RE­VIEWS

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - FUN & GAMES -

FORZA HORI­ZON ★★★★

12 cert, Mi­crosoft Stu­dios/ Play­ground Games, Xbox 360 The Forza games have al­ways been metic­u­lous and playable, but by mov­ing be­yond the race­track, Forza Hori­zon has given the fran­chise a wel­come change of di­rec­tion. This open-world racer kicks off in summertime Colorado, where road races are in full swing. Climb the lad­der and fame, money and cars be­come avail­able. As well as count­less ve­hi­cles and 216 roads, Forza Hori­zon has some unique gar­nishes, such as Kinect voice com­mands and “rewind”. Not ev­ery­one likes the lat­ter, but I do. Forza Hori­zon is de­vel­oped for and by petrol-heads, with elab­o­rate up­grades, ad­mirable at­ten­tion to de­tail and a rich on­line world. But Clark­son lev­els of knowl­edge are not es­sen­tial; it’s a per­fectly fun game if all you want to do is burn rub­ber. Speedy, user-friendly and beau­ti­fully pre­sented, Forza Hori­zon is also a nice choice for win­ter gam­ing, thanks to its sun­burnt set­ting, mu­sic-fest back­drop and desert vis­tas.

JOE GRIF­FIN MEDAL OF HONOR: WARFIGHTER ★★

16 cert, EA, PS3. Also Xbox The new­est in­stal­ment in the Medal of Honor se­ries con­tin­ues the present-day trend for the once his­tor­i­cally fo­cused se­ries. Pit­ting it­self against the like of Call of Duty is a brave move. Warfighter isn’t bad. It man­ages to tick all the boxes in terms of ex­plo­sions and gun­fire, and mem­o­rable mon­ick­ers for the main char­ac­ters. But you just feel like there’s some­thing miss­ing. You don’t learn enough about Preacher to care about him or with any­one he comes into contact . Warfighter is ad­e­quate but noth­ing spec­tac­u­lar. You’ll prob­a­bly en­joy play­ing through the cam­paign – if you can ig­nore the oc­ca­sional bugs – but there isn’t enough to make this stand out from the genre pack. When Medal of Honor first hit the shelves, it was com­pelling; Warfighter just doesn’t come up to the same stan­dard. The mul­ti­player mode is in­fin­itely bet­ter. Get stuck into the on­line mode. CIARA O’BRIEN

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