In the fourth entry in the “Let’s Go” series, Playground Games revealed more about Mexico’s biomes in the upcoming Forza Horizon 5.
As featured in the game, Mexico will be divided into 11 distinct biomes, each of which bearing the usual painstaking details known to the franchise. As previously revealed, PG used photogrammetry to recreate the landscape of Mexico with precision accuracy, as well as capturing the skies in 12K resolution over several 24-hour periods with an HDR camera rig.
The biomes spread out over a map that’s about 1.5-times the size of Forza Horizon 4’s for the most diverse map featured in the series yet. Let’s take a closer look at the 11 biomes.
Shown during the reveal trailer in June, the canyon biome features rock formations patterned with unique striations (a series of ridges, furrows, or linear marks). Interestingly, many of the rock formations erode into hoodoos, which are tall, thin spires of rock protruding from the bottom of a drainage basin or badland. Each of the 11 biomes will feature unique audio, and the canyon will have more echoes than the rest.
There will be plenty of spots to stop, take a load off the tires, and admire the wonderful scenery. With that in mind, this sounds (pun intended) like an ideal biome to unleash your favorite car and really appreciate the game’s granular synthesis audio.
This serves as the picturesque location when one thinks of a tropical Mexican vacation. Filled with palm trees, seagulls, white sand beaches and calm waters, this biome will leave nothing to the imagination when it comes to beauty. As such, we expect this to be one of the more popular locations for photoshoots come this November when the game releases. What’s more, the biome takes on an entirely different personality when storm season hits, which will change the way players navigate their way through the many twists and turns.
Filled with lush vegetation, fruit-bearing trees, and wide, shallow rivers, the farmland featured in FH5 is unlike previous efforts. A serene location that seems perfect for the raucous vehicles featured in the game, this biome will have more than enough fences to crash through, animals to observe, and water to splash through. The Farmland bears a resemblance to the fields featured in Forza Horizon 2, though we’re sure there’s even more here.
As you would expect of an area having little to no available water, this biome features dry grasses on rolling hills and plains. Without much vegetation to speak of and plenty of open space, it lends itself perfectly to off-roading excursions at day or night. If that weren’t enough to go on, one of the lakes completely dries up during winter, revealing shortcuts via “fast passages and secret areas”.
As you’d expect, the Jungle biome will be home to lush, dense vegetation, towering trees, as well as waterfalls and winding rivers. With rays of sunlight peeking through the many trees, the jungle may be one of the more exciting biomes featured in the game, if for no other reason than the sense of adventure. There are also a number of hidden temples — one of which is seen during today’s stream — in the area as well, lending even more to the sense of adventure.
Interestingly, the team brings up the 1987 film Predator, most of which filmed in Mismaloya, Mexico, because of a particular bush that “shows up everywhere”. As such, one of the plants players can find in the game, the “Predator Bush”, is named after the movie.
FH5 serves as the first in the series to feature a cactus desert, full of saguaros, a tree-like cactus that can grow well over 12 meters (39.3 ft) tall. Also seen in this biome are a number of rock formations and rock piles which will make for a scenic route when driving through the area. Full of wildlife and a variety of flowers, the area is true to its name and we can’t wait to see more of it this November.
Next up, there’s the rocky coast, a direct parallel to the tropical coast. Where the tropical coast features plenty of trees and vegetation, this biome gives you a clear cut view of the ocean and serves as the perfect place to watch the sun set. Seen briefly during the reveal trailer, we expect this to be more of a relaxing biome with mostly flat paths and plenty of water to drive through.
The biome also features a golf course that players will undoubtedly drive through and around. We’re getting a lot of vibes from the previous games in many of the biomes, and we like it.
This one should be a lot of fun. Also seen during the reveal trailer, this area is home to towering sand dunes, making it perfect for off-road buggy antics. If FH4 is anything to go by, this area may be one of the more popular spots to rack up skill points with a maxed out multiplier. Many of the roads in this biome feature long stretches of road, giving players ample opportunity to see their rides hit their top speeds.
Another first for the series, FH5 will feature a swamp area, which, doesn’t sound like a great place to race or take a car in the first place. However, the area’s shallow waters more than make it up for it with added variety. Depending on the mode, players will definitely want to make sure they have the right car for the job. As revealed during the stream, all of the waterways are drivable in FH5.
No longer will players have their cars blocked or forcibly reset when venturing too far out. This adds a great deal to the ‘open’ nature of the game’s world, and something we’re particularly interested in. The area also features mangrove trees that have thick, interconnected roots that can be smashed through, changing the route in the process — if the car is up to the challenge.
Urban City of Guanajuato
Featuring amazing architecture and vibrant colors, this city area will likely serve as the central hub for the Horizon Festival. Guanajuato will provide plenty of rolling hills and a “sprawling network of tunnels” to keep players and their cars occupied. As with the canyon area, expect to hear a lot of echoes bouncing around the city streets. Would you expect anything less?
Grand Caldera Volcano
Finally, there’s the volcano region of the map, the “largest geological feature” ever done for a Horizon game. This area will also feature the two of the largest switchback roads ever developed for the series, in both tarmac and dirt varieties. Right next to the living desert, players can drive to the very top of the volcano with the reward being an outlook to the entirety of the game’s map.
With seasonal changes in play, Grand Caldera is the only area on the map where players can encounter snowfall. If players begin their journey at the foot of the volcano during rainfall, as they climb higher it will turn to snow. We’re already feeling the hillclimb vibes!
Forza Horizon 5 releases on the Xbox Series consoles and Windows 10 PC on November 9.