So: Forza Horizon 5. It’s really good? But it’s also really good in a certain sort of very polished way that’s really good in basically the exact same way that Forza Horizon 4 was; and, honestly, when talking about Forza Horizon 5, I don’t have much to add to what I said about its predecessor.

Like, it’s still fun driving all over a really lovely world! (In Mexico, this time.) It seems like there’s a decent amount to sink your teeth into in the racing; I certainly don’t feel like I topped out there. There are pleasant enough hooks to encourage you to explore the various nooks and crannies of the world. There are story-related series of missions; that might have been a little more in depth in the new game than it was in the fourth game, I’m not sure? The radio was good, there were several songs that I was quite happy to listen to. There’s a constant collection buzz, but not in a way that felt oppressive. (I’m not a fan of the slot machine mechanism, but I also never felt at all like I was missing out by not spending money on the game beyond the initial purchase price.)


Really, the question for me was when I would stop playing. I decided to call it quits after doing every race in the game once; Elden Ring had just come out and I wanted to see what that game was about. Honestly, though, while I won’t say that I made the wrong choice there, it’s also the case that not only might I stop playing Elden Ring soon, I might actually go back to Forza Horizon 5 and see if I can rank up a tier or two against the AI opponents?

One thing that people talk about as a virtue of FromSoftware games is how they force you to pay attention to how you’re playing and what your enemies are doing and, as a result, enable you to develop your skills in the game. But, the thing is, if skill development is what you want, Forza Horizon 5 is perfectly happy to have you play the same track over and over again, going up against better and better AI opponents, helping you get better and better at navigating the performance envelope of your car. And I think that’s a form of skill that I’m more interested in exploring than the combat skill that Elden Ring wants me to explore; and I also think Forza Horizon’s pedagogy is more to my taste, and quite possibly in some sense strictly better?


I dunno; not committing to that one way or the other right now. But, at the very least, I did enjoy the month I spent with Forza Horizon 5.

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