Forza Horizon 5 reviews: one of the best games of 2021

Forza Horizon 5 It is a racing game. But its heart is not just racing cars at all. In my case, this derivative series has established reputation and quality on different foundations. This is a series about culture. It’s about mood, tone, feeling.

Part of the reason is the true feeling of each car as it cruises on its open world map, but the bigger part is the vague and indescribable things that the game activates in your body. Many things activate this part of the brain, such as excessive settings and stupid driving stunts-but a large part of it is about one thing: the game world.

This may actually be my favorite thing about Forza Horizon as a sub-series. The world itself can be said to be the most prominent character in every game. I didn’t really realize this until I played Horizon 4, which is a game set in my home country, so I talked to me; every subtle detail and blinking reference were understood. This in turn changed my view of the Fifth Horizon, and I think it does a better job of representing and guiding the culture of its background Mexico. I think this is great for the people who live there, just like Horizon 4 is for me, but it is also amazing for those who have never been there.

With the improvement of graphics fidelity, the concept of “digital travel” has become more attractive-Xbox has already achieved success in flight simulators. However, “Forza Horizon 5” is essentially a video game-style expression of this idea. Just seeing these gorgeous environments can be said to be as exciting as driving a supercar on their roads.

Forza Horizon​​ n 5 will not be messy. Its scale and scope are large, its beauty gleams, and although this is the fifth outing of the studio, its ambitions are still impressive. This is rare; at this point, developers usually call it or get nervous because of lack of ideas. But in this case, Playground Games is constantly looking for new adjustments and new ideas, the most amazing of which are sandstorms and tropical storms. They are not just visual punctuation marks, but dangers that you can actively enter or avoid. . In fact, this time the weather has been comprehensively improved. It matches the rest of the experience, and it feels like the hands of the developer Playground Games have turned everything up to 11 or 12, because the previous entry already feels that it is breaking the volume dial.

Although there is a game that gives you all the feeling, “Forza Horizon 5” is equally friendly. In fact, it’s a truly relaxing experience, deploying all the various adjustments and turntables of the core Forza engine, while providing two things: a free, casual and friendly open world arcade racing experience and realistic processing (if a bit silly) simulation transfer, if you are willing to. By default, assists are generous, and AI competitions (still “Drivatars”, based on your Xbox Live friends’ driving skills profiles) are easy-but if you want a hardcore challenge, you can improve their intelligence and Lower help.

Having said that, I don’t really think that challenge is where Horizon is best. It wants to be played happily, the kind of game that will soar when you play casually, the ultimate way to drink beer on Friday night. It is sometimes surprising that even if the map becomes an icon soup, with seemingly endless events and challenges everywhere, the game can still maintain this mood so well. These types of maps sometimes make me feel overwhelmed in other games (hey, Ubisoft)-but not here. The tone of the game is too enthusiastic to make you feel pressured.

This is most evident in the story and actors of the game. You are a “superstar” driver who seems to be able to afford any car and fearless. Everyone admires you, everyone is mercilessly optimistic. There is not even a cunning jerk competitor in the game-you just come to enjoy this epic holiday and make memories. Its design is unforgettable.

The rest is to some extent a clear extension of the ideas expressed in past horizon games. The set becomes bigger, silly, and more intense. Racing is a core pillar, but it is broken by unforgettable beats, including driving up, down and off. The quietest moment in the game comes from customization, where you can filter the menu to adjust the appearance of your avatar and vehicle, or let the real reducer play around with the specifications and settings of your vehicle.

You may also want to spend a quiet time in “EventLab”, a new content creation kit that allows you to build custom events-although this is of course the calm before the storm, then you can tell your friends online via Unleashing the crazy creative online feature walks a tightrope in the game like a rock, but somehow still feels completely and completely quite optional.

The way to run through the game online shows one of the broader genius works shown in Forza Horizon 5, in fact: it constantly threading needles, balancing different and often completely different goals, in order to achieve the best effect of the two worlds situation. It won almost every victory.

Let’s clarify first: Forza Horizon has always been good. From the moment it suddenly appeared in 2012 as a derivative of the core and more attractive Forza Motorsport series, it has established itself as an interesting, thrilling and disruptive alternative thread for Xbox racing. It is in many ways the spirit and open world successor of Project Gotham Racing, which in turn can be traced back to arcade racing royals like OutRun. This is an irresistible lineage, but Horizon 5 has inherited all the history and experience, and runs with it, gradually upgrading this series to a must-play brilliance. This is the achievement of a game.

Disclaimer: Tested on Xbox Series X. A copy of the game is provided by the publisher.