First Forza Horizon screenshot released

In March, Microsoft announced it would release a new game in its long running Forza Motorsport series for the Xbox 360 console. However, Microsoft surprised both Forza fans and the media when it revealed the new game was to be called Forza Horizon, suggesting that this entry was to be a spin-off, rather than a true next game in the driving simulation series.

Today, the official Forza Motorsport website posted up the first screenshot of Forza Horizon, showing a very slick looking sports car driving in an open desert setting. The same post also revealed the Xbox 360 cover artwork, showing a different car driving in a more rural, forest setting.


While the previous games in the Forza Motorsport series have been developed by Microsoft's own team at Turn 10 Studios, Forza Horizon will be made primarily by Playground Games, based in the UK.

So far, Microsoft has revealed little in the way of details for Forza Horizon. Today the company only said that the game " ... combines the automotive thrills that Forza fans expect with a gorgeous open-road world that begs to be explored."

You can bet that Forza Horizon will be one of the company's big highlights for E3 2012, coming up in just a few weeks. The game is scheduled to be released sometime this fall.

Images via Microsoft

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I'm a long running fan of Forza, having owned every game for Xbox since Forza 1 on my old Xbox 1, which I still go back to play every so often. It's a good idea to release mini games like this, it keeps fans happy whilst big sequels are developed, like Rockstar did with GTA 3, they released spin offs like Vice City and San Andreas whilst GTA4 was being developed.

I did find that the engine noises in Forza 4 were distorted and too loud. For example the Viper. When revving at idle up to 2,000 revs it was quiet and then went really noisy past this, whereas Forza 3 didn't. I hope they fix this.

As Astra said, a TDU style open-world mission-based driving game in the Forza universe sounds awesome, but as Shikaka also said, not being developed by Turn 10 is a little worrying for me.

Huge fan of Forza though, so I'll definitely be giving it a look as more info comes out.

Also, both cars appear to be 2013 SRT Vipers.