Forza Horizon 5 – Review

The racing genre is one of my favourites to play, from F1 to Dirt Rally to Forza and Gran Turismo, I love all aspects of racing games and all different types of racers as well.

So when Forza Horizon 5 was announced and that first trailer and gameplay was shown off, I was honestly blown away with how good the game looked. Just from the footage that they showed the level of detail seemed amazing and I personally couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. The best part was that it was going to be day one on Xbox Game Pass. 

As always with Horizon games, it sets you off by giving you an early feel of what there is to expect, you race through the new world you’re being introduced to and what I liked was that it took you over the different types of terrain available as well as giving you a feel for the different type of cars within the game. From trucks to hatchbacks right up to a supercar, there was a bit of flavour across the board to whet the appetite, so to speak.

I have to admit as well that from the videos we had been shown, the game did not disappoint in terms of visuals, as you’re going through that first race using the different cars, you can see how good the game looks and even then after adventuring further around the world you can see the detail that has been put into it, you noticed the love and care that the game has been given. The lighting, the detail in each of the different areas, so from the forests to the beaches and into the towns, there is a brilliant amount of detail on offer and the eye candy is real! 

Forza Horizon 5 is set in Mexico and I love how the world captures the ‘flavour’ of Mexican culture, from the buildings to the mountains and the thick forests as well as a set of ruins that would remind you of Chichen Itza. As with Forza Horizon 4 and the UK setting the team over at Playground Games has done a fantastic job of capturing that world and making sure the setting gives you the feeling it should. 

Now, with every new iteration of games, you would expect there to be some kind of expansion upon the previous entry and while yes, in terms of visuals there are definitely improvements here, in terms of how the game plays and what’s on offer within the game, this has pretty much stayed the same. Race styles, challenges etc have all remained quite stagnant, they’ve changed in terms of what needs to be done in terms of the area in which they’re in, but the premise is still the same.

Now, to me, this isn’t a bad thing, not at all, I think of this as an “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” scenario. It’s one of the reasons that I enjoyed FH4 so much and why I spent so many hours playing it and it’s also the reason why I’ve played countless hours on FH5. After a couple of hours of playing you can see that the map is getting packed with things, and as you continue to play and complete more races and challenges the more that opens up. The one thing I am looking forward to is getting expansion packs released, this was the thing that kept me coming back time and time again on FH4 and the expansions were excellent and provided many more hours of content to play through, so it will be intriguing to see how the expansions play out and whether we get some new areas made available.

One feature of Forza Horizon 5 that I really loved was the ability to be able to play the game on my Xbox and then if need be (my wife wanted to watch something on TV or play her games) I could log in on my laptop and load the game up on there and just continue right from where I left off with no fuss. Absolutely seamless transition every time and it made my experience a whole lot better and this is one thing I love about Game Pass and Game Pass PC, the transition is always faultless when moving from Xbox to PC/Laptop.

I’ve made a lot of comparisons to Forza Horizon 4 and it’s hard not to, both games are very similar in terms of content, but Forza Horizon 5 has had a nice paint job done to it to keep it fresh and the area in which it’s based is fantastic and again it’s another Forza game I love. I personally hope this isn’t a stop-gap while we wait for the rebooted Forza Motorsport game to release and I hope this game gets the same love and treatment in terms of expansions as FH4 got.

An absolutely brilliant game and I would highly recommend it.

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