You might say Playground Games has merely racing repeated the same formula with Forza Horizon for the third time in a row, but although in the past th
You might say Playground Games has merely racing repeated the same formula with Forza Horizon for the third time in a row, but although in the past there were always nitpicks to be found, there are none this time around. As compared to other racing games, Forza Horizon 5 is almost perfect. Covering a gaming world of this size and scope with this degree of quality is an enormous feat that calls for a celebration. Celebration of driving… It’s official: you get to play it as a means of celebration. Well, that’s good enough.
It’s a massive, open-world racing game with stunning, destructible surroundings that are nothing like the dioramas of yesteryear. The seasons change, the leaves crunch beneath your vehicle, and the water splashes appear better than they ever have before in a racing video game. The festival structure now seems like a well-known, adored real-world event, such as Glastonbury or Burning Man. Now that the marquees, grandstands, and confetti cannons have arrived in Mexico, you can enjoy a delectable, officially-licensed soundtrack while watching the action on TV. Let’s crank up the Foo Fighters! The disc jockey has spoken. You’ll exclaim, “Yeah, let’s!” before tapping the volume control.
As the series has already progressed quite a ways through its set pieces by volume 11, there is unfortunately not much fresh it can do to impress. The opening sequence is a visual feast thanks to the game’s impressive graphics engine, but we’ve seen these types of air and motorcycle races before. In all honesty, it might be argued that returning fans want more of the same thing, while newbies to the series will enjoy the frequent, joyful spectacle. When standards are always this high, everyone benefits.
Therefore, what can we call really novel? Plus, there’s an active volcano to investigate racing and huge dust storms you can drive through. The extent of the personalization choices for cars and avatars has been expanded to include things like upgraded bodykits for the automobiles and prosthetic limbs for the drivers. You’ll feel more invested in the game right away since it will address you by name based on your account information (provided your name is on the list).
Like Dirt 5’s Playground Mode, the new ‘EventLab’ has community-created event tools racing that let you set up hazards and design your own rules for bespoke events. They reappear in the form of ‘Super7’ events, where players must complete a set of seven community-made challenges to drift hunters earn a super spin on the gambling-lite reward wheel. If you favor or hate a particular challenge, it will have more or less of a chance to show up in future Super 7 games.
The difficulty of these situations will, nevertheless, be welcomed. Why? Due of racing the casual nature of the primary game. You can make the Drivatar (AI Driver) harder, but even at its highest setting, the game is still too easy. You may play it not to win (depending on the difficulty level), but simply to drive, with responsive controls and a wealth of accessibility features; if you give in to its allure, the rewind button will render your efforts moot. Although this accessibility is ideal for casual racers, enthusiasts of the genre may be disappointed by the game’s kilometers of shallow curves. That was a complaint about Forza Horizon 3 that was addressed somewhat in Forza Horizon 4, so it’s disappointing to see the series return to its Need for Speed roots here.
Despite having hundreds of events to complete and beat, festival hubs in different types of racing to complete, and the standard XP signs to find and smash through… oh, and barn finds to complete (you can even put your own cars in there to gift to other players now too, which is cute), the game never makes you feel rushed. You may just get in your car and go into the forest, spend hours arranging the ideal shot, or hop online to race others. It’s OK to take your time with the game and proceed at your own speed.
The internet component is a bit buggy at the beginning. It’s frustrating to get racing booted out of a race while you’re in the lead, since disconnect notifications are rather regular (apparently brought on by known flaws, which is encouraging). Yet, you can play the game whether you’re connected to the internet or not, so spending some time by yourself isn’t a problem.
Not to mention AI. Although the traditional Forza problem of one opponent racing vehicle blasting out ahead is still sometimes noticeable, it is now only on higher difficulty settings due to the sheer number of variables in the game. That doesn’t really matter, however, since this isn’t the kind of game you play for a serious challenge; rather, it’s a place to relax, so if you’re hoping for the greatest race of your life, you should search elsewhere. As a joke, please.
The damage model’s shallowness is the only other minor source of racing concern, but it’s hard to criticize that since the developers’ hands are likely restricted because of licensing restrictions. You probably want to disable damage anyhow, what with all the gorgeous Porsches, Toyotas, and Ferraris available.
There isn’t any open world racing game as finely polished as this one, even though Burnout Paradise Remastered provides more complicated action on a second-to-second basis while still giving a similarly upbeat vibe. You may get a twinge of déjà vu if this isn’t your first Forza Horizon game, but the formula has been fine-tuned to the point that it no longer matters. It has the finest graphics, the best soundtrack, the best editing, and the best handling of any racing game out there. What’s more, it’s enormous. That’s right, you should download it since it is the finest open world driving game of the current era.