For the first time, a new episode of the Forza series is also coming to the new Xbox Series consoles, and the creators are making the most of the new hardware. But you can also enjoy new races on Xbox One and PC – which is really worth it.
I jump out of the plane and drive
In the first hour of playing Forza Horizon 5, you will experience amazing acrobatics. The playable introduction will take you to the title festival Forza Horizon in Mexico in such a breathtaking fashion that a different type of car can always fall off the cargo plane, which you can drive and steer to the specified destination. This is how you will learn about the roads, the landscape, and the fathers who have hundreds of horses under the hood. In addition, you still have a rather enthusiastic sound, enjoy driving over 300 km / h and the whole thing seems incredibly efficient and dynamic.
Forza Horizon is a specific type of racing that has gradually established itself on Microsoft and PC, and especially during the Xbox One generation, has defined the proper form of open-world racing. Authors always choose inspiration in a country and create an imaginative tangle of highways, dirt roads or wildlife, then let you enjoy dozens of different racing events or missions. So far, the series has alternated between Colorado, France, Italy, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the most recent one goes to Mexico (and loyal fans are still dreaming about when the authors will tackle Japan).
Entering the game after the introduction at a crazy pace will slow down a bit so you can create your character, choose the first cars, and complete the missions. The key is to look at the world map, it shows you the new events and you can choose which one you will complete sooner. The creators created a well-thought-out procedural system: on the one hand, they introduce fixed parts in the campaign, but these are limited to a certain number of points that you can collect for smaller tasks. And you pick them in any order, so it’s up to you what forms of racing you go through beforehand and what you get for them. As a result, you do not feel that the game is taking you by the hand, but you got a lot of freedom – the icons on the map are richly represented and invite you to choose the type of race you like or with the vehicles you like.
Not only headless racing, but also help
And not just the races – the little stories lead you to fun moments. For archaeologists, you can search for lost statues in the desert and often go to Desert Storm. Veteran lovers will investigate abandoned garages to see if there are any parents. There is a separate chapter related to the old Volkswagen Beetle, which is referred to in the game as Vocho and was once ridden by a single-character grandfather who will amuse you with a certain mission. Thanks to these characters, the world is alive, realistic and suggestive – and the game is not just bloated cars and victories, suddenly the impulse moves to new worlds. You may regret that sometimes you have to choose between two types of tasks – fortunately when you help the first person, you can usually return to the second type later. But the feeling that you can’t injure yourself, be in two places at the same time and help, is unique in this genre and suddenly leads differently.
Various types of missions, colorful icons, and their implementation is logical – if you complete enough of them, another part of the story will open for you and you will move forward. Sometimes to a new area, and at the same time in the story, and if you focus mainly on the main parts of the game, you will enjoy a really diverse mix of missions. The goal is to expand the festival to new locations, which is a crazy mission, but since the whole game is all about it and serves as a holiday destination, you’ll believe them pretty quickly. And when you drop back at the end of the race, there are hundreds of events to play in, so the festival never comes together again.
Discover the world
The open world is responsible for great games and content – not just its breadth, but especially its lively presentation, content, and elements. Here you will find the pyramids where the sharpness jumps nearby. There are field or dusty roads, but there is also an honest highway, where you can break speed records in a Lamborghini. The game map is classically divided into large areas and differs in plants and background. Here you will find sand dunes, jungle, one big city, many small towns and villages where you can run freely, but beware if there is a 120 degree turn waiting for you. I had one of the most difficult journeys in a village with very narrow roads, but opponents cut the curves there without any problems.
The ride is then adapted to the environment: in cities and on asphalt you fan the road machines, you pull a jeep or off-road in the woods, sometimes you have a good option to put the off-road tires in a smaller car and you can try. The fleet is impressive, with more than 500 cars. In addition, Forza Horizon also works classic in terms of exploring the world, tracks and terrain and then compare the performance with your friends. Whoever started playing at the beginning of the game has discovered 80% of the world and you may have just started, and you will be happy with the 50 paths found. The more you drive, the better you know the world, which will benefit from racing and general direction.
Driving style: arcade fun
Forza Horizon 5 is basically an arcade and driving model adapted for this. So you don’t have to think of a strict damage model, but cars behave quite honestly and particularly differently between classes. On the road, Dad, the asphalt runs very differently than the desert jeep. When it starts raining, roads are slippery, tramps are dangerous, and if you get lost in a desert storm, your vision will deteriorate. The game draws you a perfect path where the blue color advises you to add and the color red to slow down. You can change the camera angles, so you can see the ride from the cockpit or you can bring the camera closer or further away from the car (or on the bumper).
You choose the difficulty that is related to the number of points to earn. If he doesn’t want to worry, you get a lower level and you get fewer points. If you dare or have dozens of hours, choose a higher one and you will get a better reward.
The series traditionally uses cloud technology and puts the so-called drivatarov, that is, simulates the avatars of your friends on Xbox. So you usually meet Marek or Tomasz or Peto or Drica on the road, that’s totally fine and gives you a different driving experience. Another thing is the AI riders, where bosses in particular can take part in more than one race: if something lasts 25-30 minutes and you miss the last, it can almost hit you. Opponents are completely ruthless in the face of greater difficulties – once they run away from you and advance 1-2 seconds, it is difficult to catch up.
Weather, clubs, radios and players create
Finally, there are some other aspects that Forza Horizon 5 can give you.
The graphics on Xbox Series X are absolutely gorgeous and the weather effects are incredible. While racing, you will often encounter sunny weather, heavy rain or fresh rain. They are suggestive and will give the race a different touch.
A radio with many music stations is a great thing to accompany you, there are a variety of music styles from EDM to classical, so you can tune in to whatever you want and compete with your favorite songs.
Finally, create the players. On the other hand, you can join different clubs, but more interesting moments will come where, in addition to the official races, one track may contain other tracks created by the community. So, for example, you know that a certain track officially competes in three rounds, but a certain enthusiast created a marathon smaller than 20 laps, which has to be considered for a very long time. And you’ll find many similar creations, and so far the authors have put them into the game.
Best racing of the year
So count all the attributes of the game and it is a clear winner in the category Best Racing 2021. The open world of Mexico, an excellent system of game navigation, an excellent line with the festival, dozens of events, hundreds of races and cars, not to mention the weather, graphics and music. It’s a paranoid piece – and I wouldn’t stab it when you eat 115GB on your hard drive.
Forza Horizon 5 was released on November 9, 2021 on Xbox Series, Xbox One, and PC. Available with a monthly Xbox Game Pass subscription from day one. By default, the game costs 60 euros. Quiz game was introduced by Microsoft.
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