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Many fans enjoy watching car racing but might dream of doing it themselves one day. But getting into the big leagues takes talent, years of training, and peak physical condition. So, rather than take to the roads for illegal street racing, you can scratch that itch with a video game. Franchises like Need for Speed and Forza Horizon allow you to immerse yourself in simulated races rendered in glorious HD.

According to Car and Driver, the Forza Horizon franchise will get its fifth installment this year. If you’ve never played this series, here’s why you might want to start.

The ‘Forza Horizon’ racing series

A Lego sportscar is revealed for 'Forza Horizon 4: LEGO Speed Champions' during the Xbox E3 2019 Briefing in Los Angeles in June 2019
A sportscar for ‘Forza Horizon 4: LEGO Speed Champions’ | Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The first Forza Horizon debuted in 2012, showcasing a fictional racing event in Colorado. Players compete in many kinds of races on and off the track. They can also perform stunts to earn style points. Online play is also available, with downloadable content (DLC) packs that give players access to exclusive cars.

The game was a big hit upon release, remaining one of the most-purchased games on XBOX Live for two months. The second installment came out in 2014, now with an open-world environment in Italy and France. This game also featured a new series of time trials and even an expansion pack based on the Fast and Furious movies.

The second game was also a best-seller, giving the studio the green light for Forza Horizon 3. Set in Australia, this was the first Horizon game to offer the driving AI mechanic present in other Forza titles. The computer players track the human players’ driving behaviors and mimic them to make races more difficult.

Forza Horizon 4 was released in 2018 and set in Great Britain. This game has a changing series mechanic and a route creator for players to make their own racetracks. Over 750 cars made the roster, including supercars from Ferrari and Alfa Romeo.

The latest game in the franchise

A screenshot of 'Forza Horizon 5' Biome Farmland
‘Forza Horizon 5’ Biome Farmland | Microsoft

Forza Horizon 5 will feature the most stunning graphics yet, with a storyline unfolding in various biomes in Mexico. The game demo showcases towering buildings, wide-open skylines, and beautifully rendered deserts and farmlands. It also has some immersive new side effects, like droplets splashing the camera when players drive through water.

Forza Horizon 5 will have many of the same mechanics from previous games, including 4‘s different seasons. New features have also been implemented, including mini-game segments and a campaign mode focused on exploration.

Jalopnik reports that the franchise’s sound design has also been elevated for this installment. Sound engineers completely rebuilt the existing sound library of the series to make it more authentic. Each car’s sounds in the game are true-to-life, collected from manufacturers or classic car owners themselves.

Though we don’t have the complete car roster for the game yet, Windows Central shows some new contenders. The rare 1967 Lamborghini Miura P400 and the 2017 Chevy Camaro ZL1 enter the fray. Exciting EVs such as the 2020 Porsche Taycan Turbo S also make appearances.

When is ‘Forza Horizon 5’ coming out?

Forza Horizon 5 is set for release on November 9. It’s an exclusive title for the XBOX Series X and S consoles. Players can get four days of early access starting November 5 if they purchase the Deluxe or Premium edition.

The base game costs $59.99, while the Deluxe edition retails for $20 more and comes with 42 extra cars. The Premium edition includes these cars and access to two future expansion packs. It costs around $100, but diehard fans might want to splurge for this impressive installment.


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