There’s more to Forza Horizon 5 than just being another racing game

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In addition to being one of the most anticipated games of the year and the first half of Xbox’s one-two holiday season punch for 2021, Forza Horizon 5 from Playground Games and Xbox Game Studios is one of the most anticipated games of the year. Despite the fact that its release date is still several weeks away (Nov. 5, 2021 for those who have early access), Forza Horizon 5 is already virtually sure to be one of the best Xbox racing games currently available.

What makes the next open-world racer particularly intriguing, though, is how it will continue to encompass all of the reasons that Forza Horizon games have been successful in attracting players who do not often play racing games. Despite the fact that I’ve never considered myself to be a car enthusiast and have never expressed more than a passing interest in the intimidatingly vast world of automobiles, I’ve been hooked on Forza Horizon 2 since my first foray into the fabled Horizon Festival with the Xbox 360’s Forza Motorsport 5.

Artistic freedom is limitless in Forza Horizon

There's more to Forza Horizon 5 than just being another racing game
Xbox Sport Studios

Forza Horizon 5, like the four games that came before it, is an open-world “simul-arcade” racer, which means it seeks to provide players with casual arcade-like racing mechanics while also providing them with more detailed simulation-like settings and possibilities. Every Forza Horizon game to date has been built around these simple, yet unexpectedly profound, gameplay fundamentals, which have been combined with visually stunning graphics that have raised the bar. Forza Horizon games are particularly intriguing because they completely delegate control over how you play and what you do to the player, rather than the other way around.

It’s simple to get into a Forza Horizon game and find something to enjoy, even if you don’t make any progress in the game. Exploring the beautiful open areas that are featured in Playground Games’ titles is a rewarding experience, and it’s possible to spend hours upon hours doing so without ever touching the deeper simulation components or even racing.

Finding something to enjoy in a Forza Horizon game is a simple matter of jumping into it.

Forza Horizon games provide you with an almost limitless amount of creative freedom. When you first step into a Forza Horizon game, you’re thrust into a world where you can achieve anything you set your mind to, whether it’s becoming a world-tier racer who dominates every race; an artist who meticulously designs and personalizes custom vehicles; a tuner who works tirelessly to unlock every ounce of performance contained within cars; an explorer who yearns to see every inch of Forza Horizon’s gorgeous worlds; or a wild risk-taker who a

A large number of open-world games make an attempt to give players freedom while yet dictating the eventual path they must follow. In Forza Horizon, the path to become “the best” is not forced upon the player, but rather develops naturally as a result of the user’s overall experience with the game. To all appearances, Forza Horizon 5 ups the ante in every manner, offering players more power than they’ve ever had over their personal Horizon trip while also opening the doors wider for any newcomers who haven’t yet had the opportunity to experience everything a Forza Horizon game has to offer.

Forza Horizon 5 brings significant evolution

There's more to Forza Horizon 5 than just being another racing game
Xbox Sport Studios

To make substantial changes to the franchise beyond the obvious, such as massively better visuals and the largest globe yet, Forza Horizon 5 will grant players greater flexibility and power than ever before.

For starters, the game will include significant accessibility and inclusivity improvements, such as a new, easier difficulty setting for players who have no or little experience with racing games, a cleaner and easier-to-use user interface and menus, a slew of quality-of-life improvements to various systems, and more. As a result, Forza Horizon 5 will be more accessible than ever before, thanks to the game’s intention to launch simultaneously on the largest number of platforms possible. This includes the Xbox Series X|S, the Xbox One, the PC, Xbox Game Pass, and Xbox Cloud Gaming, among other platforms, making Forza Horizon 5 more accessible than ever before.

Forza Horizon 5 provides players with greater control, greater freedom, and greater variety in how they play.

The same kind of creative flexibility that has made prior Forza Horizon games so exceptional is expected to hit new heights in this game as well. Players will be able to customize their automobiles with more nuance and individuality than in previous editions, and they will have access to more sophisticated tools for transforming drab vehicles into works of pure artistic expression. There are many more possibilities available for character development, such as artificial limbs and pronoun alternatives, among other things. Additionally, the new EventLab feature will allow players to create their own all-original game events, obstacle courses, races, and more using a suite of options and tools that are similar to those used by the developers to create the game itself.

There's more to Forza Horizon 5 than just being another racing game
Xbox Sport Studios

Because of the new Horizon Adventure, the single-player elements of Forza Horizon 5 have been redesigned to more overtly reward players for a variety of playstyles, making it more viable to “beat” the game and earn a spot in the Hall of Fame no matter what draws you to the game and how you play. Whether you spend an hour shooting gorgeous shots or dominate multiple races, Far Cry 5 will make sure you feel compensated for the effort you put in while playing the game. The Forza Horizon 5 map, on which all of this takes place, is the most aesthetically spectacular the series has ever produced, allowing players to spend dozens of hours doing nothing but exploring the 11 distinct biomes and diverse landscapes. A day and night cycle, dynamic weather events, complete seasons, a myriad of life forms such as dogs and goats, and much more can all be found in this world as it changes over time.

All of this is tied into the game’s online capabilities, which have been enhanced to connect a greater number of players at the same time. To make it easier to connect with strangers in a safe environment, Forza Horizon 5 will introduce more spontaneous minigames that can be played with other players nearby. It will also provide more ways to have fun in general, whether you’re playing by yourself or with other players all over the world.

When it comes to gameplay, Forza Horizon 5 is designed to provide players with greater control, freedom, and choice over how they approach the game, even if that “how” does not necessarily include aiming for first place in every race and delving deep into the inner workings of every meticulously recreated vehicle in the game’s car list. My time in the Forza Horizon games has accumulated in the hundreds of hours over the years, and the majority of that time was probably spent painting my cars and exploring the huge areas on offer rather than competing in races and vying for first place.

Each participant pursues their very own path

There's more to Forza Horizon 5 than just being another racing game
Xbox Sports Studios | Microsoft

On the surface, it may appear that Forza Horizon 5 is just another racing game, but the whole package on offer in Forza Horizon games manages to attract players who would otherwise never consider themselves to be fans of the racing genre in the first place. Playground Games appears to be doing a fantastic job of keeping the unique “something” that Forza Horizon games are known for, and even managing to grow it by making the game more accessible to and accepting of a wider range of players in early gameplay trailers.

The fact that Forza Horizon 5’s thoughtful, targeted updates and additions make me more enthusiastic for this unique racing game than virtually anything else arriving this year makes me one of many who have found themselves drawn to it partially because of its openness. With the absurd amounts of creative freedom granted to players in Forza Horizon 5 and its Mexico-bound open world, it is virtually guaranteed that gamers of all types will find something to like, even if previous attempts to dip into the genre have failed to capture their attention.

Every player in Forza Horizon 5 pursues their own route, and you don’t have to be a car enthusiast to appreciate the countless choices that are accessible.

If you’re interested in playing a racing game unlike any other, Forza Horizon 5 is currently available for presale on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Xbox Game Pass day one, and PC. It will be released on Nov. 9, 2021 (Nov. 5, for Premium Edition preorders) on Xbox One, Xbox Game Pass day one, and PC.

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