I could have sworn we already had a thread for this game, but I guess we only talked about it in the Forza 4 thread. Anyway, lots of new info coming out of E3, and I've significantly more optimistic now than after watching their initial teaser trailer a month or two back.
I haven't had a chance to watch the videos yet (since I'm at work) but from from what I'm reading it sounds like the game structure is something akin to Test Drive Unlimited or Burnout Paradise, but with a Forza flavor to it, leveraging as much of the tech from previous Forza games as possible while making concessions to allow features that weren't possible to implement given the simulation focus of the core Forza games.
Here's brief feature highlight list culled from the community link above. If you follow the Forza community you'll see a LOT of frequently requested features that have been left out of Forza Motorsport games due to the heavy requirements of running their full simulation at 60 FPS. However given that this game is not focused on full simulation, one assumes they are using a scaled back version of their physics engine to allow them to include the sort of features expected in a more action oriented racing game.
New features to Forza:
- Open world driving based in Colorado, with a mix of mission based races and free roaming
- Some amount of XBL support for free roam mode
- Traffic on the roads
- Dynamic day/night cycle (and headlights on cars, of course)
- 60+ different driving surfaces including dirt
Returning Forza features:
- Some version of Forza 4 physics
- Forza's livery editor, and online livery sharing
- Rivals mode
- Car Performance upgrades and the Forza PI system, although from some reports NOT full tuning
- Photo mode
- Cockpit view
- Drivatar AI
- Wheel support
- Customizable driving assists including racing line and rewind
Spike TV demo/interview with Dan Greenawalt:
24 minute long demo from InsideSimRacingTV:
Forza Horizon 2 has been announced for the Xbox One and Xbox 360. New thread to discuss the sequel here.