Ridge Racer is the one that sticks in my mind. Fast, fluid, and leaping off the screen with primary colors and raw energy, back in 1995 (I played the late-arriving PlayStation port) it felt unlike anything I’d seen before. Burnout came later. In the wake of Gran Turismo, which brought an incredible and more serious depth to the racing game, Burnout felt like the revival of Outrun – you just put the pedal down, take in the music and the atmosphere, and try not to crash. I miss the simplicity, the vibrancy, and the high-speed joy of ‘90s racing sims. So it’s a good job Horizon Chase 2, one of the best racers of the past five years and homage to the genre’s greatest age, is finally on PC via Epic Games.
Horizon Chase 2 embodies the arcade; the simple to play but difficult to master racing reflexes required for something like Daytona USA or Crazy Taxi. There’s no barrier to entry, no fussy tuning or set up – you just jump into a supercar and hit the road. But this isn’t a casual thing. Cornering takes precision, overtaking can be lethal, and you need to find the ideal racing line if you ever want to win.
There’s a pulsing soundtrack, dozens of international locations with changing weather, and extremely difficult challenge runs that test specific racing skills. You’ve also got crossplay multiplayer and an extensive, single-player World Tour mode, where you can unlock new gear and completely overhaul your car’s look and visual style.
A loving homage to ‘90s racers, but with the challenging mechanics and fine-tuned learning curve to challenge modern, genre veterans. Horizon Chase 2 is available right this second on the Epic Games Store.