It’s been seven years since Aquiris’ excellent arcade racer Horizon Chase (Free) arrived on the App Retailer. Since then, the sport has been on a tour of its personal, hitting quite a lot of different platforms and always including new content material to get pleasure from. A couple of month in the past, we lastly bought a sequel when Horizon Chase 2 () roared onto the Apple Arcade service in anticipation of a wider launch in 2023. I’ve been enjoying the wheels off the sport since then, and I figured I’d write up a assessment in case anybody wants a nudge.
Simply as the primary recreation was, Horizon Chase 2 pays heavy homage to traditional arcade-style racers like Gremlin’s High Gear/Lotus and SEGA’s Out Run. Races are high-speed affairs full of loads of hairpin turns, nitro boosts, and nasty collisions. The colours are vibrant, the tunes are pumping, and the physics are extra interested by being enjoyable than being lifelike. As a sequel, Horizon Chase 2 has an additional job past simply being a great racer, nonetheless. It additionally has to point out what it has to supply that the primary recreation didn’t, a process that may be fairly robust when the earlier recreation noticed new updates at the same time as current as a couple of months in the past.
When you simply bounce into the sport, the primary huge distinction is an apparent one. The straightforward, albeit engaging, flat-shaded, low-poly look of the unique recreation has been changed with one thing a bit extra visually spectacular. There are extra trackside objects with better element, nicer visible results, and an general better complexity in how every little thing seems. There’s plenty of verticality to the tracks, and also you’ll journey by way of places the primary recreation by no means deigned to take us. Amazingly, the sport hasn’t misplaced its retro attraction whereas making this step. It jogs my memory a little bit of how Out Run 2 managed to considerably enhance on the graphical constancy of its predecessor with out shedding its pure “blue skies” power.
The soundtrack, however, sticks to what works. Meaning Barry Leitch is again to grant the sport a peppy synth vibe that virtually oozes the texture of the early Nineties. Whereas I wouldn’t say it surpasses the unique, it actually stands comfortably beside it. cause to play with the sound on, little doubt. It’s simply beautiful to me how simply Leitch can set up the setting and stakes of a race simply with the primary few seconds of every monitor. Like all the greatest online game soundtracks, it’s simply as a lot part of the sport’s character as its graphics.
The opposite very apparent new component is the web multiplayer. The brand new Playground theoretically means that you can race in opposition to different human gamers in rotating occasions. I have to admit that within the month I’ve spent with this recreation, I’ve had solely the spottiest luck discovering different individuals on-line. I find yourself racing in opposition to AI bots for essentially the most half, which I most likely don’t want on-line play for. I suppose that is the price of the sport being briefly unique to a particular service on one particular platform. A minimum of for now, if you wish to play in opposition to different gamers, you’ll most likely have to rearrange one thing amongst your folks or utilizing the sport’s official Discord server.
However hey, even should you don’t contact the Playgrounds in any respect, you’ve nonetheless bought loads to dig into. There’s the returning World Tour mode that takes you thru a whopping fifty-five new programs set throughout 5 totally different international locations. The sheer number of these tracks is incredible, and when mixed with the upgraded visible punch, it’s simple to get distracted wanting on the programs when you’re racing on them. The issue curve is acquainted, with the primary handful of races being easy sufficient to deal with no matter your talent and subsequent tracks turning up the warmth steadily till you’re boiling in your personal sweat. I discover the monitor design on this recreation to already exceed the primary, and that was no simple feat.
When it comes to the precise mechanics of the sport, Horizon Chase 2 covers acquainted floor. This, just like the music, is a case of not fixing one thing that wasn’t damaged. You get that very same weighty-yet-light really feel from the primary recreation, a system that’s baked into the fingers of High Gear and Lotus veterans, however utilized to much more superior course layouts. Weaving skillfully between your opponents, kicking on that nitro on the excellent second to fly into the lead of the pack, and narrowly lacking a brutal crash with a signboard as you lean like hell into a decent curve is simply as triumphantly thrilling as ever. Like within the first recreation, it’s simply plain enjoyable to drive in Horizon Chase 2. What extra might you ask for?
In fact, you’ve additionally bought unlockables and upgrades to think about. As you race, you’ll unlock new tracks, automobiles, and customizations, and might use the forex you’ve gathered to tune your favourite automobile as you prefer it. Utilizing automobiles in races earns expertise for that automobile, and after they degree up you may improve their stats. At the beginning of the sport, you might have 5 very totally different autos to select from. You’ll unlock ten extra, and if the primary recreation was any indicator I’m positive that quantity will solely go up over time. That stated, the way in which the improve system works incentivizes you to discover a automobile you want and keep it up. Nicely, you may at all times grind up one other one should you like. It simply means extra racing, and there’s nothing flawed with that.
Is there the rest I ought to point out? The contact controls really feel a bit higher on this recreation than the primary, however that might simply be right down to a greater UI format. You possibly can naturally use an exterior controller should you’d choose to. I discovered there was only a contact of added lag by enjoying that means, however nothing too severe. Such is the character of Bluetooth gadgets. You’ve bought some new Achievements to go for, and a few of them are fairly intelligent. Oh, I didn’t point out the unlockable Event mode both. It’s only a approach to dip in and play some fast challenges if you don’t really feel like getting caught into World Tour. Extra scoops of ice cream on an already teetering mountain of candy treats.
When you cherished Horizon Chase, you’ll love Horizon Chase 2. When you’ve by no means performed the primary recreation, you may simply bounce in with this sequel and have a good time. It’s in some methods an anticipated sequel, however I don’t assume there’s something flawed with that when there was so little to complain about within the first recreation. I had really let my Apple Arcade subscription lapse, however I signed proper again up once more for Horizon Chase 2. It didn’t let me down. Now all we want is to get the web inhabitants a bit extra energetic. Hopefully that’s a problem that can resolve itself with time.