know this is something different. The thumpy techno music gets old but like in most racing games I insert my usb jump drive with my music and just play that over the games sound effects and that works just fine for me. It does suck not having the huge stable you usually get with a forza title and it is also annoying at how many of the cars are dlc cars,but,if you have played other entries you do get a nice boost in inventory from your previous saves from forza4. So,this game wont be liked by most people expecting a true forza game,but what you do get is a beautifully crafted arcade like experience with an almost complete sim polish to it,and in my book isnt bad. If you dont like what they did there are always the nfs games or forza4 and im sure forza5 will be coming out with the new xbox.