Gaming is a hobby that can be experienced in many ways. Sometimes you feel like a challenge or competition and you start a difficult game like Dark Souls or Hades; Other times, you just want to do a little building in Planet Zoo or tend your garden at Animal Crossing. You can make the same distinction within a race type. Anyone who starts playing Assetto Corsa, iRacing, or rFactor will enter it differently than anyone who plays Need for Speed or Forza. One game focuses on realism and is satisfying when you can keep a fast car on the track, while the other is more focused on relaxation. For us, Forza Horizon, and especially the second part, stands alone in the latter category. Rarely have we had such a great holiday feeling in a game as when we could roam the south of France in Forza Horizon 2. In the years since, the Horizon Festival has settled in Australia and England and now, for the fifth installment of the series, it’s Mexico’s turn.
Anyone who reads reviews about games from a long-running series often encounters the same questions. After all, it is inherent to making sequential parts that there is a challenge in the field of development and innovation. Forza Horizon’s formula hasn’t really changed over the years, but it has expanded greatly. The festival is always central. Horizon is a car party landing somewhere where all kinds of racers perform amazing stunts, drive races and have fun together. For you as a player, this includes exploring the game world and collecting an impressive collection of cars with which you can race both offline and online. All kinds of extra items have been added over the years around this foundation. For example, the online gaming component has expanded significantly, various types of races and cars have been added and variable seasons have been introduced, so that the game world itself takes on a completely different character from time to time.
Forza Horizon 5 builds on this foundation and adds some new elements here and there. An important element of this fire is the event lab where players can assemble all kinds of races and mini-games. The possibilities are almost limitless. It’s one of the things the game makers highlight when we ask them what makes Forza Horizon 5 different from previous games in the series. More than ever, the focus in this game is on what players can make themselves. Event Lab offers a comprehensive toolkit with which to make all kinds of games with all kinds of rules. Outside of that, however, you also experience enough influence from others. For example, in many races it is possible to assemble your own copy. Not only can you race the rides created by the creators and collect your credits, skill scores and experience points, but you can also drive someone else’s way or create your own. The pinnacle of these types of challenges is the Super 7: it’s a series of seven challenges created by other players that, when you complete them all, reward you with a brand new car.
These cars remain central to Forza Horizon 5. The series began as a love letter to cars, in game form. Playground Games continues to embrace this vision of development studio Turn10. This is perhaps most noticeable in Forza Vista, where players can see their cars up close and at their best. Optima forma means in this case: very sharp with ray tracing, which is not used in Forza Horizon 5 outside of this mode. In any case, he ensures that the cars in Forza Vista are truly stunningly beautiful.
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