Horizon columnist reviews new Forza Horizon 5

Caleb Stultz

Caleb Stultz, Staff Reporter

When it comes to an open-world experience in an all-wheel or rear-wheel drive two-ton machine, no one does it better than Forza. With over 10 million players already in the game, Xbox Studios has hit the mark in so many ways in setting the precedent for how the next generation of online gaming should do racing.

The manner in which the game is played is ultimately up to the player. Player empowerment is more dynamic than ever before in this car MMO (mass multiplayer online game). 

In every race, just like in Forza Horizon 4 and before, players can choose any car they want to use in any race that they want. This sense of freedom gives racers the experiences that they want without sacrificing much in the process.

The incredible upgrades to the technical side of the game like the lighting and graphics will honestly make you, like your parents before you, wonder if what you’re looking at is really a game or a real-life set of car footage. The similarities between the two are uncanny, and that’s coming from someone who’s been playing these games for almost 10 years. 

The features that are included to really make Horizon 5 stand out stem back to Forza Horizon 4 and all of its features. These include:

  • The ever-changing Festival Playlist where players are given optional objectives every week in exchange for Forzathon Points to spend in a special shop; 
  • The Eliminator, Horizon’s take on the all-mighty battle royale genre; and
  • The Super7, where racers can participate in player-generated, custom-built races, driving challenges and stunts.

These features are what Forza Horizon 5 started with and then added to the formula.

The change-up in how players can immerse themselves in these massive, cinematic-like experiences is what really sets Horizon 5 apart from its predecessors. 

Whether it be racing against trains that lose their cars at the backend to gain speed, monster trucks soaring over your buggy jumping off of ramps in the desert or just riding against bikers through the streets of Mexico, there are so many different experiences to be had while playing Forza Horizon 5. 

There are all of these experiences, then there are the cars.

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No matter what car you’re looking for, this game probably has it. There are 526 cars at the launch of the game with more to be added down the road. If you’re not someone who is into the collection part because it feels overwhelming, don’t worry, the cars stack up fast in your garage with little hassle for the player.

There are lots of good things to talk about with Forza Horizon 5. However, with any new game in the modern age, there are issues.

Despite calling this a car MMO, the multiplayer is surprisingly buggy. Loading times are atrocious and getting into a “convoy”—or a group to race with—is surprisingly difficult.

Also, crashes on the PC version are all too frequent. Many times there were instances in which, in the middle of a race, a jump or any event, the game would just completely stop and close itself.

Be sure to have all the latest specs on your PC if you plan to play Forza Horizon 5 because this game is intensive. Even with a PC with an Intel i9 CPU and EVGA RTX 3070 graphics card, the game would still not load even the simplest textures at a distance on “Medium” settings. 

Forza Horizon 5 has its fair share of faults at launch. However, the game offers plenty of amazing content for racers to enjoy.