Horizon Chase Turbo – Senna Forever Review

Xbox One

For Formula One fans of a certain age, Ayrton Senna will always be the greatest. Yes, Lewis Hamilton may have collected the most wins of any F1 driver, Michael Schumacher will always be remembered for his seven world titles, and the late great Juan Manuel Fangio may be fondly thought of by others, but near 30 years after his tragic death, there are still many who consider Senna to be the greatest of them all. That love and fondness is highlighted no more so than in his native Brazil; a country who still idolises the three-times F1 world champion. 

It’s that love which has seen the Brazilian development team at AQUIRIS feel the need for a Senna-themed expansion to their rather brilliant old-school arcade racer, Horizon Chase Turbo; a game that we have loved dipping in and out of since first launch back in 2018. And honestly, whilst the base game probably didn’t need building out even more, the addition of Senna Forever is a joy to take in. 

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Senna Forever fits into Horizon Chase Turbo very neatly indeed, available immediately upon purchase with two different play options integrated into the game’s Campaign mode. These are that of Career Mode in which you get to follow in the footsteps of the legend’s career, and of World Championship, giving the chance for the player to partake in multiple races as their own driver making a mark on the world. There’s a good chance that it’ll be the Career which pulls at the heartstrings, taking up the majority of your interest, but whichever you decide to jump in to, you’re certain to be in for a treat. 

Career Mode consists of five chapters which AQUIRIS have put together to help celebrate the career of the great man. It sees you initially joining the fray as a young upstart, one determined to make a name for themselves in the cauldron of the Formula One paddock with Toleman. But from there, by taking part in races, placing well and making progress, you’ll find the chance to join Senna in his iconic black and gold liveried JPS Lotus (albeit for licensing issues, without the real world names), through to the rivalry with Alain Prost in the McLaren days and onwards. 

Each chapter runs with multiple race types and for the most part a simple finishing of the race in a decently high position is enough to unlock the next race. Obviously the main objective is to win, but Horizon Chase Turbo allows for a few little challenges to be met along the way, with the Senna Forever expansion integrating these via ‘Senna’s Marks’. With three of these attached to each race for 100% completion opportunities, Senna’s Marks will challenge you to different objectives within each race; like making a perfect start, collecting fuel on a specific lap, picking up all the available coins scattered across the race track, and more. 

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These Marks are a great way of adding in some decent replayability to Horizon Chase Turbo and Senna Forever, allowing you to dip back in even once you’ve found completion of all five chapters. Of course, if you’d just like to plow through the Career, learning about how Senna made waves in the Formula One paddock you can, with AQUIRIS providing some neat little documentation and insight. It’s a shame that some of this is mistranslated and a little corny, but the overall gist is a nice one. 

It gets better though and Senna Forever adds in both a third and first person viewpoint so happily caters for the racing style you are looking for, whilst decisions need to be made ahead of any race with the option to choose from increased handling, an advanced aero package which allows for higher top speeds, or special fuel strategies, ensuring you don’t always have to go hunting down the extra pickups that are present on track. It’s nice that this third option gives out extra nitro boosts too, and has certainly been the pick of the bunch for this reviewer. With car types getting faster and races becoming more intense as you head through the Career, honing your skills and style is a must for anyone looking for success. 

Senna Forever isn’t just about the life of one man though and the inclusion of real-world inspired tracks is appreciated. Again, there’s no licensing here so driver names, manufacturer titles and track names themselves are given artistic license – French Riviera steps in for Monaco, whilst the iconic Spa-Francorchamps is plainly titled, Belgium, for instance – but these tracks do ebb and flow like the real thing. If you’re an F1 nut then you’ll certainly be able to pick out certain straights and how they lead into specific corners. You’ll even be able to spot the corners in Japan where Senna and Prost had their championship deciding collisions in 1989 and 1990. 

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It all looks good visually too and again, licensing-withstanding, it’s simple enough to pick out some of the most iconic liveries of F1 from back in the day. As someone who has watched every single F1 race for over four decades, and followed Senna at his best, it’s been a great nostalgia trip to take in, with the liveries of the late-90s bringing back a ton of memories. It all comes with that rather delightful Horizon Chase Turbo sheen and graphical style that has been present since the base game released too, and works just as well now as it did back then. This is one of the smoothest racers you’re going to find.

The Career will probably take you a good few hours to play through, more when you go about hunting the full completion via Senna’s Marks, but then there’s the opportunity to jump into the World Championships as well. Playable for 1-4 players locally across Newcomer, Challenger and Legend categories, this lets you pick specific teams – each of which have cars with varying stats – and even driver helmets, before going at it and making a name for yourself. These Championships complement the main Career mode well and just makes the low asking price for the Senna Forever expansion to Horizon Chase Turbo even more enticing. 

At the end of the day, Senna Forever doesn’t mix up the original Horizon Chase Turbo formula too much, but then, it didn’t need to. This really is a great celebration of one of the most iconic of all motorsport drivers, put together lovingly by a Brazilian team who obviously adore the great man. A few mis-steps in translation aside, if you’ve a copy of Horizon Chase Turbo to hand, or just want to know a little more about what made Ayrton Senna tick, you’ll not go wrong with picking up the Senna Forever expansion. 

The Senna Forever expansion is available from the Xbox Store




TXH Score

4/5

Pros:

  • Plenty of content across Career and Championship levels
  • Car liveries immediately spring out
  • Well created tracks inspired by real-world circuits
  • As smooth as butter

Cons:

  • Odd bit of text mistranslation

Info:

  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game go to – AQUIRIS
  • Formats – Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, PC
  • Version reviewed – Xbox One on Xbox Series X
  • Release date – 20 Oct 2021
  • Launch price from – £4.99


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