Forza Horizon 5: Game Review
Forza Horizon is an amazing series. Since the first part was released in 2012, the franchise hasn’t changed at all. Delivery methods, visual components, and quantity have been improved, but at its core it’s still the same Xbox 360 game: a holiday race that takes dozens of hours of life and requires only basic knowledge of how to drive. It sounds boring, but the formula works, and they won’t turn it down yet.
What is Forza
For those of you who have missed out on the nearly nine years of Horizon’s history, I’ll tell you what it is. The legs of the series stem from the very ambitious Forza Motorsport line, whose developers (Turn 10 Studios) challenged Gran Turismo in 2005. The app, of course, was excellent, but it didn’t stand the test of time. While Gran Turismo is still a full-fledged car simulator from Part VII and is considered a benchmark for the genre, motorsports.
Lost in its own occasional background, it leans increasingly toward the trails – not to say successful.
Microsoft noticed the problems of its brainchild ten years ago and made the right decision: not to abandon developments in machines, physics, game mechanics and licenses, but to look at them from a different angle. Playground Games offered to do this, which was known only in 2010 for the fact that its founders worked at Code masters and Criterion Games.
In 2012, the first Forza Horizon game was released, which, on paper, was supposed to take the exact Motorsport 4 ring simulator into an open world. Officially, this is what happened: players received a huge smooth map of Colorado, dozens of kilometers of roads, as well as two hundred licensed cars designed specifically for motorsport.
Along the way, the developers have absolutely nothing to lose: tuning, livery and … reliable physics, the main source of pride of the entire Forza series. Officially, the simulation was subsequently canceled due to the weakness of the Xbox 360, which really in 2012 was its last breath and was not ready to combine the open world with realistic physics. But it seems to me that they did it on purpose, because that’s the whole point of Horizon.
This is a game about beautiful cars, road mileage, engine sounds and driving fun, but not about “being able to find the right lane, brake at the right time, and fight for milliseconds”. Why, Horizon did not claim to win races: you came first – well done, seventh – well done too, and in general you are handsome. This formula at the time was (and still is) perplexing to those who came to Horizon from Forza Motorsport and Gran Turismo: to them, almost race drivers, the lack of a clear struggle seemed absurd, but in just a few hours this game even dragged them .
Even if you’re wrapped around a pole, you get points for a nice drift to that particular pole. Stupid? Crazy, but so much fun. Second, Horizon doesn’t care. You can play an audiobook, a TV series, a lecture — and underneath all that you can rotate circles along virtual paths so that the bumpers on the gamepad rub your fingers. Third, Horizon has always been stunningly beautiful for her time and extremely attentive to detail. and this is.
In conjunction with a fairly simple driving, it allowed me to periodically stick to nature or how beautiful your car is. Fourth, even in the first part of Horizon more than 200 licensed and meticulously reproduced cars were shown. And if you still hold your nose up at the beginning in all these forms, which differ from each other only in terms of “faster – slower, more stupid – maneuver”, then you are drawn to the story of the plural and the old formula “collect it all”.
If we draw analogies with recent projects, then the Horizon series is very similar to Assassin’s Creed, in which they finally got rid of the plot that no one needed and left only beautiful scenery, points on the map and bonuses.
And this is the formula that Horizon has been polishing and strengthening for nearly nine years. In the second part (2014, already Xbox One), the game received tuning, graphics, drivers, dynamic weather and a truly open world: cars were allowed to get off tracks and radically cut off the road through fields.
Part Three (2016) was supplemented by something like a storyline with a progression through the festival, draft and “dangerous” areas, the ability to create your own contests, customize your avatar, and even trade in the auction. At the same time, the number of cars in the game exceeded three and a half hundred. By the fourth part of Horizon (2018), it had matured so much that it got into the Xbox One X launch lineup, got rid of difficulties in the player’s reputation, became more beautiful, increased the fleet of cars to 450 and continued to do so. The path of “more rewards for every little thing, more entertainment, what is there, at the same time we will add zombie mode, battle royale and Stag from Top Gear.
I’m sure if you’re not familiar with the series, the above might give the impression that FH is a very dumb and out of touch game like NFS or Burnout Paradise. And here’s the most important thing: Ostensibly, Horizon has always kept a serious face. Realistic places and routes, fairly honest rules for the races themselves, and of course meticulously designed cars. Perhaps that is why you sat for six hours in a row at a game with minimal simulation and plausibility, did not feel stupid, but continued to view the process as a serious occupation, worth staying up late. In the fifth part, the approach changed slightly.