Forza Motorsport 2 is a realistic racing simulator on the Xbox 360, the sequel to Forza Motorsport (Xbox). The Microsoft Xbox 360 Wireless Racing Wheel was developed alongside Forza 2 and is designed to work with the game.
Most cars in Forza 2 can be visually customized with both aerodynamic parts as well as graphics. 1,000 layers of graphics can be created with the livery editor to draw shapes, letters and pictures onto a car. According to the developer, it is preventing possible copyright conflicts, also reducing loads in online races. Paint schemes can be auctioned online to other players with Forza points. Many players reproduced paint schemes appeared in real world, or creating Itashas through this system.
The game supports split-screen, System Link and Xbox Live multiplayer gaming. Split-screen allows two player head-to-head racing, while both System Link and Xbox Live allow up to eight players to participate in a single race. Using Xbox Live 'Silver', players can also buy in-game cars through the game's Auction House. A 'Gold' account is needed to sell and 'gift' cars.
Forza 2 concentrates on circuit racing; point to point races which were featured in Forza Motorsport have been removed.
The damage and physics in the game have been revamped over the previous game, allowing for multiple settings: "simulation," which is the most severe, allowing for damage that can take a car out of commission; "limited," which scales down the severity of impact of crashes; and "cosmetic," where the damage is merely visual. The damage ratings for each part of the vehicle can be seen on the HUD (heads up display) accessed from the in-game menu.
Professional racers playtested the wheel to aid the development in trying to achieve realistic features and settings. Forza Motorsport 2 features force feedback with the use of the Xbox 360 Wireless Racing Wheel.
Forza 2 runs at 60 frames per second in 720p resolution (HD), with replays running at 30 frames per second to accommodate additional after-effects.
There are 349 cars available (including downloadable content) in Forza Motorsport 2. They are divided into six production classes and four race classes. A car's class can limit races for which it is eligible. The final list of cars was revealed on April 20, 2007.
Production cars include stock cars, as well as cars tuned by aftermarket tuning companies. Production cars can move between classes, but cannot enter the "R" classes.
Cars in these classes cannot be upgraded, and none of these cars can enter another class. Likewise, they cannot leave their respective class.
New for Forza 2 are scoreboards similar to those found in Halo 2. Each user can log into the official website for Forza 2 using their Xbox Live account. In addition to leaderboards, features included are online auctions for in-game cars. Cars purchased through auctions will come with all statistics related to that car such as mileage, total repair cost incurred, number of previous owners, etc.
Other features include tournament scheduling and the ability to take in-game photos and upload to and view five at a time on the Forza 2 website.
On August 1, 2007, the first downloadable content for the game was released in the form of a free Nissan car pack, also available was a paintable Peugeot 908 race car.
On September 20, 2007, the second downloadable content was available, containing 11 individual cars.
On October 26, 2007, the third downloadable content was announced in the form of a new downloadable track, Twin Ring Motegi. The track is playable in the form of four variations, including three road courses and an oval.
On December 7, 2007, the fourth downloadable content was announced in the form of a new track, Road America, along with a pack of 11 cars.
On March 19, 2008, the fifth downloadable content was made available, in the form of 13 individual cars.
All download content, however, is only playable through Arcade Mode. Download content CAN be used in career mode, but only if your console is connected to Xbox Live, in which case it can also be used online.
Forza Motorsport 2 was released in three editions: the regular edition, the Limited Collector's Edition and the platinum hits edition. The Limited Edition features a 157-page booklet containing insider details on the game as well as tips on how to obtain the game's Achievements. Car manufacturer detail is also provided along with three Limited Collector's Edition-exclusive cars. The three cars are the Subaru Impreza S204, Saleen S281E, and Challenge Stradale. Various online game stores also offered a bonus code to unlock the Nissan 350Z featured on promotional pictures with preorder purchase.
The Limited Collector's Edition was available in Australia, Asia, Canada and Europe, but not in the United States.
A special edition titled Forza Motorsport 2 Platinum Hits was released for the North American market on August 19, 2008. This edition includes a bonus disc containing the cars and tracks available as downloadable content at the time of its release, the cars of the Limited Collector's Edition and the Nissan 350Z originally offered as a preorder bonus.
Hyper's Dirk Watch commends the game for its "excellent handling and fantastic customisation". However, he criticises it for "not being particularly user friendly and feels almost identical to Forza".
A series of exploits and physics engine bugs have affected the fairness of online multiplayer and competitive hotlapping since the game's launch. A bug in the initial release gave the simulated Lotus Elan an unrealistic and unbalanced performance advantage over other vehicles. A patch which aimed to resolve this issue introduced a second bug which again could be exploited to gain an unfair advantage.
On September 9, 2007, in an attempt to address these issues in the context of an extremely large scoreboard database and limited tool set, Turn 10 Studios began wiping accumulated scoreboard times and online rankings for players who had:
There was also a glitch that allowed a certain car to be sold for billions of dollars, going past the 999,999,999 limit the system registers.