We’ve already given you the breakdown on Forza Horizon 5 in our exclusive blowout article, but there’s even more to discover in the official gameplay demo as developers from Playground Games give you a guided tour of beautiful, diverse Mexico and its truly spectacular photorealism quality.
Forza Horizon 5 is a graphics powerhouse. Find yourself immersed by sweeping vistas and scan the distance ahead to prepare for the adventure that lies ahead. Thanks to the sheer technical prowess of the ForzaTech engine, developed in collaboration between Turn 10 Studios and Playground Games, the smallest of details in the world of Mexico and its 11 distinct biomes are rendered with striking realism – even down to the light that glows through each needle on a Cholla cactus.
Playground Games has captured the Mexican sky through HDR captures to illuminate the world as if you’re really there –with raytracing applied to the cars in Forzavista to make them all appear even more stunningly detailed. One example of this shown is on the Mercedes-AMG Project ONE Forza Edition, which is featured in the demo. With a maximum speed of over 350 km/h and the latest but most efficient Formula 1 hybrid technology applied, this is one seriously remarkable hypercar. Playground says it’ll have more to share on the Mercedes-AMG Project ONE in the future, but it’ll be available in Forza Horizon 5 at launch on November 9th.
The Forza Horizon 5 Gameplay Demo kicks off with a look at the vast dunes of sand that make up one of the living Mexican deserts before transiting to a brief showcase of the campaign mode in the rainforest on one of the game’s many expeditions that involve traversing the world and finding the next location for the Horizon Festival to expand. You’ll also hear some dialogue from both the player character and one of the new Horizon Story characters, Rami. It’s a small peak at the adventuresome campaign that should leave you hungry to see more.
Of course, the Forza Horizon series is most fun with other players. Horizon Life is back in a “next-generation” form and everyone you’ll meet in the game are real players. We see this demonstrated throughout much of the footage. We also get to observe how the recreation of Mexico in Forza Horizon 5 is “honest, authentic and filled with love.” One example of this is a real-world mural by famous Mexican street artist Farid Rueda in an idyllic seaside town – which is where you’ll also notice the debut of a highly-requested feature, the ability to lower or raise the roofs on convertible vehicles!
“The Xbox Series consoles allow us to capture every last detail right down to the individual needles on this Cholla cactus,” said Forza Horizon 5 Creative Director Mike Brown. “The scene looks real, but there are no tricks – this is in-game.”
Another impressive scene is taken atop of the Gran Caldera Volcano – the highest point ever seen before in a Forza Horizon game. Its realistic geology has precision accuracy, which has been achieved with photogrammetry data captured on location on top of an active Mexican volcano. “The entire world has been recreated at this level of detail.”
At that height, it’s possible to see for miles and miles in every direction – including the beautiful, colourful and undulating city of Guanajuato way off into the distance. It even has a sprawling underground network of tunnels with twisting, turning and overlapping streets above. Here, we also see a glimpse of The Eliminator, the battle-royale mode from Forza Horizon 4 that returns to the diverse landscapes of Mexico. Now supporting up to 92 players, battle against rival drivers in head-to-head races as you eliminate them and work your way up the ladder to victory.
Using Playground’s unique HDR camera rig, the team captured 24-hour shoots of real Mexican skies at 12K resolution. The result is that the skies in-game are photorealistic with lifelike lighting that dynamically changes every frame. With volumetric lighting, the rainforest is filled with god-rays while sunlight dapples through the dense tropical forest. With the intelligence of Forza LINK – which is designed to pair you with likeminded individuals, you can constantly participate in your favourite activities in the shared world. Love minigames? Participate with others in Horizon Arcade content like Piñata Pop – signalled by the Horizon Cargo Plane dropping a payload of Piñata as players are tasked to cooperate and smash through as many as possible.
Lastly, but most certainly we least, we’re given a glimpse at some of the custom content possible with the EventLab, which allows you to create the races, challenges, stunts, gamemodes and the gameplay experiences of your dreams. Design your arenas using a vast assortment of props and structures, then customize everything – right down to the fundamental rules of the game. It’s much better to see it in-action for yourself, so be sure to check out the gameplay demonstration.
Forza Horizon 5 launches on November 9th for Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One consoles, Windows 10 PC and Steam, as well as the Xbox Cloud Streaming app via Xbox Game Pass. Those who pre-order the Premium Edition will receive early access to the full game, beginning on November 5th.