A plane flies low above a Mexican airstrip. It drops supercars attached to parachutes onto a runway. The game’s first vehicle is beautifully designed and you take control of it, taking in the diverse landscape. You magically teleport between machines and drive off the cliffs, through the jungle-like swamp, before reaching the Horizon festival to see a spectacular fireworks display. Forza Horizon 5 might be the right game for you if all this sounds too good to be true.
Over 100 kilometers of stunningly diverse scenery make up the open world. There are over 500 cars available to drive, as well as hundreds of stories and races. Six driving styles can be used, each with their own unique style. The possibilities for endless weather and challenges, along with six other driving styles, allow for infinite creativity. You can customize each vehicle to meet your individual needs and provide accessibility options that suit your level of difficulty. There’s a way for everyone to enjoy the vast world of Forza Horizon 5.
There are always compromises in a game this vast. The scenarios can be very fast, but the dialog and characters are still quite average. Even though you are just learning how to drive, the radio announcer keeps reminding you of your status as a star. It feels disingenuous and repetitive, much like the music that doesn’t match the time spent behind the wheel. The constant stream of advertisements in-game urging you to unlock more and faster can be annoying.
- Forza Horizon 5 at Microsoft US for US$59.99
Forza Horizon 5 release date and price
- What’s it all about? The fifth installment of the Forza Horizon racing franchise
- Release Date: November 9, 2021
- Where can I play it? Xbox Series S, Xbox One, PC
- Price: $59.99/PS54.99/AU$99.95 (also available with Game Pass)
Explore a vast and open world
When you launch into Forza Horizon 5, the first thing that will strike you is the size of the map. It feels like every inch is complete. The game takes place in one area, but it blends 11 different habitats. From ancient cities to modern citadels to sleepy beaches and active volcanoes, every road you take offers something new. You can choose your preferred type of riding by choosing from six types of racing: street racing, dirt tracks and PR stunts.
The framerate on Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S is limited to 30fps at highest graphical fidelity. However, graphics and performance modes (which allow you to play at 60fps) are equally impressive. These cars are displayed here. They look amazing from all angles, whether you are driving them, taking photos, or customizing them. Every vehicle responds to the environment in a different way. They also offer a unique driving experience that is dependent on the weather. The controller reacts dynamically to the track and immerses you in the feeling of being on the road.
Unfortunately, the radio only has six stations. Even if you only spend a little time in Forza Horizon 5, you will still hear repetitions.
Contrary to the music, you can compete in more races and unlock more racing outposts. Story missions allow you to see the rest of the world. These missions can be story-based or include long tracks that culminate in an adventure. One thing is certain when you play Forza Horizon 5, it’s that you won’t be bored.
The paradox of choice
Forza Horizon 5’s menus will appeal to those who love options. The accessibility menu offers colorblind-friendly gameplay and subtitles. There are also a variety of difficulty settings that can be adjusted to your liking. You can even tune each vehicle to your liking. You have many options beyond the menus. You can open cross-country tracks or road-racing to complete story missions, or excel on one track.
Sometimes it can be overwhelming, especially at the beginning. Forza Horizon 5 encourages you to just jump in and try. You will be able to learn from the map as it slowly unfolds, and also encourage you to try something new. Pop-ups are constantly popping up, including spinning wheels, car skills trees, and prompts for you to buy prizes. Although it’s easy to overlook, you feel like you have missed out on in-game credits or a new car just for trying to simplify your game.
Great choice means great responsibility. First, you have the option of purchasing the standard or premium edition. This offers more game unlocks and promises expansion packs but is almost twice as expensive. Forza Horizon 5’s in-game shop has everything you need, whether you are trying to find rare cars in barns all over the map or looking for the latest kooky horn or wacky emoticon. While many can be unlocked by chance and gameplay, it is recommended that you pay upfront in order to unlock your favourite in-game items.
The writing is on wall
The game’s world-building is a masterpiece. It’s difficult to imagine a more immersive world given the limitations of the medium. This film focuses on culture, and includes various aspects of Mexican life. You might find some scenarios outrageously absurd, such as when you consider the possibility of our car enthusiast protagonist driving a million-dollar supercar up the nearly vertical slopes of an active volcano. But that’s just the pleasure of the escapist medium.
Forza Horizon 5 had to go a bit further to get us engaged. Your character is not the most likable, but NPCs will tell how great you are, despite your failures. Although the dialogue is pleasant throughout, it’s difficult to form a meaningful connection with any member of the cast. If it had been able to deliver memorable characters and dialogue, it would have been a game that we would recommend to everyone. Forza Horizon 5 is not for you if racing games aren’t your thing.
Forza Horizon 5’s open world is a fantastic place for fans of racing games. The intricately designed user customization and accessibility options allow players unlimited gameplay possibilities. Although scenarios like driving a parade float down a cliff or racing through the jungle on a freight train are very well written, they tend to be boring and predictable. This is due to the dizzying array and quality of add-ons available and the soundtrack that is so loud it can scare off new players. Forza Horizon 5 is a stunning, varied and challenging racing game that has taken the Xbox consoles to new heights.