Imagine a world like no other. One of living deserts, lush jungles, historic cities, hidden ruins, pristine beaches, vast canyons and even a snow-capped volcano. A paradise that combines eleven distinct biomes into a shared open-world of striking contrast and beauty. This is a utopia meant to be scorched by the world’s most exotic cars in expeditions led far and wide.
Life in Mexico is reminiscent of a surreal automotive fantasy. The perfect blend of spectacular, but unique environments filled with an incredible assortment of activities, including races, challenges and stunts. But this is no dream. Developed by Turn 10 Studios and Playground Games, Forza Horizon 5 is the real deal. It’s coming this November as the most evolved, accessible and refined entry in the series to date – serving up fun, limitless driving action in a vibrant and ever-expanding open-world set in the land of great culture and authentic cuisine.
Available on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC via Windows 10 and Steam, and the Xbox Cloud Gaming service via Xbox Game Pass, there’s no shortage of ways to experience the biggest, most diverse and adventurous Forza Horizon game thus far. In this article, we’re breaking down Forza Horizon 5 to microscopic detail. Absolutely everything you need to know about this latest iteration of the greatest festival on planet earth summated in one place. Get ready, the ultimate nirvana awaits!
Forza Horizon 5’s Mexico is a world handcrafted for the adventuresome – the daring, bold and carefree. Its sprawling atlas is the largest and most diverse world in the history of the series, one that’ll change on a weekly basis with the return of Dynamic Seasons. The acclaimed feature from Forza Horizon 4 that redefined the British countryside every week brings unique effects to Mexico depending on which of the eleven different biomes you’re exploring. In addition to new events, challenges, collectibles and rewards that’ll open up with each passing season, there’ll also be new areas to explore – ensuring that no two seasons ever feel the same.
Your race opponents are far from the only threat you’ll face in Forza Horizon 5. Prepare to take on awe-inspiring weather events that shakeup the Mexican landscape, such as gargantuan dust storms and extreme tropical storms. Plus, if you thought the elevation of Blizzard Mountain and Fortune Island was vast, then you’ve seen nothing yet. Mexico is the most vertical world that Playground Games has ever built and gives exploration an entirely new layer of depth.
What’s more, Mexico serves up a deep campaign experience with hundreds of challenges to embark upon. You’ll meet a new eccentric cast of characters in Horizon Story missions and their outcomes will be dictated by you! Representation matters, so Forza Horizon 5 expands on character customization with a more diverse cast of selectable characters. You’ll be able to change their hairstyle and colour, select prosthetic limbs, choose pronouns, pick from a range of voices and purchase clothing using in-game credits.
This personalization expands to the vehicles, too. Forza Horizon 5 introduces an overhauled Livery Editor, which until now, has remained mostly unchanged since 2007’s Forza Motorsport 2. The user experience for creating unique paintjobs is more inline with modern image manipulation software – think Photoshop, for example. The overall goal is to make it easier for people to bring their creations to life in the game – while allowing the most prominent livery creators to further enhance the level of sophistication in their work. There are also over 100 new rims to apply to vehicles, as well as hundreds of fresh visual upgrades, including bodykits and thousands of new performance upgrades.
Forza Horizon 5 introduces three entirely new ways to cooperate or compete with your friends and the wider online community. Up first is Horizon Open, which refines the traditional PvP experience with an emphasis on lower friction and fun by unifying it under a single banner. Seamlessly jump into sessions for Racing, Games, Drift, Eliminator and more. You read that correctly, the battle-royale inspired gamemode added to Forza Horizon 4 returns, alongside several new minigames too.
Horizon Tour is the next stop on our list. Jump into races from anywhere across Mexico and meet up with other players to race against Drivatars on Average difficulty. With this mode, Playground aims to capture the experience of a real-world car meet. Players gather in the world to race alongside one another and have the option to continue together to the next Tour location in the world.
Lastly, Horizon Arcade invites players to journey to Arcade markers across the map to engage in various challenges and minigames, which can also be accessed directly from the map. This mode has 130 challenges that span 11 total game themes, so there’ll never be a shortage of fun activities to partake in. Me personally, I see Horizon Arcade as the logical evolution of Forzathon Live that combines the best of Burnout Paradise’s Freeburn Challenges with a curated offering of minigames.
Bridging these experiences together is Forza LINK – a new AI assistant that cleverly tracks the status of you, the people you meet online and helps you to “Link Up” and play together. The goal is simple: all those awesome people you just raced against on a Horizon Tour, drifted alongside in a Horizon Open event or collaborated with to beat challenges in Horizon Arcade? They’ll all be ready to group up and play together once again through Forza LINK. It’s the next evolution of “Looking for Group,” but more intelligent than ever!
Sharing is caring and Forza Horizon 5 introduces Gift Drops that’ll let you send and receive gifts from the community. Take one of your cars, apply the upgrades and a paintjob of your choice and then drop it into the shared world as a gift to another player.
Being kind also pays off too. There’s a new Kudos system, which is a social currency awarded between players for positive acts – such as clean racing, helping someone find a collectible or completing a challenge with a fellow driver. Kudos earned can be used to unlock visual flairs to attach to your player profile and are visible to everyone else in the game.
Forza Horizon 5 is designed to be YOUR open-world sandbox. That means creating your own expressions of fun using the all-new, powerful EventLab gameplay toolset. This is far more than just an update on the Super7 creator tool introduced into Forza Horizon 4 last year – EventLab is a significant leap forward in every possible way.
This new suite of tools gives you the freedom to build whatever you want. Tear up the rulebook and finetune your event to the core – right down to the fundamental rules of the game itself. With EventLab, you have the freedom to create and build your very own races, challenges, stunts and even entirely new gamemodes and gameplay experiences. If you love the possibilities of the Forge toolset in Halo, then you’ll feel right at home. The potential of EventLab is truly unlimited.
Forzavista remains the best way to get up close and personal with your cars in Forza Horizon 5 as you explore them in immaculate detail. After a glimpse of it last year in-action in Forza Motorsport, raytracing is leveraged to deliver “true-to-life” reflections for all the cars featured in the game. Keep in mind, this advanced rendering technique is exclusive to Forzavista – it won’t be present throughout the rest of the game, but it’s an impressive technical feat, nonetheless.
Forza Horizon 5 operates at a steady 4K, 30FPS on Xbox Series X and 1080p, 30FPS on Xbox Series S. Prioritize framerate by enabling the performance mode to experience the stunning tropical vistas of Mexico in 60FPS, albeit at a lower resolution.
You’re invited to the wide-open roads and diverse environments of colourful, vibrant Mexico when Forza Horizon 5 launches on November 9th, 2021, for Standard and Deluxe Editions – but if you can’t wait until then, the Premium Edition will give you early access to the game starting on November 5th.
Here’s a breakdown of the pricing for each bundle, as well as their contents:
Includes Forza Horizon 5 (Full Game)
Includes Forza Horizon 5 (Full Game) and Car Pass.
Includes Forza Horizon 5 (Full Game) with Early Access (Nov. 5), Car Pass, Welcome Pack, VIP Membership and Expansions Bundle.
Includes Car Pass, Welcome Pack, VIP Membership, Expansions Bundle and Early Access from November 5th.
Forza Horizon 5 Platform Availability: Play it on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Windows 10, Steam, Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Cloud Gaming (Android, iOS, Web, Xbox PC App – and in the future, Smart TVs).
Forza Horizon 5’s Standard Edition is included in Xbox Game Pass for PC, cloud and console and will be available on the service beginning November 9th. The Premium-Add-Ons Bundle allows Xbox Game Pass members to upgrade their game to the Premium Edition and reap those sweet additional benefits.
Furthermore, Forza Horizon 5 supports Xbox Play Anywhere – the Windows 10 PC and Xbox console versions of the game are included with a single digital purchase at no additional cost. The title also supports Smart Delivery, which means you’ll always have the best optimized version for the console you’re currently playing on. With the success of Forza Horizon 4 on Steam, it only makes sense that Forza Horizon 5 will also launch on Valve’s PC digital platform alongside the Microsoft Store.
Naturally, this is only the beginning. There’s much more to come from Forza Horizon 5 in the weeks and months ahead, so be sure to join us for the ride as we bring you all the hottest information and the freshest details on this shared open-world driving game.
Alan is the co-founder and co-owner of FullThrottle Media. As someone who enjoys spending all his free time playing video games, he keeps the website updated with new and relevant content, including news stories, reviews and opinion pieces for the games he likes writing about the most. He also tweets too much, probably.