Horizon Chase Turbo PS4 Review

February 24, 2019 by  
Filed under PS4, Reviews & Features, PlayStation

I’m not a fan of racing games, arcade or simulated. However, after having played a demo of Horizon Chase Turbo, I enjoyed it so much that I actually went on to purchase the full game.

My partner was the one who played the demo before me, and played it a number of times before I gave it a go myself. I was hesitant about playing as I thought it looked rather generic; the graphics looked pretty basic and the gameplay samey, and I thought it would be something that I would become very bored with quickly.

But as soon as I got my hands on it, me and my partner were trying to out-do each other in single player, and then raced against one another in 2 player mode for quite a number of hours.

It immediately reminded me of another game I played when I was younger – Lotus Turbo Challenge (and its sequel). A throwback to racing games of the 80s and 90s, Horizon Chase Turbo very much captures the old-school gameplay of Lotus Turbo Challenge and other racers of its time, but given a bit more of a polish with bright and colourful retro-modern 3D graphics. The developers even managed to get Barry Leitch to compose the games soundtrack, the composer for both Lotus games.

Play against friends with 4 player mode.

Horizon Chase Turbo manages to pull you in with its challenge, making you feel one with the road as you concentrate hard on trying to get into a high position, dodging your opponents and steering your way into first place; it’s an understatement to say that the tracks are intense!

For those who have played the Lotus Turbo Challenge games, you’ll feel instantly familiar with the sudden sharp corners and twists and turns, and with its basic graphics, your eyes aren’t being assaulted by many distractions, except when it is there as an added obstacle, such as changing weather or different track types that effects the way your car handles.

As you race you can collect blue tokens, extra nitro boosts, and even fuel. The blue tokens are easy to pick up, but the extra nitro boosts and fuel can be placed in rather strategic positions that require some skilful manoeuvring to pick them up.

All this, including your final position in a race, is added to a final score in which you are rewarded gold tokens, of which you need a certain amount of to unlock the next area.

You might find yourself having to return to previous races to improve your run to do this; ideally you need to come in at least 5th place upon finishing a race, but the top three rewards you with a bronze, silver or gold trophy. Picking up all of the blue tokens on a track and coming in 1st will reward you with a Super Trophy. Of course all of this will give you a boost in your score, and more gold tokens towards unlocking the next area.

Racing takes place all over the world with over 100 tracks available, there being three areas in each country you visit, including an Upgrade Race that you must come first in in order to unlock upgrades for your cars. Once unlocked you get three choices of upgrades, so you need to choose wisely if you want your cars running at their best, these including upgrades for steering, acceleration, fuel, nitro boost and more.

Levels are colourful, the speed intense.

I found that on later courses by far the best car to use is the Dust Driver, one of the better cars for handling. This was my go-to car for the majority of races as it managed to handle the swift turns with relative ease. However, there is also some auto-steering to help guide you, but it is very subtle; it’s not something that is so noticeable that it feels like the game is playing for you.

The soundtrack in the game could have been slightly improved; despite having the composer for the Lotus games, with the Lotus sequel having that very memorable opening theme music, there isn’t anything here that particularly stands out, and I feel more tracks could have been added as they tend to repeat quite a bit. There’s some remixed tracks later for certain areas, but do be prepared to be listening to the same songs over and over.

I must also point out that I am also rather amused by the fact that a swear word managed to slip by in a 3+ game! As you drive the courses, speech bubbles with some very elusive colourful language will be spouted by your driver from time to time, adding to the overall character of the game.

Horizon Chase Turbo has a lot of content and is very much recommended, especially for those who are looking for a bit of a nostalgia hit. As well as the World Tour, there’s a Tournament Mode and an Endurance Mode, and all modes are playable in local multiplayer, with up to four players able to take part. Unfortunately there is no online mode, but you can view an Online Leaderboard to see where you rank against other players.

I don’t readily go back to racing games, but this is certainly one that I will be revisiting from time to time. It feels both modern and old-school, and is a very straightforward game with pick-up and play controls.