I’m not much of a car enthusiast, but I do enjoy a good drive on an open road and have at least a passing appreciation for a nice car. Of course, my extraordinarily modest Toyota Prius only offers so much driving pleasure. Realistic racing games always sounded like a great way to get rid of that car itch, but they’re almost always just too complicated and difficult for me.
But my colleague Jess Conditt described the Forza Horizon series as “Forza Motorsport’s chill, microdosing cousin, with festival vibes, ridiculous racetracks in lavish environments and, of course, a virtual garage full of gorgeous vehicles” in her glowing preview of the game. I was sold and so far Forza Horizon 5 has fully lived up to the hype and praise it has received.
A big part of the reason is that it’s the most approachable racing game I’ve ever tried. Take the ingenious “rewind button”. At first I pushed the throttle to the ground and rarely let go, which made cornering without it damn near impossible. But the rewind button allows me to retry these difficult turns without completely ruining the race I’m in or having to start the whole thing over. I think it helped me get better at the game significantly faster than I would have if I had to rerun a course every time I messed up a corner. Without it, I’m pretty sure I would have given up on Forza Horizon 5 pretty quickly.
What I wanted from Forza Horizon 5 was the ability to drive vintage and modern cars that I could never own on a beautifully rendered Mexican landscape, and the auto-tuning feature was another thing that made this dream easy to achieve. For people who really want to dive in, the game’s cars are extremely customizable – but I couldn’t be bothered to figure out what sway bars, tires, suspension systems and so on to buy so that my 2003 Volkswagen GTI R32 could compete with the competition. keep up. (Note to Jess: GTI. Every time.)
Fortunately, there is a car upgrade feature that can take your car to the top of various levels (C isn’t as great as A, which isn’t as great as S1 for example). Sure, you’ll have to pay for the parts, but it’s worth the cost to get the most out of your vehicles of choice without spending all day figuring out exactly which parts to buy.
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