HHW Gaming Review: ‘Forza Horizon 5’ Is A Perfect Blend of Racing Simulation & Pedal To The MetalFun

HHW Gaming Review: ‘Forza Horizon 5’ Is A Perfect Blend of Racing Simulation & Pedal To The MetalFun

'Forza Horizon 5' Review Xbox Series X

Source: Xbox Playground Games / Forza Horizon 5

Playground Games racing RPG Forza Horizon 5 is leaving every other racer in the dust.

Welcome To Mexico

Forza Horizon 4 was considered a masterpiece by many, so Playground Games had a big task ahead of itself when working on Forza Horizon 5. So how did the studio one-up its previous game?  By taking the Forza Horizon festival from the English countryside to the tropical setting of Mexico.

From the moment you get into the driver’s seat, you get a good idea of how epic this game is. You get your first taste of how gorgeous this game is while driving around an active volcano pushing a Ford Bronco to its limits, or racing through a rain forest, or hitting high speeds on Mexico’s open roads. It’s a beautiful thing to see.

Sticking with the graphics, this is honestly the best game we have seen running on the Xbox Series X, EASILY. Playground Games put their foot in recreating Mexico and bringing it to life in the world of Forza Horizon 5. Like most games that hit these next-gen systems, players can play the game in performance mode (60fps) or quality mode (30fps). We wanted to see the power of the Xbox Series X, so we chose to run with quality mode and were not disappointed, thanks to the ray-tracing technology that allows Forza 5’s biomes and the vehicles to look stunning in action.

Forza Horizon 5's Biomes & Seasons

Source: Xbox / Forza Horizon 5

Between Mexico’s beaches, jungles, and every other location in the game, players who enjoy this franchise will readily admit this is Playground’s best-looking title ever. The studio took its time capturing the astonishing detail of the country down to the buildings and street art. It’s truly a sight to behold when you’re not cruising down the roads well over 100 miles an hour.

Forza Horizon 5's Biomes & Seasons

Source: Xbox / Forza Horizon 5

The game’s weather system is truly remarkable to see and experience. In Forza Horizon 5, Playground introduces extreme weather events like dust storms or tropical cyclones, offering players unique gameplay experiences while graphically showing off the studios’ hard work. The extreme weather events which can be seen on the map also offer players some fantastic photo mode opportunities. While you can avoid them, some events will call you to drive into the storm to accomplish a goal.

So Much To Do

Forza Horizon 5 is not a pure racing game at all. There aren’t just racing events for players to compete in but also hidden cars scattered across the map in barns, photography challenges, and story events. Anything you do in the game earns you points to progress in the game, so it’s not a grind as you try to level up and build your garage, making the game very easy for those who are not big-time fans of pure racing simulation games.

In Forza Horizon 5, players are given the freedom to play the game how they want and work towards unlocking different sections of the map that offer other options that provide different racing experiences. Do you enjoy rally-style dirt racing? Well, in Forza Horizon 5, you can set your attention on those kinds of races alone. The smartly caters to your style of playing and never pushes you on a linear path. Along with races, each section has one major event that is usually a 15-30 minute colossal race that will test your driving skills and your ability to stay focused.

Showcase events, a fan-favorite from previous Forza Horizon games, makes their triumphant return and are better thane ever. Players will race against people in wingsuits, on jet skis, speeding trains, and monster trucks in dope locations during those events. Showcase events genuinely make Forza Horizon 5 a unique gaming experience for all fans of racing games. Tuners, you don’t have to worry. If you need to tune up your whips, the ability to do so is present, down to fully customize your car.

The event creator returns and is better tha ever and allows players to build their own tracks and challenges that you can share with friends or other players.

Everyone Can Play

Forza Horizon 5 offers the most accessibility options than any other Forza title. If you have physical limitations, you can tweak the game to benefit you. Also, the AI accommodates to your skill level and will make adjustments. If the game sees you’re winning races quite easily, the game will ask if you want the difficulty level raised. It will also adjust to make sure the competition on the road is always leveled by putting cars similar to yours in races, no matter why type of vehicle you have entered the race with.

Final Verdict

You would be hard-pressed to find a single flaw with Forza Horizon 5. While Forza Motorsport is the ultimate driving simulation, Forza Horizon 5 perfectly gives car racing enthusiasts the best of both worlds. It’s an open-world adventure allowing players to take some beautiful cars around a massive and insanely beautiful recreation of Mexico.

The game never feels like a grind, and you get rewards constantly. You stack the hottest cars like chips, and the races plus missions are always fun. Forza Horizon 5 expertly gives players the ability to choose how they want to enjoy their gameplay experience. It also succeeds by keeping you engaged with some eye-opening moments that truly showcase the power of the Xbox Series X. Racing in a tropical storm or sand storm never looked so good.

Forza Horizon 5 is the first perfect game on the Xbox Series X and is an easy download for Xbox Game Pass subscribers.

*This game was provided for review by Xbox and played on Xbox Series X*

Photo: Xbox Playground Games/ Forza Horizon 5

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