Forza Horizon 5 is out, first impressions: don’t walk, race to get this one

The Forza series is legendary and is really split between the main track racing in Forza Motorsport, while Forza Horizon offers more diversity, with open-world exploration and mixed-surface racing....

The Forza series is legendary and is really split between the main track racing in Forza Motorsport, while Forza Horizon offers more diversity, with open-world exploration and mixed-surface racing. Forza Horizon 5 is now out for those who purchased the top tier version but is about to land for everyone who has Xbox Game Pass.

After playing the game for more than a dozen hours, it’s time for some early impressions, ahead of a full review.

After being seriously impressed with the visuals in previous generations, Forza Horizon 5 was expected to look great and it delivers in a massive way. Set in Mexico, the map is now massive, which the game developers have taken full advantage of, to showcase many, many different types of environments.

It feels like there are a lot more destructive elements in FH5 and as you inevitably venture off-road, you’ll have plenty of fun making your way through open fields, beaches and more.

While the game may appear like an arcade racer, with its constant points calculations for combinations of speed, drifts, burnouts and more, there’s nothing arcade about the physics and sound from the vast array of vehicles.

There are some seriously spectacular cars and some absolute classics all recreated in stunning quality. If you take a second to jump into drone or photo modes, you can capture vehicles in these stunning settings that could easily be mistaken for real photos. The lighting and reflections are second to none and it is clear the developers are now able to extract the most performance from the Xbox Series X.

There is simply lots to love about Forza Horizon 5, from the large selection of cars, the gorgeous representation of Mexico to race through and the diversity of the racing event types, it is already clear this is one of the best games of 2021.

After using the game with a mix of controller and racing sim, I absolutely recommend that anyone who’s serious about racing, should consider a racing sim setup, as driving these cars in cockpit view, with a wheel and pedal, large TV and surround sound, really does trick the brain into thinking you’re behind the wheel.

Many games offer 10-20 hours of gameplay, which helps you convert that to a cost per hour for your dollars, but I could easily see more than 100 hours being spent in this game, between local gameplay and online racing, the price of admission is really easy to justify.

While the game is available on many platforms, the Quick Resume available on the Xbox Series X is particularly beneficial with a game like this, which is often something you’ll dive in and out of. Sure, some of us will be hardcore and play for a handful of hours at a time, most will likely be much more casual participants and Quick Resume works a treat for that. It literally takes just a few seconds to get back to where you were and continue racing.

Basically, anyone into racing should buy this game, even if you’ve never played a Horizon title before, or you’ve played every prior release, get this game, you won’t regret it. Given Forza Horizon 5 is due for release as part of Game Pass, millions will have access to it for no cost from tomorrow, just be sure you clear some storage space, you’ll need more than 100GB for it.

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Gaming

Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021
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