Racing fans have seen lots of great releases in this past generation that are still doing a great job of keeping them busy and that doesn’t seem like it’s going to change going forward. With a new F1 game launching this month, A new Need for Speed game on the way which is reportedly being developed by the folks over at Criterion, and a healthy selection of others closely following those, gearheads and speed freaks should have more than enough games to choose from to find something that revs their engines this year. That said, one of – if not the – most anticipated of these upcoming racing games is Forza Horizon 5.
The Forza Horizon series has been taking the Forza name and turning it into a slightly more arcade-y open-world experience for its spin off series for many years now, and they’ve all been quite successful at blending that simulation presentation with a slightly more approachable control style and ridiculously gorgeous cars and environments. For that, the series has become wildly popular among PC and Xbox gamers who like that particular sort of blend in their racing games. Given that Forza Horizon 4 was such a huge success in 2018 it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that a follow up is on the way and slated to release later this year on November 9th. Assuming that the series applies everything, it’s learned up to this point there should be little reason to wonder if the game is going to be good or not. The series has been one of the finer and more consistent racing franchises in gaming for a long time, and logic would follow that this upcoming game should be one of the best in the series if not the best and arguably one of the bigger games of the year.
On top of just having all of the experience and development acumen that’s been gained from the past many years of Forza Horizon games, the series will also be stepping it up in a number of ways to incentivize gamers to jump into it as opposed to other similar games that are coming out this year and shortly after. First and foremost, the number of cars is likely to be an absurd one. While we don’t currently have a confirmed complete roster of cars at the moment of my writing this feature, we do know that, including DLC, Forza Horizon 4 has well over six hundred models to choose from, and even by today’s standards that’s a lot of cars for one game. Given that each Forza Horizon game has been a subsequently bigger and better experience than the last, it’s probably safe to assume that the number of cars in this upcoming game will be similar to if not bigger than the amount that was allotted in 4.
Given that players should rest easy knowing that just about every single mood and style they could possibly have with racing games should have at least a couple of cars correspond to it in Horizon 5. It’s not as much of a problem in racing games these days as it was, say, 10 years ago, but the car selection in a lot of racing games used to be the barrier for many as most racing games have a certain type of car that certain type of racing gamers gravitates to, and if you don’t like whatever that is then you are inclined to skip that game and move on to something else. The Forza Horizon series doesn’t really have that problem. If you don’t like one car or maybe even the next odds are good if you keep playing you will at least find something that you enjoy and can stick with in the game, and for that it will not only entice players who have been around in the series for a while but also newcomers who can be logically enticed by this wide array of options knowing that there’s something in that roster for them somewhere.
Another interesting wrinkle about the upcoming newest iteration of the Horizon series is the fact that it will launch on more platforms than any other entry in the series has before. Not only will Forza Horizon 5 launch on the Xbox One, but also the Series X, Series S, PC, and Game Pass. So, with all of these platforms getting a version of the game on day one, it’s easy to see how this could be the biggest launch in the franchise’s history. No matter where you are in the Xbox ecosystem – whether you have the latest and greatest series X, the original Xbox One, anything in between, or just a relatively decent gaming PC, you can play the game on your hardware of choice. And if you have any one of those platforms and don’t have the cash to buy it right away Game Pass is also an option for you as the game will be available on that service day one with its standard edition. So, unless you just have an irrational hatred of all things Microsoft there’s really no excuse to not play this game. With all of these different types of gamers being able to play the game on day one it’s hard to not see how this will be one of the largest releases in Xbox history – let alone one of the biggest games of this year.
As fans might expect the upcoming Forza Horizon 5 will be open world and have the previous games’ system of real-time seasons, but something that did come as a little bit of a surprise is that the game is being set in America for the first time since the original Forza Horizon game. North America, Mexico to be precise. While that particular revelation did spark a small amount of criticism from folks who don’t know anything about Mexico and fears the open-world would feel too repetitive, as anybody who knows anything about North America knows, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Mexico is home to an insane amount of diverse topography, and as such, it’s an excellent choice for the open-world setting of a racing game like this. In the different sections of Forza Horizon 5’s open-world map, players can expect to cross paths with arid hills, tropical coastlines, volcanically active sections, jungles, deserts, and canyons. Not to mention all of the colorful towns that are sure to show off the vibrant, colorful aesthetic of much of Mexico’s cities. Forza Horizon 5 will be many things, but devoid of variety will not be one of them.
Surely there’s a lot more to this newest iteration in the Forza Horizon series, but as far as reasons why it’s going to be one of the biggest releases of the year, you really don’t need much more than this. With an incredibly ambitious racing series that’s gotten more expansive and excellent with every iteration, a massive built-in audience who has been eagerly awaiting this next installment, and the largest array of ways to play the game that the series has ever seen it’s not hard to see why Forza Horizon 5 is going to be one of the biggest games of the year.
Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, GamingBolt as an organization.
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