Forza Horizon 5 Review: Viva La Evolucion

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Famine

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This is the discussion thread for an article on GTPlanet:

Forza Horizon 5 Review: Viva La Evolucion

It’s an odd time to be a Forza fan. After eight successive years with a full title in the franchise — Motorsport in odd years, Horizon in evens — it’s been three years since the last game in the series, and that was 2018’s Forza Horizon 4...
 
109
United States
United States
Failmaster2118
While I found the review really good, I highly question this quote.
"Where this is most obvious is the settings menu, which returns from FH4 untouched. Horizon gives you more ways to dial in your car’s set up than a Gran Turismo title — tire pressures are the first thing on the list — and each tweak you make results in a new simulation of your vehicle’s performance figures (which can… break a bit with edge cases like the Tankpool trucks)."
Has the reviewer not seen a Gran Turismo tuning screen? Or did they choose the preset parts in the older games? Otherwise a fantastic review of a game I will definitely be picking up.
 
7,667
Denmark
Denmark
Content and value for money is overated with 5 stars. Let’s not pretend that losing several manufacturer licenses and staple car models is no big deal just because the game is big.
 

Famine

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Has the reviewer not seen a Gran Turismo tuning screen?
Oh, one or two, yes.

Could you explain what your objection is?

Content and value for money is overated with 5 stars. Let’s not pretend that losing several manufacturer licenses and staple car models is no big deal just because the game is big.
We're not, and it's specifically mentioned in the text.

However, the fact remains that - even though I really dislike how they've decoupled doing stuff from progression in doing that stuff - there's so many cars and so many things to do that while losing some really nice Italian cars, there is more stuff to do and more cars to do it in than anything else around (except of course that FH4 as "finished" has more cars).
 

MagpieRacer

Aaand across the line..
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MagpieRacer
While I found the review really good, I highly question this quote.
"Where this is most obvious is the settings menu, which returns from FH4 untouched. Horizon gives you more ways to dial in your car’s set up than a Gran Turismo title — tire pressures are the first thing on the list — and each tweak you make results in a new simulation of your vehicle’s performance figures (which can… break a bit with edge cases like the Tankpool trucks)."
Has the reviewer not seen a Gran Turismo tuning screen? Or did they choose the preset parts in the older games? Otherwise a fantastic review of a game I will definitely be picking up.
Said reviewer has probably spent more time in Gran Turismo tuning menus than you have spent in any video game ever.

Forza has always had very in depth tuning, it’s always nice that it transfers to Horizon for those who wish to utilise it. Would have been very easy for PG to ditch it or simplify it too much.
 
230
Ireland
Dublin
benowen54@yahoo.com
"The Creative Hub allows you to up- and download vehicle tunes and livery designs as well as Event Lab course creations.

At the moment these are limited to the kind of Blueprints you saw in previous FH games"

I'm not sure if this is a reference to the course creator function which was a feature of FH4. I created loads of my own courses in FH4, and racing on them became my principle activity after I had finished the main content. I certainly hope this is recreated in in FH5. The term "Event Lab course creations" shouldn't be introduced as if everybody knows what it means.

Also hope that there is a time trial mode for each race with an online leaderboard. This function appeared in FH4, although rather late in the day.

I would have been happier if the review had clearly said if these two important features were in the new game.

As per usual there seems to be an "introduction" to the game. I personally can't abide this sort of feature (in any game actually) where you have to endure a long tedious scripted section full of "spectaculars". I couldn't give a flying intercourse about being dropped into a volcano and other such dramatics. I just want to get in control of the game as quickly as possible.
 
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snc

362
Poland
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This game shows that even crosgen can have noticable graphic improvement (tough wouldnt called it major), problem form me I didnt feel progress in fh4 so was bored rather quickly after around 10h and probably will have similar experience with fh5
 

Famine

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"The Creative Hub allows you to up- and download vehicle tunes and livery designs as well as Event Lab course creations.

At the moment these are limited to the kind of Blueprints you saw in previous FH games"
I've just replaced that bit of the review; we got no guidance on Event Lab whatsoever, and thanks to things like getting COVID, I got basically yesterday and today with the game, so I couldn't find the full Event Lab functionality.

Found it now, thanks to someone else's video about 20 minutes after the review (of course). Think of Event Lab as Blueprints with Super7 functionality (you can place objects) and you can drive wherever you want to make your circuit. There's also the ability to set some of your own rules for the events, but I've had no time to dig into it properly and I couldn't actually get it to work.
 

Terronium-12

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KR_Viper
I Renown I
Yeah, no. I'll go ahead and nuke that inflammatory nonsense right off the bat. This isn't about something that happened over a decade ago, it's about the current review for FH5.
 
109
United States
United States
Failmaster2118
Oh, one or two, yes.

Could you explain what your objection is?

We're not, and it's specifically mentioned in the text.

However, the fact remains that - even though I really dislike how they've decoupled doing stuff from progression in doing that stuff - there's so many cars and so many things to do that while losing some really nice Italian cars, there is more stuff to do and more cars to do it in than anything else around (except of course that FH4 as "finished" has more cars).
Honestly my only objection was that the review was worded funny in this portion, making it seem as if there was way more adjustment options in Forza than in GT, when in reality it's just the tire pressure. It absolutely provides more precise tunes, but is it a real game changer? Not for me, anyway.
[EDIT]: Sorry if I sounded like a douche in my first response, just reread it and was in an odd mood when I made it.
 
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109
United States
United States
Failmaster2118
Said reviewer has probably spent more time in Gran Turismo tuning menus than you have spent in any video game ever.

Forza has always had very in depth tuning, it’s always nice that it transfers to Horizon for those who wish to utilise it. Would have been very easy for PG to ditch it or simplify it too much.
I don't know, fairly certain I have 600 hours on GT5 alone. And I'm not dissing Forza's tuning at all (find it quite easy for beginners to learn on), but thought the comparison was a little off.
 
8,911
United States
Marin County
What annoys me is that I can't argue with the rating you or anyone else will likely give this game with any plausible rationale. I doubt even I could give this game (or FH4 for that matter) any less than 4/5 stars, objectively, because it's a tremendous achievement in its mere existence, scope, and execution. The formula is so damn effective that probably nothing can change it - like they found the cheat code for critical acclaim. :guilty:

I just wish my enjoyment from these titles was in sync with how technically good they are. I'll probably get 5-10 hours of real joy out of it (the exploration phase) followed by literally hundreds of meh hours wandering around thinking, what am I doing, exactly?
 

MagpieRacer

Aaand across the line..
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MagpieRacer
I don't know, fairly certain I have 600 hours on GT5 alone. And I'm not dissing Forza's tuning at all (find it quite easy for beginners to learn on), but thought the comparison was a little off.
Oh I do know, I’ve been around here long enough to definitely know 😉

I wouldn’t be surprised if @Famine has spent 600 hours in the tuning menu for GT4 alone.

Either way, it’s very good.
 

Racing_Miku

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So my most important question, is there still Horizon Solo in the game for those who have early access?

Great review though, I'm still excited for the game but it does sound a bit 'meh' in the progression/info department but I will go into it with a clean 'mind' on Tuesday when I can play and see what it's all about.
 

Racing_Miku

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There is, indeed.
Excellent! I've gotten 'used' to being by myself now and then when doing stuff in Horizon 4 so if it wasn't there in the new one I'd have to get used to being 'social' again.

I'm social by nature normally but after all those years of GTA Online lobbies sometimes you just 'gotta' be by yourself...
 
97
Thailand
Nonthaburi
Good-Smurf
Damn, I really hate those games that make me feel good. Feeling good just feels so bad.
Well when the game starts throwing cars at you then you suddenly realize you didn't deserved that.
They really one step away from using cheats to make you feel good and that will eventually feel hollow fast like c*m too fast and then into refractory period.
 

UKMikey

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Well when the game starts throwing cars at you then you suddenly realize you didn't deserved that.
They really one step away from using cheats to make you feel good and that will eventually feel hollow fast like c*m too fast and then into refractory period.
I've played games where you have to grind for millions of credits just to be able to afford the car you need for the next race. Don't know about you but I feel like I deserve every car I own in a game I bought and paid for and don't see why PG should change a formula that works for most people just because some of them happen to be subs, to extend your metaphor.
 
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12,256
Australia
Adelaide
GTP_Imari
Well when the game starts throwing cars at you then you suddenly realize you didn't deserved that.
They really one step away from using cheats to make you feel good and that will eventually feel hollow fast like c*m too fast and then into refractory period.
See, the thing is that you don't have to "deserve" or "earn" cars in every game. We're all familiar with the traditional hardcore simulation type game like Assetto Corsa where all cars are simply unlocked from the beginning, so I think we can agree that a game isn't required to have progression of this type and not having it isn't innately bad. You might personally enjoy that style of economy, but that's something about you rather than something about the game.

Forza Horizon is a bit of a misdirection in this regard. The economy looks kind of like Gran Turismo, so it feels like you should be putting work in to earn cars. But really you very quickly find that you can drive pretty much whatever you like with almost no restrictions at all. Like within a few hours of gameplay, tops.

Horizon seems to have gone in this direction with pretty much every aspect of the game, it's as open as possible to give the player as much freedom to enjoy themselves as they can. I think that this is their design philosophy, maximum fun with minimum interruption. I look at it as the game equivalent of an action movie, kinda dumb sometimes but still entirely enjoyable if you're willing to let go and enjoy the ride.

The few exceptions seem to be where they've decided that some small sacrifices to player freedom can result in big improvements in player fun or enjoyment. In this case, lucky wheelspins and winning cars is fun, especially when the only sacrifice needed to be made to do so is have an economy that looks like it's restricting the player. The throwing cars at you is entirely intentional on the part of the designers, they think that it's fun for the player. The popularity of past Horizon games that employed a similar tactic would suggest that they're probably onto something.

You can not enjoy this style of game, everyone has their own tastes. But there's nothing wrong with it fundamentally as a design, it's not one step away from using cheats, and people that enjoy it generally continue to enjoy it for the rest of the game. I still enjoy Horizon 3 and 4, even though I have something like 80 million spare credits and all the cars I could ever want to drive. I find the Horizon games to be fun in a very pure, simple and direct way, and I suspect many other people do too which is why the games are so popular. I jump in, I drive whatever I want, wherever I want, however I want, and probably get thrown some random prizes and thrilling experiences along the way. It's great escapist fun for when I don't want to be super serial about simulation racing.
 
297
Canada
Canada
Stormer248
Phendrax248
The stars seem to be aligning for this to be first racing title to win game of the year. Nothing but stellar reviews across the board, and little competition compared to recent years. Halo Infinite won't make the release deadline to qualify, so that more or less leaves Resident Evil Village and Returnal as FH5's major competition (unless I'm missing something). If it isn't at least a nominee, I won't know that to say anymore.


With regards to car handouts, I don't like it either, but it works for players as a collective. So I'll be going off and trying something different this time to see if my experience is any better than FH4, or if its simply holding me back from the game's full potential:
  1. Excluding the very first vehicle I'm given (Bronco), I'll immediately sell off any and all free vehicles I'm handed.
  2. For the first entire year of the game's lifespan, I'll restrict myself to a collection of 40 unique vehicles.
  3. I can't sell any of my chosen 40, nor try out other vehicles with exception to events that place me into a vehicle I don't own.
  4. As a bonus criteria, I'll only have one build per vehicle.
Hopefully it'll give me a better sense of ownership and attachment to the vehicles I use. If so, its something I'll do at the start of every future Horizon release. If not, I'll just go back to playing normally, knowing that at least I tried.
 
21,300
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
Well when the game starts throwing cars at you then you suddenly realize you didn't deserved that.
They really one step away from using cheats to make you feel good and that will eventually feel hollow fast like c*m too fast and then into refractory period.
Cars in the majority of racing games are just tools to complete the job of racing. Having them does not give you any inherit advantage because everyone else has access to those same tools. It's how you use them that matters.

Forza Horizon 5 makes no claims of being a "grind to slowly collect a bunch of cars you'll mostly never drive" game. It's very much a "Driving and racing in our world is really fun, we'll gradually and constantly give you cars to keep having fun with fresh new metal". If you want the former, this clearly was never the series for you.
 
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EngieDiesel

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Cars in the majority of racing games are just tools to complete the job of racing. Having them does not give you any inherit advantage because everyone else has access to those same tools. It's how you use them that matters.

Forza Horizon 5 makes no claims of being a "grind to slowly collect a bunch of cars you'll mostly never drive" game. It's very much a "Driving and racing in our world is really fun, we'll gradually and constantly give you cars to keep having fun with fresh new metal". If you want the former, this clearly was never the series for you.
There's also the fact that Horizon 5 offers rewards for collecting a manufacturer's lineup, so there's a tangible reason to fill your garage this time. Plus the changes to the handling model has greatly reduced the amount of useless or one-use cars, there's very little that feels like roster padding right now. There's a lot of vehicles that I didn't want or care about in Horizon 4 that I'm messing around with and enjoying.
 

EngieDiesel

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Columbus, Ohio
I am having too much fun with this game. It's what I expected and a bit more. And I am one of the few lucky ones who hasn't had a single performance issue or bug for the 20+ hours I've played so far.
I realized this morning that I was overdue to update my graphics driver and after that was taken care of, I haven't had any kind of issues that weren't related to the servers being goofy. Those seem to have been leveling out as well.
 
297
Canada
Canada
Stormer248
Phendrax248
If it isn't at least a nominee, I won't know that to say anymore.
Yup, I'm done.

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