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BITZ Video Gaming.

Byline: with Cheryl Mullin

Forza Horizon (Turn 10, xbox 360) THIS week I have officially been a Forza widow.

To be fair it shouldn't have come as a shock - it's the same anytime a half decent racing game hits the shelves.

Mr M, who is a big fan of the series, has been eagerly awaiting Forza Horizon since its development was announced.

So when I returned home brandishing a review copy, I knew any plans I had for the week could be dropped.

The one criticism that has always been levelled at Forza is that it's a little clinical.

It's great if you want that pure driving simulation experience - but that can wear very thin, very fast.

Developers Turn 10 have really done their homework for Horizon, taking inspiration from a whole series of games and putting them all in to one perfect little package.

It's similar to open world racing environments that have been done before - think Test Drive Unlimited - but it maintains the excellent vehicle handling and physics fans have come to expect from Forza.

The 'music festival vibe' works well too, helping to alleviate some of the trademark Forza stuffiness.

The gaming mechanics add to the fun, racking up points to improve your street cred as you would kudos points in PGR.

And your driving skills get a thorough testing as the terrain alters between races - requiring you to really up your game.

As usual there are some excellent options for multiplay - with various challenges to really push your skills.

The customisation isn't as deep here as in previous titles, but there's still plenty of scope for adding your own designs and artwork as your vehicle collection grows.

If you love Forza, you'll love Horizons and if you've been turned off by it in the past, it might be time to dip your toe back in.

RATING: 9/10 - Pulse racing ? BARGAIN BUY: PS35.95 at www.thegamecollection.net 007 Legends (Activision, PS3, PC, XBOX) BOASTING an original storyline that explores Bond''s journey from rookie secret agent to 00 licence to kill - 007 Legends should be one of the greatest shooters ever.

However, like most Bond titles before it, it falls heavily into the shadow of Nintendo 64 shooter, GoldenEye. It does manage to merge half a dozen movie-inspired missions, including Moonraker, Die Another Day and Goldfinger.

Unfortunately, while character models, audio and minigames get your trigger finger twitching, the core shooting sequences are nothing that hasn't been seen - or done much better - before. RATING: 3/10 - 00-oh... ? BARGAIN BUY: PS37.99 at www.amazon.co.uk

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KING OF THE ROAD: Forza Horizon
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Oct 19, 2012
Words:438
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