Announced at E3 2021, Forza Horizon 5 moves Playground Games' racing festival to Mexico, for what the developers are claiming will be the biggest and most varied Forza Horizon to date. It looks ridiculously pretty, and is touting a host of improvements to the series' already sumptuous sandbox racing.
We don't have long to wait, either, as Forza Horizon 5's E3 demo also revealed that it would release later this year. Given that its predecessor is still my favourite racing game by some distance, I can't wait to see what the new location brings.
Here's everything we know about Forza Horizon 5, from when it will be in our hands, to its new features, improvements and impressive tech.
What is the Forza Horizon 5 release date?
The Forza Horizon 5 release date is November 9, 2021.
Here is the Forza Horizon 5 E3 trailer
Do you like cars? Do you like detailed, exotic environments? The Forza Horizon 5 announce trailer has them both, backed by the kind of hyperactive horn-based aspirational pop music that the series loves so much.
But wait, there's more. Also at Microsoft's E3 showcase, Playground presented a more in-depth gameplay trailer that goes into detail about the new features and tech underlying this release. It's seven minutes long, and covers everything from the new event types to the individual needles rendered on every cactus.
What's the Forza Horizon 5 setting?
This time, the festival moves to Mexico. Once again, it'll be a pick-and-mix of different biomes, highlighting the variety of the country. Playground is calling it the largest and most diverse open world in a Forza Horizon game to date, featuring rainforests, Mayan ruins, waterfalls, deserts and yup, even a volcano—claimed to be the highest ever point in a Forza Horizon game. Locations like Guanajuato will feature a sprawling network of tunnels to explore, and towns and cities will be decorated with murals created by local Mexican artists.
What should I know about Forza Horizon 5 gameplay?
It's fair to expect Forza Horizon 5's racing to keep the series' pitch-perfect balance between the realistic and the casual. As great as its cars look, a more arcade sensibility and plenty of optional assists mean it's less of a sim than a celebration of cars and racing in general. The events will likely follow suit. Previous games featured plenty of racing, but also veered into stunts, skill combos and the joy of going very fast down a busy motorway for the sheer fun of it. Outside of the main career, optional side jobs would set challenges in specific cars, from point-to-point time trials to more outlandish challenges like racking up a certain number of drift points around a series of difficult bends.
For Forza Horizon 5, a new event type has been added to the campaign: Expeditions. These task players with travelling to a new part of the map. In a Eurogamer interview, Mike Brown calls Expeditions "a curated experience through the world where you'll have a character who really excitedly calls out all the cool things you can see." They also act as a showcase of Forza Horizon 5's tech. Brown references tropical storms and an active volcano: things that can happen in free roam, but are guaranteed to be showcased in the curated mode.
Other new features include Horizon Arcade, which is Forza Horizon 5's replacement of its predecessor's underwhelming Forzathon Live. Arcade is a series of public events that will appear around the map, featuring 12 different minigames that players will work collaboratively to complete. These events will chain together, letting players drop in and out as they please.
Also revealed at the E3 showcase, Forza Horizon 5 will feature a toolset called Events Lab that will let players create their own events. According to Mike Brown, the toolset is based on Playground's own internal tools. "It's very powerful. It's a rule-based system where you put in: when this happens, this is the outcome, when this happens with these conditions, then this is the action," he told Eurogamer.
Is Forza Horizon 5 coming to Game Pass?
Yes. As with all of Microsoft's first-party releases, Forza Horizon 5 will be released on day one on Xbox Game Pass, as well as on Steam and through the Microsoft Store.
What are Forza Horizon 5's system requirements?
So far, only the minimum requirements have been announced. To play Forza Horizon 5 you'll need:
- Processor: Intel i3-4170 @ 3.7Ghz OR Intel i5 750 @ 2.67Ghz
- Memory: 8 GB RAM
- Graphics: NVidia GTX 760 OR AMD RX 460
- DirectX: Version 12
- Storage: 80 GB available space
Despite this, given how Forza Horizon 5 looks, running it at max settings will likely require a much more powerful rig. We'll update as soon as the recommended settings are released.
Who will be Forza Horizon 5's most irritating NPC?
We don't know yet, but, based on previous games in the series, this will be a hotly contested category.