The new trend in racing sim games centers around expanding the play environment. Driving on a track, no matter how detailed and accurate, gets old after a while since there’s nothing new to see or explore.

Enter games like Need For Speed: Most Wanted and Forza Horizon, which base the action in simulated real-world environments. In fact, the environs of Forza Horizon are so extensive that players are given a GPS feature to get their bearings.

The action in Forza Horizon centers around the Horizon Festival, which serves as a focal point for players in the game. You can rack up points by winning races, but you can also earn skill points with properly executed drifts and burnouts. The more skill points you have, the more your popularity increases in the game.

As for environments, Forza Horizon includes towns, open roads and even miles of unpaved, backwood dirt roads (since gameplay is set in Colorado). There are day and night settings, too, along with weather conditions and computer generated traffic that you’ll need to contend with.

Unlike Need For Speed, we’re guessing that Forza Horizon will be a bit more grounded in reality, at least in terms of driving physics. Look for more videos from Turn 10 Studios before the Xbox 360-only game hits stores on October 23, priced from $59.99.