The bar for open world racing has again been raised in so many different ways: a map of mexico, thats, bigger higher and wildly more varied than any horizon game. Yet a fresh change to the way the horizon festival itself is gradually constructed, which results in more one off events deliberately designed to showcase horizon 5 at its very best, improved tools that allow us to build completely custom events that can be more or less indistinguishable from Those crafted by the developers themselves an enormous visual upgrade, especially to lighting tyre smoke and dust effects, hundreds and hundreds of new custom parts rims and performance mods and cars, with more character than ever drastic sound improvements, better handling, more granular preferences and options more online activities. It really is incredible across the board. You just have to let go and enjoy the Music ride understand just how big forza horizon 5 is. We have to briefly look back at forza horizon 4, which truly ballooned into an absolute colossus of a racing game. Back in 2018. playground games had taken the impeccable open world racing of all the horizon. Games to date, then stuffed in simulated seasons, a shared world, multiplayer overhaul and a shift in how the team told their mini automotive stories. But that was day. One playground then spent another three years, cramming in even more things to do the festival playlist, where new activities were available every week, the eliminator horizons very clever and effective.

Take on bringing the battle royale format to a racing game, the super 7, where we could participate in custom, built racing driving and stunt based challenges made by others plus create and share our own whats impressive. Is that forza horizon 5 isnt? Just all this airlifted to a different part of the world, its that its all this and a remarkable amount more. The breadth of playgrounds, wonderfully diverse map of mexico is exceptional and it comes as an extremely exotic and interesting array of environments to get lost in after three years in horizon 4s, beautiful but broadly, more uniform britain horizon 5s tapestry of colorful locations and backdrops more closely Resembles horizon 3, but it feels noticeably more extensive than even playgrounds. Remarkable 2016 riff on australia, theres baja, where the sun baked tarmac hugs the coast as the parched sandy desert blends into the beach and deep jungle where muddy tracks, crisscross through ancient temples, abandoned airstrips and thickets theres. The charmingly colorful city of guanajuato, in its maze like network of cobblestone streets and tunnels, contrasted with a sleepy coastal town, flanked by the ocean on one side and mangroves on the other theres rolling green farmland, draped in crops and windswept grass, and also a picturesque gorge. That looks like its been plucked from a western movie theres, the semi, arid desert of the maps interior filled with towering cacti and stubborn shrubs, and the high and rocky volcanic peak of grand caldera theres, even a giant stadium for soccer practice back to center centre, holds It holds it holds it its, not exactly a perfect recreation, of course, as with all horizon worlds.

Today that pays no mind to reality, smooshing together a stylized vision of mexico at its most interesting, but the result is a fantastic map and the biggest in the series, by far by a striking margin that size is best observed from atop the grand caldera volcano, the Playground games team has stressed that its the highest point in any horizon game, but you wont have to take their word for it. Just drive up there and youll see how much it dwarfs both horizon 3s blizzard mountain and horizon 4s fortune island expansions. The massive elevation change not only provides one of the best roads in the series. To date, a switchback field mountain run, i expect, will become a drift mecca for the sideways squad, but its a killer display of horizon 5s immense, draw distance. I love games that make me feel small in a vast new space and horizon 5. Does this very effectively? The garage is just as grand as the map itself with well over 500 vehicles and its a selection that still handily eclipses all forza horizons. Open world racing rivals granted there isnt a huge number of cars that are strictly new to the franchise and those of us who stuck around forza horizon 4. Every week for the last few years, collecting every new car will have seen the lions share of them before, but playground has assuaged that slightly with the addition of a lot of new rim options and visual upgrades that may help breathe new life into cars.

Youve seen a lot of previously changes to the delivery. Editor also see it support higher resolution, designs and graphics, but you still cant place decals on glass, which remains a shame between the cars and the map. However, forza horizon 5 is barnstormingly gorgeous on both fronts. On the xbox series x, thats, true of both the 4k 30 frames per second quality mode and the 4k 60 frames per second performance mode. Ive been playing mostly on the quality mode, since the frame rate never ever wavers in either mode remaining buttery smooth at all times and in all conditions, but know that the visual concessions in performance mode are generally so. Small youd need to study, freeze frames to spot the difference, anyhow, its tough to pick my favorite visual element of horizon 5, but i think it might just be the drastically better smoke and dust effects and especially how light interacts with the particles in the air. It looks brilliant, of course, while forza horizon 5s show, stopping graphics are sucking most of the oxygen out of the room. There have been so many other improvements to the horizon formula here its hard to know where to begin. The handling tweaks are deceptively extensive, with more authentic abs, braking a snappier steering sensation and suspension improvements that have resulted in a more convincing feel off road. The radically revamped audio is superb, and the amount of cars that now sound blatantly different to each other has exploded.

Music, i especially love hearing the changes. My performance parts are making to my cars sound in real time, nerdy behaviour, which is encouraged by the ability to rev the engine during upgrade work even before launch the new event. Building tools are already resulting in some outstanding and creative courses, races and activities being shared between early players with considerably more props and far more granular options than horizon 4s building tools. Im expecting some of the user generated content for horizon 5 is going to be mind. Bendingly, good, a rethink and how the career mode unfolds has seen playground add a new point system that allows you to take charge of what event hubs and special races. You want to prioritize. Unlocking these points or accolades are awarded for achieving major and minor feats and essentially function as a dramatically expanded version of the brick challenges in forza horizon 4s lego expansion. What this has allowed playground to do is add a handful of additional curated drives to horizon 5, which its dubbed expeditions: hey, luke, thats it its time for an adventure. These expeditions inject a little bit of the flavour of the horizon series fabulous, but fleeting opening drive. Montages back into the main career, where playground stage managers vehicles the time of day lighting and the weather for memorable journeys that showcase horizon 5 at its very best Music theres, been some significant multiplayer massaging too. This time playground has ditched rank to play for something less pressurized that wont penalize you for other peoples.

Bad racing etiquette horizon 5s pvp modes have been grouped under a single umbrella and are now designed to embrace new players as championships, progress, meaning that, unlike horizon 4, it seems like we should no longer be locked in dwindling groups of sore losers, that hemorrhage players as Races dont go their way. The hourly forzathon live. Events from verizon 4 have also been brushed aside in favor of the newly christened horizon arcade. It functions similarly to forzathon, live theyre, still, co, op events where everyone contributes to a common goal, but theres a greater variety of activities that can be fun spectacle, particularly when dozens of pinatas are raining from the sky, but i do find they can descend into a Bit of a slog when they go the full 10 minutes, then theres, the tiny stuff, which still all adds up a more intuitive car collection display which lets you quickly buy multiple new cars for your garage and skip the menu shuffling in the dealership screens. A cute activity where you hide cars from your own garage for other players to find inside barns, youve discovered around the map. Shall we send a thank you hell, theres. Finally, even the ability to toggle between opting for metric measurements, but retaining horsepower for power measurements, because kilowatts of vacuum cleaners, Music, forza horizon 5, is a deep and nuanced car nirvana for rev heads and auto geeks to endlessly collect, tinker and experiment its also an extremely Accessible buffet of racing spectacle open to everyone from day, one deluxe edition die hards to game, pass, nomads, no matter their driving skill or mechanical knowledge, its an occasionally goofy, but always earnest valentine to mexicos world famous culture and a romantic ode to the magic of road.

Tripping through postcard, perfect vacation vistas its a long haul, mmo inspired racer thats exploding with more races, activities and event, types that can comfortably fit on the map, and yet it still always feels relaxed rather than daunting. It never locks you into something you dont want to do and steadily rewards you for. However, you choose to play it, it looks beautiful, it sounds magnificent and it is glorious to play yes, forza, horizon 5 is a lot of things. Above all, however, it is the result of a racing studio at the peak of its craft and the best open world racing game. Ive ever played for more on forza horizon 5 check out our technical analysis and for more on the whole series check out. Our look back at the history of the forza games for everything else.