Forza Horizon 5 Online: What’s Better?

As Forza Horizon 5 Online speeds past the checkered flag, it once again elevates the standard for open-world racing in numerous innovative ways.

Boasting a Mexican map that’s larger, taller, and incredibly diverse compared to any previous Horizon installment. A refreshing approach to the gradual construction of the Horizon Festival resulted in a plethora of unique events specifically designed to highlight the very best of Forza Horizon 5.

Enhanced tools enable us to craft fully personalized events virtually indistinguishable from those masterfully created by the developers themselves.

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A staggering visual enhancement, particularly in lighting, tire smoke, and dust effects. An impressive array of new customization options, wheels, performance upgrades, and vehicles with more personality than ever before.

Significant audio improvements, superior handling, finer-tuned preferences and settings, and a wealth of online activities. In every aspect, the game is truly exceptional.

Forza Horizon 4 vs. Forza Horizon 5 Online

To fully appreciate the magnitude of Forza Horizon 5, we must momentarily revisit Forza Horizon 4, which emerged as a racing game behemoth back in 2018.

Playground Games skillfully combined the exceptional open-world racing of prior Horizon titles with simulated seasons, a revamped shared-world multiplayer experience, and a new approach to their mini automotive narratives.

forza horizon 5

However, that was merely the beginning; Playground continued to pack the game with even more content for three additional years.

The Festival Playlist featured new activities every week, while The Eliminator ingeniously adapted the battle royale format for a racing game. The Super7 allowed players to partake in custom racing, driving, and stunt-based challenges designed by others, as well as create and share their masterpieces.

Remarkably, Forza Horizon 5 isn’t merely a repackaged version of its predecessor, set in a new location; it’s so much more than that, exceeding all expectations.

Playground’s masterfully crafted map of Mexico is nothing short of outstanding, presenting an incredibly diverse and intriguing array of environments to explore, especially after spending three years in the visually appealing but relatively monotonous British landscape of Horizon 4.

The vibrant and varied locations in Horizon 5 are reminiscent of those in Horizon 3 but feel significantly more expansive than even Playground’s outstanding 2016 rendition of Australia.

Forza Horizon 4 Locations

Baja offers sun-soaked roads that cling to the coastline, where the arid desert meets the sandy shore, while the dense jungle conceals muddy paths winding through ancient temples, forgotten airstrips, and dense vegetation.

The delightful city of Guanajuato, with its labyrinth of cobblestone streets and tunnels, stands in contrast to a tranquil coastal town nestled between the ocean and mangroves. Rolling green farmlands adorned with crops and swaying grass lie next to a picturesque canyon straight out of a Western film

The semi-arid desert in the heart of the map, filled with towering cacti and resilient shrubs, leads to the lofty, rocky summit of Gran Caldera. A massive soccer stadium even makes an appearance.

Naturally, it’s not an entirely accurate representation – as with all previous Horizon worlds, realism takes a back seat to a stylized interpretation of Mexico at its most captivating. The result is a phenomenal map – the largest in the series thus far, and by a considerable margin.

The sheer scale of the map is best appreciated from the peak of Gran Caldera Volcano. Playground Games has emphasized its status as the highest point in any Horizon game, and you don’t have to take their word for it – simply drive up there to see how

it towers over both Horizon 3’s Blizzard Mountain and Horizon 4’s Fortune Island expansions.

This impressive elevation change not only delivers one of the most exhilarating roads in the series – a winding mountain route that I predict will become a haven for drifting enthusiasts – but it also showcases Horizon 5’s incredible draw distance.

I adore games that make me feel like a small part of an immense, uncharted world, and Horizon 5 achieves this remarkably well.

Forza Horizon 5 Garage

The garage in Forza Horizon 5 is packed to the brim with an impressive collection of over 500 vehicles, surpassing all other open-world racing games in terms of selection.

While some may argue that the number of cars exclusive to the franchise is not overwhelming, loyal players who have spent years collecting every new car in Forza Horizon 4 will find solace in the added new rim options and visual upgrades.

Moreover, the improved livery editor now supports higher-resolution designs and graphics, although it’s still disappointing that one cannot place decals on glass.

Forza Horizon 5 Gameplay & Graphics

But the cars are just one part of the package. Forza Horizon 5 gameplay boasts stunning graphics too. Forza Horizon 5 Xbox One and Series X|S give 4K/30FPS quality mode and the 4K/60FPS performance mode.

Although I prefer playing on quality mode as the frame rate remains rock solid at all times and in all conditions, the visual differences in performance mode are so slight that it’s challenging to discern them without freeze frames. What stands out the most for me are the improved smoke and dust effects, especially how light interacts with the particles in the air.

Aside from the graphics, Forza Horizon 5 has made extensive improvements to the Horizon formula.

The handling tweaks are subtle but significant, with more realistic ABS braking, more responsive steering, and suspension improvements that give off-road driving a more authentic feel.

Sound Design

The revamped audio is excellent, with a vast range of car sounds that make each one stand out from the other. I enjoy hearing the changes made to my car’s sound in real-time during upgrades, which encourages my inner car enthusiast to rev the engine.

Customization

The new event-building tools for Horizon 5 are already making waves among early players with the creation of outstanding and innovative courses, races, and activities. With an abundance of props and highly detailed customization options, user-generated content for this game is expected to be nothing short of mind-blowing.

Playground has also rethought how the career mode progresses by introducing a new points system called “Accolades.”

Players can take control of which event hubs and special races they want to unlock by achieving major and minor feats. This allows Playground to add a handful of curated drives called “Expeditions” that inject some of the flavor of Horizon’s famous opening montages back into the main career.

These Expeditions feature stage-managed vehicles, time-of-day lighting, and weather for unforgettable journeys that showcase Horizon 5’s best attributes.

Picture yourself racing through trees as lightning strikes the ground ahead, or racing up and down a rumbling volcano as steam jets break through the ground around you.

Multiplayer has also undergone significant changes. Playground has done away with ranked play in favor of something less pressurized and less punitive for poor racing etiquette. The PvP modes have been grouped together, designed to welcome new players as championships progress.

This means that unlike in Horizon 4, players are not isolated in dwindling groups of sore losers that hemorrhage players as races don’t go their way.

Live Events

The hourly Forzathon Live events in Horizon 4 have been replaced by Horizon Arcade. It still features co-op events where everyone contributes to a common goal, but with a more diverse range of events.

These events can be a spectacular sight, especially when dozens of piñatas are raining from the sky. However, they can also become a bit of a slog when they last the full 10 minutes.

In addition, players can look forward to small but significant changes in the game, such as a more user-friendly car collection display, a fun activity where you hide your cars in barns around the map for other players to discover, and the ability to toggle between metric and horsepower measurements.

Forza Horizon 5 Review – Verdict

Forza Horizon 5 is a true paradise for car enthusiasts and gearheads alike, offering an abundance of options to collect, tinker with, and experiment on their vehicles.

But it’s not just for the die-hard fans – this racing spectacle is accessible to all, regardless of their driving abilities or mechanical knowledge. A love letter to the vibrant culture of Mexico, it takes players on a magical road trip through picturesque landscapes that feel like they were taken straight out of a postcard.

With more races, activities, and events than can fit on the map, it’s a massive game but never feels overwhelming. Instead, it offers players the freedom to choose their adventure, rewarding them for every decision they make.

The visuals are stunning, the sound design is superb, and the gameplay is simply glorious. In short, Forza Horizon 5 represents the pinnacle of open-world racing games and is a testament to the skill of its development team.

Pity that Forza Horizon 5 PS4 isn’t possible nor the Forza Horizon 5 PS5 because Microsoft is the actual distributor.

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