Horizon Chase 2 Review

Horizon Chase 2 header artwork

In life, the simple things are best. A peaceful walk through an autumnal forest, eating a melted marshmallow fresh and squishy from the barbecue, a classic Victoria sponge cake. When it comes to video games, the same life rule applies; and what better example than the old-school arcade racer? Thrills, spills, and no more complexity than going eye-dissolvingly fast in a mostly straight line. Horizon Chase 2 is the epitome of this ideology, it also has amongst the best local multiplayer features I’ve ever encountered.

Horizon Chase 2 is the sequel to the 2018 original, Horizon Chase Turbo, and it shares a great deal with its forebear – bright and bold 90’s visuals, easy-to-pick-up controls, and crazy fast top speeds. This then, is the most traditional of sequels: mostly more of the same, but bigger and better.

The visuals are an example of this design approach, having seen a noticeable improvement in detail, though thankfully retaining their charming old-school aesthetic. Whilst the array of vehicles is more limited than in the original game, they can each now be upgraded to a far greater extent, as well as being customisable. Swap out the tires, change the chassis, or splash out on some new paint – these options are hardly going to give Forza a run for its money but they are a neat addition.

Horizon Chase 2 weather effects

I must say, the choice of available vehicles all play it rather straight. I found myself missing the comical cars like the Learner-Driver, the Camper-Van, and the Handy-Man Sedan. Perhaps these lighter-hearted mobiles will be released as DLC, but for the moment players are stuck with the sportiest of sports cars and little else.

Track design meanwhile, benefits from weather effects and more varied courses. The track will split into divergent paths before combining a little while later, whilst the cars can be battered by a passing sand storm. New pick-ups add a shade of complexity too; boosts litter the track, and nitro can be gained in segments rather than in one power-up. Also, players rejoice, no more fuel meter! Getting rid of this abomination was a smart move on behalf of the developers, lowering a big hurdle for new and young gamers alike. Now, rather than worrying about collecting fuel, players can just focus on the fun of going very fast.

And what speeds Horizon Chase 2 reaches! This is a super-slick game with an eye-wateringly fast frame rate to match, and the visual velocity is kept up even in four-player split screen.

Horizon Chase 2 multiplayer screenshot

There is far more online functionality this time out, which is a welcome addition, but it’s in local multiplayer that Horizon Chase 2 belongs. Along with regular races and tournaments, other players can easily drop into any event throughout the extensive world tour mode. They can even help out whilst racing, gathering collectibles that all go towards the primary player’s overall progress. Helping out your kid unlock a brand-new vehicle is one of those special multiplayer moments that Horizon Chase 2 has in droves.

Summary
Horizon Chase 2 is a fantastically fast, fun, and frenetic old-school arcade racer; improving on the original game in almost every way. With its budget price and great multiplayer options, this is an absolute must for those who like their racers stuck firmly in the 1990s.
Good
  • Old-school visuals delight
  • So freaking fast
  • Fantastic local multiplayer
  • No more fuel meters
Bad
  • Vehicles are noticeably more boring than in the original game
9

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