Living up to expectations
In a genre that is almost over-burdened with competition, it's good to know that some titles still pull through and deliver an outstanding all-encompassing playing experience. Forza Motorsport 2 is by far one of those titles. The sequel to the X-box hit title Forza Motorsport had a lot to live up to in its X-Box 360 debut, and it has not let us down. Boasting over 300 vehicles, 50 manufacturers, 12 tracks and more after-market manufacturers than you can shake a stick at, it all adds up to a very impressive playing experience.
What good is a fast car if you don’t know how to drive it?
Cars and overwhelming parts options aside, Forza 2 really makes its mark by offering an extremely dynamic and self controlled difficulty system. This system allows the player to adjust the difficulty of several aspects of the game just about any time in the game. A novice to the Forza driving game would likely opt for the lowest computer AI and the activation of several of the offered driver assist functions such as Traction Control System (TCS) and Antilock brakes (ABS). In addition to these basic and well known options, Forza 2 has added to the original Dynamic Driving Line assist function by adding degrees of braking. As you race around a corner, the DDL will display multicolored degrees based on your speed and angle to give a visual representation of how you should brake to safely navigate the upcoming corner. If the Driving Line is mostly red, you must slow down in a hurry, whereas green means you can afford to speed up a bit.
As you improve your driving skills, you can begin to raise the AI difficulty and turn off the driver assists. You can increase the prize payout of a race by increasing your overall difficulty in the form of bonuses. Turning off the ABS adds small percentage as would turning off the TCS. All these bonuses are cumulative and add up quickly. Increasing the computer AI alone offers wonderful challenges for those who actually enjoy a good race in a single player mode. The computer AI has proven exceptional throughout all single player modes
Once you have a solid handle on driving your vehicle, you can sit back and take on the Career mode. The Career mode is the meat of the Forza 2 single player content, and offers a lengthy tiered advancement style play. It's the standard age old practice of starting the player with $10-11k “credits” to purchase a new vehicle. This time, the vehicle you purchase will determine your home region as well. This plays only a small role in the early stages of your career, but as your vehicle gains levels, the manufacturers of that region grant you benefits in the form of discounted parts, upgrades and the occasional free car.
Once you select your vehicle and are ready to race, you will notice that each vehicle has a letter designation accompanied by a number. This is the Performance Index (PI) of your vehicle. The P.I. grade vehicles from D to C for lower end cars, B-S for high performance vehicles and “U” grade is reserved for the most extreme road car. The PI continues for “race” class vehicles as well proceeding with R1, R2 and so on. The number designation alongside the PI letter grade helps to pinpoint exactly where the vehicle is on the PI scale. Once a vehicle reaches the next highest stage, the rank will automatically update.
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