Forza Horizon 5, we've tried the stunning new Xbox exclusive!

Forza Horizon 5, we've tried the stunning new Xbox exclusive!

Forza Horizon 5

Forza Horizon was a meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs. In the history of open world motorsport, in fact, there is a before and after the progenitor of this series, released in the now distant 26 October 2012 on Xbox 360. Forza Horizon has canceled from the face of the earth Test Drive Unlimited, put in a corner The Crew, annihilated the different Need For Speed ​​that have followed one another over the years and even downsized the more serious Forza, the one developed to be the Gran Turismo Killer by Turn10 Studios. And now that we have previewed Forza Horizon 5, the feeling is that for the competition (but does it exist?), From November 9th things will get much more difficult.

A great start

One of the protagonists of the introduction, a splendid Porche in Rally format that we will whiz between mangroves and frightened flamingos. The series has always introduced the user to its gameplay with highly spectacular races, but in this case Playground Games has surpassed and even voiced itself. Thanks to a superlative graphics engine that, with this fifth iteration, is finally capable of everything and has allowed a team with more and more experience behind it to create in absolute freedom, with almost no technical limits.

In the introduction of Forza Horizon 5, a cargo plane is loaded with four dream cars that will be parachuted over different areas of Mexico to get to the new edition of the Horizon Festival as quickly as possible. From here the game will switch from one car to another allowing us to drive part of each driver's journey, so that we have an overall smattering of what lies ahead in Forza Horizon 5.

Practically as in all Horizon, except that here the show, the construction scene after scene, of course the graphics, the unexpected inventions, the use of music and sound effects, contribute to a clear leap in quality and explosive. The version we tried did not include a save game and ended when the character was given the first house, so after about ninety minutes of gameplay.

We had to do the intro several times for this and damn it, there wasn't one that didn't get us an applause of pure ecstasy at the end. The first time with this Horizon is like turning on the console and suddenly finding yourself tied to four rockets launched between the different biomes of the game ... when the carousel stops it is difficult not to remain speechless for a few moments.

Pushed photorealism

The driving model is very similar to the previous games, although here the weight of the different cars seems to be better perceived, with consequent changes in the driving feeling It is not just a graphic matter, but above all the graphics that make your eyes widen, it seems to slap you. Forza Horizon 5 on Xbox Series X is cheeky fluidity and quality mode 4Ks hardly affect the overall sense of speed and it may not be a heresy to prefer them to 60fps, usually essential in a driving game. This milestone was achieved without upsetting the promised graphics: not even Forza Horizon 5 is perfect, but most of the time we spent it darting through landscapes that at a certain speed seemed indistinguishable from reality.

Pure photorealism which then slowing down gradually disappears, but not everywhere: there are many areas that even when stationary leave you shocked by the graphic quality. An unpleasant effect we have instead seen it emerge on certain hills, where the engine for reasons of distance does not apply the grass on the ground leaving uncovered textures that are not exactly exciting. Similar things happen in virtually all games, and we wouldn't have talked about it if the rest of the graphics weren't so distinctly above average. Even the cars that are well modeled, well lit, pay duty, but there is not a deterioration but a lack of improvement compared to Forza Horizon 4, and a little sorry.

Your game, yours challenge

And then, when you see Forza Horizon 5, you can't help but imagine what the next Fable will be like, in development right in the Playground Games studio In the gameplay we noticed, and then it was confirmed to us by the same producer of the game , a small but important step back from the extreme freedom granted in the previous game. The writer considers Forza Horizon 4 one of the greatest arcade racing games ever, but allowing the user to modify each challenge so deeply has made the concept of festival lose momentum and undermined the sense of progression of the game. In Forza Horizon 5 the two different approaches seem to have finally learned to coexist, at least in the opening bars, while for the rest of the game we will see.

The first race after the introduction, one of those special competitions well known to those who attend Forza Horizon, is another adrenaline rush of very rare intensity. This time we will have to face two motorcyclists on a path that chews everything: desert paths, narrow city streets and ends in a vertical descent into the void that breaks through all ambitions of realism and sends the apex of excitement, for a moment, into the world of Hot Wheels. While the two motorcyclists abandon the bike in free fall and in wing suits they fly towards the finish line. While the music rises and falls almost in time with the beats of our heart. While time seems to slow down. We win the race, we get up and spontaneously here's an applause again.

The best is yet to come

As always, the reproduction of the chosen geographic area is made to scale, a sort of best of Mexico from postcard The rest at our disposal is quite mundane: there are the usual signs to break, the usual speed traps, giant jumps, circuit and road races, plus a couple of special challenges like squeezing into one of the great game sandstorms, looking for an ancient ruin to photograph. However, let's talk about the background present in all Forza Horizon, where we are asked to scrape together enough reputation to officially enter the Horizon Festival roster and finally get to the heart of the game. So the best is yet to come, we still have to try it.

When we have reached this first easy milestone we will be given the first home (here ends the version we tested) and finally we will be inserted in the shared world where we will see running around other players around the map, and where as a result we can challenge them in all the countless activities present. In the shared world, time will be synchronized with the servers and the succession of seasons will also begin which, as you may already know, are not four as in the previous game but two: dry season, with its epic sandstorms, and wet season, marked from heavy rainfall, rivers in flood and verdant marshes.

Muscle Software

Even in the details of the interiors, Forza Horizon 5 is no joke ... Forza Horizon 5 is, together with Flight Simulator , the game that graphically impressed me the most since the nextgen has been around. In addition to the use of photogrammetry, the two titles also seem to have in common the incredible volumetric effect of the clouds which in this case is used for sandstorms and for the smoke left by the passage of cars, by the screeching of tires, and that buy and dynamically disappear in minute curls of wind. Extraordinary details for a game that is not even forced to reinvent itself, given that its gameplay proposal is not at all inflated, let alone three long years after the previous game.

Forza Horizon 5 just needs to be the best version of itself to maintain the enormous qualitative gap with its alleged competition. Now he has to prove that he is the best also in the variety of challenges, in the quality of his contents which in any case are already many, starting from the car list present at the debut that exceeds the already extremely varied one of Forza Horizon 4, up to the number of events that we can face alone, against, or in the company of errant pilots and irreplaceable friends.

Without counting what's in between, like the shots in the night and with the right music, the outing in a co-op that involuntarily turns into a historic gathering of convertible cars, the headlights fired at a player who whizzes on the highway, the challenge accepted, the impromptu but no less exciting race to the beach. Forza Horizon 5, like its predecessors, is the place where all the dreams of a car enthusiast come true, where one feels at the same time a bit Clarkson, a bit May, a bit Hammond, ended up in the same corner of paradise. .

Forza Horizon 5 is set to be one of the most spectacular titles of late 2021. Perhaps it is the first game for new consoles to deliver that nextgen thrill that so many have been waiting for. Of course it still has a lot to prove, but how many chances are there that Playground Games has made a mistake right where in the past it has always caught us in full? Very few indeed. Now all that remains is to wait for the full version, and understand how it will behave on PC and on the small S Series. Forza Horizon 5 will be released on November 9 on Xbox Series X / S and PC, on the same day it will be made available to Game Pass subscribers and for those who use xCloud.


Graphically shocking Extraordinary music Competitions that leave you astonished DOUBTS The surrounding competitions are more or less the same as always For competitions, to enter the photo mode ... the game loads and quite often Have you noticed any errors?

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