Finally, racing fans got the chance to hit the roads and tracks of Mexico with the Forza Horizon 5 launch. So if you bought the premium edition or just the add-on bundle, you got four days early access. But was the Forza Horizon 5 launch worth the wait and have Playground Games delivered a stellar racer to the countless fans of the franchise.
We know it has had a successful launch. This news was posted on Twitter by Phil Spencer who stated.
“We’ve invested for years in Xbox so more people can play. With 4.5+ million players so far across PC, cloud & console, Forza Horizon 5 shows that promise coming to life. Largest launch day for XGS game, peak concurrent 3x FH4 high. Thank you players & congrats to @WeArePlayground“Phil Spencer on the launch of Forza Horizon 5
And with most of those coming after the full launch and still playing it, it’s a good indication of the quality. However, this puts the Forza Horizon 5 launch as the biggest launch for an Xbox Games Studio to date. So how that relates to the previous installment, well it’s triple the consecutive players playing Forza Horizon 4.
Story. Or lack of it
Forza Horizon isn’t about the story through the connections between Forza Horizon 3 and 4 to this are interwoven into your journey into the Hall of Fame and the optional Story chapters. That would be the franchise’s weak point. But even then it’s not an issue as if you’re playing a Forza Horizon game you’re playing for the fun and the challenge. However, with the opportunity of recurring characters, it could an avenue to explore in the future. They did scratch the surface by linking events from the previous two games.
The challenges in Horizon
You get plenty of them and let’s have a look. So history hasn’t changed much in these games, just made them harder. We have the bonus boards to smash for fast travel and XP. However, even though we have plenty, 250 in total, some are challenging. As to why I’ll leave you to discover. Some took me around half hour to an hour to judge correctly. We also have the option to drive all the roads. So that itself is a grind. We have to photo a certain number of cars in the Horizon Promo mode which needs to be unlocked. The Xbox achievement at the moment is incorrectly labeled. It states you need to photograph 200 cars. But once unlocked it changed to 50 legendary cars needed to be photographed.
Graphics and gameplay
Visually the game is an absolute treat. I played through Series X on quality mode and the game is jaw-dropping to look at. And Digital Foundry compared all versions of the game if you want to read more. Only the Forzavista mode uses ray tracing. Flying through the jungle or flinging yourself down a mountain at 150mph you’re not going to notice. Gran Turismo 7 won’t support it whilst racing either.
The car’s handling has been refined. They feel more realistic which adds to the challenge of the game. Especially on some of the story chapters where every second counts. It also affects the PR stunts, as well as slight oversteer, which will have you messing up a run in a drift zone. But drifting has been improved on the whole from previous games. Add the fact the game has a huge selection of accessibility options so it is trying to cater to all. We also have the showcase events which previously we’ve seen raced planes and trains. And Forza Horizon 5 has some more memorable ones to add.
Add the fantastic soundtrack and you have a racer that is packed with atmosphere. With a selection of radio stations playing songs that fit the game and the high-speed racing. It’s something that’s been part of the Horizon franchise. Even when you load the game and do the introduction races we get some moving and absorbing music that just fits the Mexican environment. As always Playground Games have got the car sounds as realistic as ever. They achieve this by recording the sounds of every car individually. And with close to 600 cars present in the game so far the attention to detail in each car is staggering in the amount of work undertaken. So that attention to detail is why the presentation in a Forza Horizon game you know will be of a high level.
The Mexico Adventures, a summary
Once you get past the visuals, it’s often a worry if the game has substance. However don’t worry here, as Playground Games have delivered quality once more. The game is fun to play. That’s without the multiplayer elements such as team-based adventures or the Battle Royale event in The Eliminator. And add on to the fact you can create events for the community to race and buy and sell cars, customize how they look and perform. So on the whole the game has a huge amount of content.
We’ve seen various fun elements from driving in a Lego world to racing on Hot Wheels tracks across the past two games alone. They also have seasonal events and challenges which change every week. With all this even buying the Premium Edition I felt I got value for money and extremely fun to play.