For years, Forza Horizon has held the title of the best racing game series on the market. However, racing is only one component of the studio’s success Playground Games. Horizon’s greatest strength is a sense of freedom and freedom to explore the world, which no other game gives us to such an extent.
Viva la Mexico!
This secret ingredient we can also find in the latest installment of the game. Well, there is more of it than ever before. It has the biggest influence on it choice of locationto which Forza Horizon 5 takes us. Mexico turned out to be a bull’s eye. It has never been so diverse and colorful. Sitting behind the wheel of a Ferrari, BMW and Lamborghini, we will cross the endless desert, sandy coast and dense jungle, visit picturesque towns and drive to the top of a mighty volcano.
The landscapes we will see are breathtaking. I found myself repeatedly saying that instead of going to the next race, I preferred to drive aimlessly and soak up the atmosphere of virtual Mexico. This is largely due to the graphics in which the first violin plays ray-tracing (reverse ray tracing technology). Console Xbox Series X and in resolution 4K the game looks phenomenal. The creators took care of every detail, which helped them photogrammetry.
These visual fountains are accompanied by dynamically changing seasons and arguably the best weather effects in the history of games. The first time I encountered a desert sandstorm, I was stunned.
In addition to the great graphics traditionally the audio track also stands out. We have several quite different radio stations at our disposal. My favorite turned out to be Radio Eterna, emitting classical music. Traveling through the Mexican wilderness to the sounds of Berlioz’s symphonies is a mystical experience that we do not deserve, but that we badly need.
The models of individual cars also look great, although here the progress compared to the previous version seems to be a bit slower. Nevertheless, over 500 vehicles, and getting them all will require from us several dozen or maybe even several hundred hours of life. The passage of this time is unlikely to be felt, because the new Horizon draws in like a desert vortex.
It’s still old good Forza Horizon
When it comes to gameplay, Forza Horizon 5 builds on the foundations of its predecessor. The assumptions remain unchanged. We hit the middle of the Horizon festival, the largest car event in the world. We take part in races for which we receive experience points and other prizes. We acquire more vehicles, buy properties and are still looking for new challenges.
And those in Forza Horizon are definitely not missing. Apart from classic racing we can find here, among others off-road, street racing, whether (new) exploration raceswhich will allow us to get to know the local architecture and flora and fauna better. On top of that, of course demonstration racesin which we sit behind the wheel of piñata (sic!) or compete with the plane. If, on the other hand, we are devotees old-timersthen we can go on one of the search missions.
For those looking for even more intense experiences, a multiplayer mode has been prepared (unfortunately, I was not able to test this before the premiere) with PvP games and co-op. What’s more, in Forza Horizon V we can even create our own races using the editor available in the game.
The driving model remained almost unchanged. Forza Horizon 5 is still there arcade game, not simulator (that’s what Forza Motorsport is trying to be). And very well! The crux is here fun and world explorationrather than considering the correct tire pressure. However, if we really want to play in tuning and vehicle modification, Horizon gives you this option. However, it is worth remembering that such “games” do not have such a large impact on the gameplay as in the case of simulators.
Even with a slightly simplified driving model the game can be a challenge, especially on higher difficulty levels. The lower ones still forgive many mistakes and are reserved for people who care more than “skill” to have fun and discover the secrets of virtual Mexico.
If I had to stick to something, it would be because the feeling of progress in this game only determines the acquisition of new cars. This is a bit too little. Both in the plot layer and in the structure of the game, there was not enough room for our character to develop and climb the next levels of career, which could make the gameplay even more dynamic. In Forza Horizon 5 we are already “the stars of the evening” in the prologue. And since we achieved everything at the start, why try at all?
The second pebble for the garden concerns AI-driven vehicles. During the races I did not come across any major errors and glitches. These happened, however, in the free driving mode, when cars simulating traffic could magically disappear or appear suddenly a few meters in front of my car. However, this is a problem that the creators will certainly be able to eliminate.
Forza Horizon 5 is the best installment in the series and one of the best games of the year. We can find almost everything here: picturesque landscapes of Mexico, phenomenal audiovisual setting, lots of activity and a very good dexterity driving model. It’s time to start the Mexican fiesta!
Forza Horizon 5 | Platforms: Xbox One, Xbox Series S / X | Rating: 9/10
A copy of the game was provided by the distributor for review.