The Return of the King of Open World Racing, Forza Horizon 5

The Mexican Race Will Be Called A Masterpiece Again

It’s a short story that lasts about 90 minutes, including a few early missions and a showcase to announce the start of the series. All kinds of fuss with the trial versionIt’s been less than a month since I was all shaken up. However, what I felt again through the review version is that the game that drew great reviews for each work is definitely drawing a higher level of world this time as well.

The strength of graphic directing gained from the release of the next-generation Xbox Series X|S in earnest. This time, the Steam version was also introduced to the MS Store, and even graphics and objects without performance limitations were implemented. It contains a lot of things that you want to try and evaluate yourself. Of course, I have an eye for new directing and technical improvements, but in fact, it seems difficult to say that these changes achieved a dramatic improvement to the level of the previous console generation.

As will be described later, the difference in detail is more noticeable when you take a closer look. However, in racing running against the background of wide nature, the overall flow is seen rather than detailed details, and this has already been dealt with at a great level in Forza Horizon 4. It is an optical illusion that the growth of the sequel is inevitably slow because the so-called predecessor works so well.

Conversely, Forza Horizon 5 is like a basketball player with already solid basics, or even flashy basics. A player who knows how to freely change the height and pace of his hands while dribbling the ball off the floor. By putting the opponent here, the detailed technique that can somehow break through with the dribbling technique you have has been added.

As it is a sequel to a work that was difficult to find shortcomings at least in the game, not in the operation of online services or game goods, the development team made enough reasons to run around Mexico only by changing the details. And with that change, the width of the game was expanded even more, and Forza Horizon 5 met players as a game that would be worthy of the title of masterpiece again.

game name: Forza Horizon 5
Genre name: Open World Racing
release date: 2021. 11. 9.

developer: Playground Games
service: Xbox Game Studio
platform: Steam / MS / Xbox

Related Links: ‘Forza Horizon 5’ open critique page


Welcome to Mexico! draw a realistic mexico

The beginning of the game is also a showcase. An event that connects several short races and situations like the expression “showcase” is like a trial version that introduces this work in the Forza Horizon every series. As a result, he showed a figure that was as glamorous as possible and suited the mood of the work, but this time the scale was even bigger.

In the case of Forza Horizon 4, which is set in England right now, it is a desolate forest and snowy road running against the background of red and yellow maple trees. In addition, it depicts the beautiful four seasons against the backdrop of the tranquil atmosphere of England.

Now the background has moved to Mexico. From deserts, jungles and tropical coasts to alpine areas full of stones and rocks without a single green. It has a completely different atmosphere from Forza Horizon 5. In particular, the air drop, reminiscent of the car descent, a famous scene in the movie Fast and Furious 7, becomes a device that enhances the immersion of the showcase that lasts for several minutes.

And the atmosphere of this showcase will soon lead to the actual game.

This work is set in the largest area in the history of the series. And what kind of place is Mexico? It boasts a completely different biome, from deserts to jungles from north to south, and the coast to the left and right. Of course, you can race and explore these places in the game.

The impressive part is that there is no awkwardness in moving to a completely different area. Even if the division between regions is usually loosely drawn, the environment and objects in the game eventually overlap to some extent. In Forza Horizon 5, these regional divisions are divided according to the actual vegetation of Mexico rather than determined by the environment in the game.

When the sand moves from the desert to the jungle, the background is not the form of the desert and the jungle directly facing each other and rubbing the border between them. On the coast, cities, dry hills, deserts, hills with vegetation, farmland, swamps, and jungles are intertwined with each other.

In particular, the volcano area is the highest place in the game, and you can enjoy the view of Mexico in the game, while at the same time delivering a new sense of playing at an unprecedented high altitude. Of course, it takes a few minutes on a winding road to climb a mountain, but in a game that doesn’t matter as much as a car scratch, if you have a powerful off-road car, you can climb and reach the top.

In fact, it is the fun music that sticks to the ears as much as the diverse environment that saves the atmosphere of Mexico. The background music, which is based on a unique Mexican traditional music that anyone can hear by adding Spanish and indigenous music, boasts an unexpected compatibility with road racing or off-road racing.

In fact, many licensed songs that have already been recognized for their build quality joined the series and filled the so-called ‘big’ radio volume. However, in the case of Forza Horizon 4, original music that is relatively difficult to feel was used to bring out the British atmosphere. If you certainly felt dissatisfied with this part, in this work, you can meet a lot of original music that will shake your shoulders along with traditional Mexican music.

Of course, not all music creates the same mood. Various genres of music are well prepared for track matches and open events, so there is little difference in music.


A race that satisfies the eyes, ears and hands

More than the sound as a piece of music that enhances the atmosphere of the game, it is the sound of the car’s engine that makes the player’s ears tense.

When you overtake the other car with a car that has an advantage in cornerwork and you are running in first place on the last straight course. At this time, the tension at that time, which increases as the engine sound coming from afar gets closer to the finish line, is a factor that cannot be felt properly with reviews, YouTube, or recorded videos.

As stated in several interviews before the release, a number of new technologies were used in the sound side. Of course, there are also newly recorded engine sounds and exhaust sounds, but by synthesizing the sounds, a responsive sound according to the situation is realized.

▲ You can check the interior and engine sound of the Porsche Taycan in the game

This change in sound is difficult to distinguish right away unless you have your ears open or listen to the engine sound separately. However, audio ray tracing achieves more accurate sound direction and reflection, so that even the most deaf player can notice the change.

Just like ray tracing, which implements light reflections in real time, audio ray tracing models the spread and disturbance of sound and brings it into the game. It goes beyond simply distinguishing the direction with 3D sound technology, and accurately captures the echo of the sound.

So, there is no mistake while turning the camera to see how far the opponent has followed, and you can predict in which direction the overtaking course is being drawn without turning the screen.

▲ Turning the screen to the increasingly loud exhaust sound from the left, 2nd place trying to overtake

Forza Horizon 4, which is already evaluated to have implemented next-generation console-class graphics. However, with the real next-generation console, the Xbox Series X|S, the graphics performance has risen significantly. The smooth and rough texture expression, the directing that cuts through the water and the rain and snow are still present in this work, and some textures, which showed a disappointing appearance like dots, have been changed to a higher resolution with increased power to express on one screen.

The power to manipulate light is still there. Ray tracing is applied only in Forza Vista mode, where you can see the appearance of a car, but the light effect in the actual game is very realistic. The development team has Solo interviewIt was also revealed that it was possible because the secret was created and analyzed in a similar situation, and realistic light and reflection were realized with the information obtained.

In fact, during racing, not only checkpoint flags, but also real objects such as the sky, trees, street lights, and buildings are realistically reflected on the car. In the case of glass, it is reflected more clearly, and only the shape information is visible on the car body.

▲ Even in the same place and the same car, the atmosphere changes greatly depending on the difference in light and time.

Thanks to this, when I am enjoying racing alone, the splendor of the light source is more prominent than the lack of light. It was only when I realized that the image of the car behind me, which needed real-time reflection, was not reflected on the rear window, I felt that this was a physical reflection that was applied without ray tracing. Especially in the dark night, when you turn on the lights and watch the shadows change depending on the direction of the light and when you run, you can feel the evolution of graphics, which has always been the best point of the series.

With the application of ray tracing, the visual satisfaction of Forza Vista increased, but the basic implementation level was achieved at a similar level. The basic form is the same, such as opening the car door and sitting in the seat directly listening to the starting sound. Although it is a vehicle that runs on a real road rather than the Forza Motorsport series, a simulation game, it fulfills its role sufficiently by implementing the interior.

In addition to the realization of light, the appearance when running in a wet jungle and after running on a road in the rain. In addition, it is very plausible to see that the sand splashing on the tires, the sand splashing on the car body, and the mud on the tires change depending on the time and situation depending on the situation, such as running on sand and after running on a car body covered in dust and after running on shallow water.

▲ The tire difference between running on mud and on a road through a stream

What completes the racing of Forza Horizon is the tactile response along with the eyes and ears. Vibration of the controller does not simply transmit shock or acceleration. The situation where you can feel the controller response best is the movement of a transport plane passing overhead.

When a transport plane passes nearby, the whole body shakes. Here, the vibration of the body that receives the impact is realized along with the sound of the shaking body and the sound of the wind. In this work, the movements of the four wheels and suspension of the car are transmitted separately to the controller.

Thanks to this, you can see the front and rear of the controller running plausibly when driving on a bumpy road. On the other hand, when driving on a smooth road with a low-resistance supercar, it feels like it is pushed gently without a big vibration unless it turns a big curve. This means that sufficient driving sensation is delivered with the controller alone.

▲ Vibration felt while cutting the current gives the feeling of real driving.

However, if you value the satisfaction of the race itself, you may feel disappointed. Because the overall direction of the play allows you to enjoy more races and events, the track racing has a shorter race time, and the track composition is also composed of a similar feeling by adding some sharp curves to corner wicks.

However, road racing, which takes place in a race that runs one course from start to finish or a sub-quest-type event, captures tension and difficulty at the same time.


You decide the purpose of the game

It’s up to each player to decide which one will have the upper hand, but the great graphics and sound effects are actually good enough for other games with track matches. Although several advantages in particular stood out and contributed to the positive reviews of this work, the F1 2021 also embodies great graphics and the real sounds of numerous formula cars.

Therefore, it cannot be said that great graphics and sound are the only factors that keep you enjoying racing games. In particular, no matter how realistic the Forza Horizon series increases, the simulation tendency of racing itself is bound to fall compared to the Forza Motorsport series. The wide open world play replaces the depth of the simulation, which is a little less emphasized on the racing itself.

There are quite a few different ways to add goals to a racing game. There is a way to put the main character and follow the story, or build up the story vertically based on one goal: to win.

Forza Horizon, on the other hand, doesn’t have a clear goal. Of course, this does not mean that there is nothing to target. Rather, if the game is played with a small goal, it is a game that has too many things to do. There are many open racing events scattered throughout the wide open world, and you can take on these challenges one by one as the main character participating in the festival. Also, in this work, you can leave a record of your journey by defeating regional events one by one through Horizon Adventure, set in Mexico.

In addition, various sub-quests, such as an event to find a classic car with a Mexican story, Lucha Libre, a symbol of Mexico, and exploration of the ruins of ancient civilizations, add color to the game. If you want more challenging content, you can enjoy the battle royale Illimator, which is included from the launch in this work, or if you want a lighter game, you can challenge the event lab full of creativity, such as zombie games or team battles. Or, you can keep participating in major events and aim for a special car that can be obtained for a limited time.

In this way, Forza Horizon 5 induces players to play with their own goals. It is designed to go step by step towards the next goal, such as finding a way to find hidden elements scattered around the map, and getting compliments and level rewards.

Rather than concentrating on the main story, which is perfect for one story, it is very cleverly structured in such a way that it provides a wide range of things to do and provides other fun things to do in the process of finding it. It was not a meaningless digging by simply deleting the quest mark, but it made the player ponder what to do on his own.

Thanks to this design, once you pass the initial stage, you can enjoy the game in any way without feeling frustrated or lacking. And this open world configuration is what keeps Forza Horizons going. If there is really nothing to do, elements other than content provide things to see so that you can have fun just wandering aimlessly around Mexico as the background.

▲ You can enjoy unique games through various events

In customization, the advantages of the previous work can be looked at more deeply, and the upgrade, which fine-tunes vehicle performance, has advantages and disadvantages for each part. Therefore, the strengths of each car vary depending on how they are upgraded. If you’re not sure, you can follow other users’ settings online.

Sharing through online not only car upgrades, but also wrapping, design, and painting are already shared, making players look forward to the game in earnest after its release.


Forza Horizon has taken the place of some of the less powerful franchises within the Xbox game studio, and has become the flagship series for the entire Xbox. And this atmosphere went beyond the genre limit of racing, and it became even more prominent in 2021, when AAA games, which were particularly well-received, were lacking for various reasons.

The recent game industry where franchises have often gone up and down. So, the appearance of Forza Horizon 5, which seems to say why ‘Racing is Forza’, is even amazing.

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