Review: Horizon Chase 2 speeds to PlayStation and Xbox

horizon chase 2

To say that I enjoyed Horizon Chase would be an understatement. Developed by Brazil-based Aquiris Game Studio, that game went on to inhabit just about every piece of gaming technology I laid my hands on in the past decade, where I thoroughly enjoyed my time racing across the world in some of the best and nostalgic arcade racing this side of the hemisphere.

Released on mobile, PC and Nintendo Switch last year, Horizon Chase 2 is finally on PlayStation and Xbox, and having heard great things about it as well as getting to quickly try it out at BIG Festival, it was time to finally enjoy it in the comfort of home. It was definitely worth the wait as it surpasses my high expectations and solidifies its place among my favorite games of the past few years.

In all honesty, the game sticks pretty close to the original’s formula, adding some neat new features and ways of playing that help extend its already varied array of game modes, all the while delivering a colorful and extremely fast gameplay experience that I couldn’t be happier with. Horizon Chase 2 is a game that favors keeping you happy by giving you more of what was great about the first one and turning the knob all the way up when it comes to being a spectacle in just about every way. 

Get outta the way!

Chief among these new features are the car upgrades you can earn or buy during the campaign, which allow you to customize your rides by improving their core stats and changing their looks to your liking, something that I felt was missing from the first game and have loved messing with here. The cars themselves are designed around real world brands while smartly avoiding going too much on a specific look, splitting your choices among the token acceleration, turn and speed archetypes that are usually found in games like this. 

Gameplay-wise, it follows the same road as Horizon Chase, wherein the opposition tends to hog the tight paths you race across until you are able to pass them, and overall, I felt like the game’s difficulty was toned down and made more bearable this time around, giving room to a much more pedal-to-the-metal approach to racing without much need for braking in order to clear turns.

In terms of game modes, this time around you’re given more options to compete against the computer or fellow racing aficionados online. I was happy to see something akin to Top Racer Collection’s custom tournaments in the way you’re able to open up and start your own series of races, as well as embark on special weekly affairs especially crafted by Aquiris where there are specific challenges to fulfill and throw your score up on the leaderboard. 

horizon chase 2
As colorful of maps as they come. And more.

These give different and very fun ways to change up the gameplay, such as offering infinite nitro boosts or the exact obvious, prohibiting you from using them in order to win, but these are only a couple of the vast number of ideas that jump at you in this mode. It’s impressive to see the sheer amount of varied approaches there are to playing Horizon Chase 2 and I’m surprised to see a feature that was introduced in the fantastic Ayrton Senna DLC for the original be brought back and expanded so well here.

If you thought the original was already colorful enough, be ready to get blown away with just how vibrant this sequel is at just every corner you’ll zip through in courses from around the globe, each with its unique visual flavor and flair. Musically, Horizon Chase 2 is nostalgically themed in a similar fashion to its predecessor, striking the same 16-bit chords that made the first such a joy to listen to. All in all an absolute joy to play without a skip in framerate and with a sense of speed that will make you feel great playing it.

Horizon Chase 2 couldn’t turn out any better than it has, and it’s a good thing that it’s finally hitting more consoles since it’ll give more players a chance to see what all the fuss is about. If you are of the sort that enjoys casual but at the same time intense arcade experiences, this is a game you shouldn’t go without, regardless of the platform you choose to play it on.  

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