It’s been seven years since Aquiris’ excellent arcade racer Horizon Chase (Free) arrived on the App Retailer. Since then, the game has been on a tour of its personal, hitting quite a lot of different platforms and continually including new content material to get pleasure from. A couple of month in the past, we lastly obtained a sequel when Horizon Chase 2 () roared onto the Apple Arcade service in anticipation of a wider launch in 2023. I’ve been taking part in the wheels off the game since then, and I figured I’d write up a overview in case anybody wants a nudge.
Simply as the primary game was, Horizon Chase 2 pays heavy homage to basic arcade-style racers like Gremlin’s Prime Gear/Lotus and SEGA’s Out Run. Races are high-speed affairs stuffed with loads of hairpin turns, nitro boosts, and nasty collisions. The colours are vibrant, the tunes are pumping, and the physics are extra concerned about being enjoyable than being life like. As a sequel, Horizon Chase 2 has an additional job past simply being a very good racer, nonetheless. It additionally has to point out what it has to supply that the primary game didn’t, a process that may be fairly powerful when the earlier game noticed new updates whilst current as a couple of months in the past.
For those who simply soar into the game, the primary huge distinction is an apparent one. The straightforward, albeit engaging, flat-shaded, low-poly look of the unique game has been changed with one thing a bit extra visually spectacular. There are extra trackside objects with higher element, nicer visible results, and an general higher complexity in how the whole lot appears. There’s plenty of verticality to the tracks, and also you’ll journey by means of areas the primary game by no means deigned to take us. Amazingly, the game 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 dropping its pure “blue skies” power.
The soundtrack, alternatively, sticks to what works. Which means Barry Leitch is again to grant the game a peppy synth vibe that virtually oozes the texture of the early Nineties. Whereas I wouldn’t say it surpasses the unique, it definitely stands comfortably beside it. purpose to play with the sound on, little question. 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 finest video game soundtracks, it’s simply as a lot part of the game’s character as its graphics.
The opposite very apparent new component is the net multiplayer. The brand new Playground theoretically means that you can race in opposition to different human gamers in rotating occasions. I need to admit that within the month I’ve spent with this game, 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 in all probability don’t want on-line play for. I suppose that is the price of the game being quickly 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 in all probability have to rearrange one thing amongst your mates or utilizing the game’s official Discord server.
However hey, even in the event you don’t contact the Playgrounds in any respect, you’ve nonetheless obtained a lot to dig into. There’s the returning World Tour mode that takes you thru a whopping fifty-five new programs set throughout 5 completely different nations. The sheer number of these tracks is improbable, and when mixed with the upgraded visible punch, it’s straightforward to get distracted trying 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 ability and subsequent tracks turning up the warmth regularly till you’re boiling in your individual sweat. I discover the monitor design on this game to already exceed the primary, and that was no straightforward feat.
By way of the precise mechanics of the game, 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 game, a system that’s baked into the fingers of Prime Gear and Lotus veterans, however utilized to way 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 game, it’s simply plain enjoyable to drive in Horizon Chase 2. What extra might you ask for?
After all, you’ve additionally obtained unlockables and upgrades to contemplate. As you race, you’ll unlock new tracks, vehicles, and customizations, and might use the foreign money you’ve gathered to tune your favourite automotive as you prefer it. Utilizing vehicles in races earns expertise for that automotive, and once they degree up you’ll be able to improve their stats. Firstly of the game, you might have 5 very completely different autos to select from. You’ll unlock ten extra, and if the primary game was any indicator I’m positive that quantity will solely go up over time. That mentioned, the way in which the improve system works incentivizes you to discover a automotive you want and keep it up. Properly, you’ll be able to all the time grind up one other one in the event you like. It simply means extra racing, and there’s nothing incorrect with that.
Is there the rest I ought to point out? The contact controls really feel a little bit higher on this game than the primary, however that would simply be right down to a greater UI format. You possibly can naturally use an exterior controller in the event you’d desire to. I discovered there was only a contact of added lag by taking part in that approach, however nothing too severe. Such is the character of Bluetooth units. You’ve obtained some new Achievements to go for, and a few of them are fairly intelligent. Oh, I didn’t point out the unlockable Match mode both. It’s only a method 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.
For those who beloved Horizon Chase, you’ll love Horizon Chase 2. For those who’ve by no means performed the primary game, you’ll be able to simply soar in with this sequel and have a good time. It’s in some methods an anticipated sequel, however I don’t suppose there’s something incorrect with that when there was so little to complain about within the first game. I had truly 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’d like is to get the net inhabitants a little bit extra lively. Hopefully that’s a problem that may remedy itself with time.