The custom "Gold Rush" 2013 SRT Viper GTS from Forza Horizon

Free Forza Horizon demo goes live with the 2013 Viper, Evo X

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Early this morning, the first playable demo for the new (highly anticipated) racing simulator Forza Horizon arrived in the Xbox Live Marketplace, offering gamers their first experience racing in the open world, at night and on dirt in a Forza series game with the first drivable cars being the 2013 SRT Viper GTS and the Mitsubishi Evolution X.

If you are reading this and you somehow do not know about Forza Horizon – it is the first ‘open world’ racing simulator in the Forza racing series for the Xbox 360. Forza Horizon is also the first game in the series to feature night time driving and off-road racing, along with new features including speed trap events that all work with the familiar Forza Rivals system.

The Forza Horizon demo opens with a long lead in video that shows tons of people at the Colorado-based Horizon Festival which features live bands, beautiful women and some of the hottest racing action in the US. The video cuts away to a side panning side shot of the 2013 SRT Viper GTS with background radio coverage inviting racers to head to the Horizon Festival when fictional street racing legend Darius Flynt blasts past in his Ferrari 599XX. At that point, you are given the controls to the new Viper as you race to the entry point of the Horizon Festival racing area. If you beat him – nothing happens but racing the new Viper is a great start to the new demo.

The first race in the Forza Horizon demo is the Recaro Rush – an off-road race for which you are required to buy an all wheel drive vehicle and as you visit the dealership, only the Mitsubishi Evolution X is available. The race is a point to point event on a fairly narrow, rally style track that ends up on tarmac with the competition vehicles including the Lancia Delta, the Lancia Delta S4, the SVT Raptor F150, the Peugeot 205 T16, the Audi Quattro, the Mercedes Benz AMG ML63 and the 2011 Subaru WRX. Once you win this race, you unlock it in the Forza Rivals mode that pits you against another real world gamer as you attempt to cover the same course free of competitors (shy of the ghost that you are racing against). Every event on the Forza Horizon becomes a Rival challenge once you have completed the event in normal season play mode.

Next, you are invited to free roam over to the Mustang vs Mustang Showcase which puts you in a 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 429 against a Mustang P51 fighter jet in what is surely the most unusual Forza race to date. If you beat the plane from point A to point B, you win money and unlock this event in the Rivals mode but you also win the car as part of the “invite only” showcase series.

Finally, once you get a phone call inviting you to drive your Evo X to a cell phone tower to participate in a big street race featuring a collection of ultra high performance vehicles. Since the Evo isnt fast enough, the Forza Horizon demo places you back in the bright yellow 2013 Viper to race against a Ford RS200, a Lamborghini Murciélago SV, a 2013 Ford Shelby GT500, a 2013 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, a 2012 Nissan GT-R, a RUF RGT8 and a Ferrari 458 Spider. Once you have beaten this race, it unlocks for a Rival Challenge and the demo is basically complete but you can continue participating in the Rivals portion of those three races.


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The first Forza motorsport did have night racing.