Seasons return in Forza Horizon 5, with one important twist

Forza Horizon 5's "truly next-gen" world will once again feature rotating seasons—but don't expect Mexico's sunny beaches to be buried in snow when winter rolls around.

Speaking to IGN, creative director Mike Brown confirmed that seasons (in the natural meaning of the term, not the videogame one) would be back in FH5. Introduced in FH4, this saw the entire map shift into a new season every week, changing depending on whether it was spring, summer, autumn or winter.

Back in FH4, however, weather was universal—if it was snowing in one part of the map, it was snowing everywhere. And while it makes sense for the UK to be drowning in rain all at once, Mexico's geography is extremely diverse. A one-size-fits all solution wouldn't make sense.

"Mexico has, I would say, a more interesting seasonality compared to the UK," Brown explained. "I think the UK, certainly for those people who live in a temperate climate, has really pronounced spring, summer, autumn, winter. Mexico, being a country that has huge elevation changes and obviously quite a large country, has different seasonality in different regions, which we’ve tried to recreate as accurately as possible."

"It’s still four seasons—you’ll still see that seasonality change—but it affects the different biomes in different ways. You get dust storms in the dry season, you get tropical storms in storm season, which is autumn. So there’s these big, massive weather events that can occur as well based on which season you’re in."

While eager to talk about the weather, Brown also spoke of how FH5 wants to expand the game's open-world activities to "really reward exploration". But he's tight-lipped on what you'll actually be driving this time around. With FH4 diving deep into British car history, however, you can expect an in-depth look into Mexico's motoring history.

"Mexico does have a really, really quite interesting car culture [...] a culture the rest of the world may not have full awareness off, but once you start to dig into it, there’s real great history there. There are really great stories behind it all. We’ve enjoyed finding out about that and I think players will as well."

Forza Horizon 5 launches on Steam and the Microsoft Store on November 9th.

Natalie Clayton
Features Producer

20 years ago, Nat played Jet Set Radio Future for the first time, and she's not stopped thinking about games since. Joining PC Gamer in 2020, she comes from three years of freelance reporting at Rock Paper Shotgun, Waypoint, VG247 and more. Embedded in the European indie scene and a part-time game developer herself, Nat is always looking for a new curiosity to scream about—whether it's the next best indie darling, or simply someone modding a Scotmid into Black Mesa. She also unofficially appears in Apex Legends under the pseudonym Horizon.