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If you ever needed proof that a game based on a game genre from the late 80’s/early 90’s could easily be brought to the present with good results, then look no further than Horizon Chase Turbo. This arcade-style racer combines elements from arcade racing classics such as Top Gear and Daytona USA and gives them an adjustment suitable for modern times.
I am playing the game on the PlayStation 4, where it is available to Plus subscribers as part of July’s game lineup alongside Detroit: Become Human, which replaced the originally announced PES 2019 at the last minute.
There’s a real retro feel to this game, thanks to its graphics which resemble a typical arcade racing game from the 80’s/90’s but brought up to modern standards with 3D model cars and plenty more colors. Just like the classic arcade racing games, the race tracks are all fairly straight forward although challenging at the same time.
Horizon Chase Turbo started its life off as a mobile game and there’s plenty of evidence of that remaining in this port, most of which comes from the level selection screen which itself is split into 12 regions from California to the UAE and the awarding of up to three stars based on overall performance per race and area.
The main mode on offer in this game is the World Tour mode, which sees you racing on over 100 tracks from across the 12 regions. Regions are unlocked as you progress through the mode by collecting a set amount of points. Completing this mode will take a good while, but thanks to the wide range of ever-changing tracks you will not tire easily of this.
Outside of the main mode, you will find an extra three modes, which will unlock as you progress World Tour mode. These include Playground mode, Tournament mode and Endurance mode. Each mode offers its own different quirks, but the best one here is Endurance mode, which is basically a longer version of Tournament mode, which just like the main mode will take you a good while to complete.
Each track is home to a set number of collectible blue tokens. Collecting all of these in itself can be a challenge due to the fast-paced nature of the game, which makes it easy to miss them. However, the real challenge lies in collecting them all and coming first place in the race, manage to do this and you’ll be awarded a “Super Trophy” at the end of the race.
As well as these collectible blue tokens, you’ll also find fuel canisters in certain areas of each track. Collecting these replenish your fuel supply. If you run out of fuel during a race, then you’re out. Some tracks also feature a nitro collectible to give you an extra nitro boost.
Each continent features an ”Upgrade race”, finish in the top 3 in these races and you’ll be awarded a performance upgrade, which not only applies automatically to your current cars but any cars you unlock later on.
There are over 30 cars to unlock in Horizon Chase Turbo, each one has its own specifications from top speed right down to handling as you’d expect from any modern day racer. The cars appear to be based on real-life cars, although there are no brands mentioned most likely down to this being a small time game, therefore not having any licensing deals in place. Cars are unlocked as you progress through the game, most are unlocked from collecting a set number of points but some are unlocked for completing continents and modes.
Horizon Chase Turbo is rather easy to pick up and get into without much in the way of learning. The controls are simple with most of your in race time spent on the R2 button for acceleration, left analog stick for steering and square for boosting. The L2 button is used for braking although, in all honesty, I haven’t felt the need to use this too much, given how the game seems to offer some assistance in corners. While assistance is offered in corners it is still very easy to mess up and hit a sign which will send your car spinning or flying depending on the speed and angle you hit it at.
Replayability is certainly strong with this game. Despite being so basic, it offers so much to see and do, with its different modes and mainstream game length. There’s even a local multiplayer with room for up to 4 players, although unfortunately there’s no online multiplayer option here, so if you want to play with your mates, it will be a couch session.
In conclusion, Horizon Chase Turbo is a fantastic modern day throwback to the classic arcade racer genre of back in the day. It does a wonderful job of bringing over elements and making them suitable for today’s consoles and expectations. It’s also incredibly fun thanks to its ever going list of things to do, even more, fun than standard racers such as Need For Speed. The only thing that it’s missing is an online multiplayer option.