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Forza Horizon 5 release date, price, reveal trailer, news and more

Forza Horizon 5 is coming
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Forza Horizon is one of Microsoft’s flagship series. A beautifully designed showcase for the modern consoles like the Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and PCs, it gives players the chance to drive a wide variety of cars in both competitive and single player modes through a scenic locales. Forza Horizon 4 was a graphical masterpiece with some of the best visuals seen in any driving game. 

The next iteration, Forza Horizon 5, was announced at Microsoft’s Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase at E3 2021. This time around the game will take place in Mexico.

Early previews from E3 certainly make the game look amazing. Microsoft promises 4K resolution with incredible detail. Individual leaves are rendered in real time and
skies are captured using 12K resolution cameras in high dynamic range.

Forza Horizon is always a blast to play, with an amazing selection of cars and a pumping soundtrack. It’s quite likely that Horizon 5 will be a very worthy successor to the previous game, which was both enjoyable and a graphical masterpiece. 

Forza Horizon 5 release and gameplay trailers

Microsoft released to different trailers for Forza Horizon 5. The first is the usual cinematic style, although it is entirely rendered in-game.

The second trailer talks through some of the gameplay modes, and gives a little more insight into how the game will look, what the map will be like and includes info on some of the new game modes. 

Forza Horizon 5 news

Forza Horizon 5 gameplay

If you’ve played previous Horizon games you’ll be well aware of how they’re structured. According to the launch video, players start by exploring the map to find places for the Horizon Festival to expand in to. These areas will unlock new challenges and areas for players to compete in. 

Microsoft and Playground Games have collected real data about the geography, and indeed geology of Mexico for this game, and that’s highlighted by a stunning active volcano and incredible canyons to speed through. 

There are also new AI features, which the developers claim will help pair players together and allow them to easily start cooperative mini-games, like Piñata Pop, where drivers need to destroy piñatas to build up their score. 

There’s also a new feature called Events Lab, which allows gamers to build their own in-game challenges that allow for adjustments to every aspect of the game. Allowing users to set up in-game challenges isn’t new, this appears to take things much further than previous user generated content. 

Forza Horizon 5 resolution and frame rate

On the official blog post Microsoft lays out the sort of performance you can expect on consoles. PCs are obviously limited by hardware, but the upper cap for Windows 10 versions of Horizon will see noticeable improvements with more powerful hardware. Who knows how good this game will look when 8K-capable GPUs are a bit more mainstream. 

Xbox Series S - 1080p at 30fps 

Xbox Series X - 4K at 30fps or 60FPS in performance mode

Xbox One - No official figures, but possibly 1080p at 30fps

One thing that’s not clear yet is how ray tracing will be supported. It’s quite likely PC owners with high-end 3000 series cards will be able to enjoy a more realistic lighting environment, but consoles seem only to get support for it in Forzavista, the game’s car showcase. 

Forza Horizon 5 story 

Horizon isn’t really a story driven game. Your objective will be, as it always is, to rise through the leaderboards for both stylish driving and competition wins. You’ll earn money and buy cars to ultimately end up being a megastar of the in-game world. 

What there is in narrative terms is all designed to push you around the map, discover new races and things to explore. There’s no official confirmation that barn finds will return, but it’s reasonable to expect that there will be some classic cars to uncover with some background on what makes them special. 

Forza Horizon 5 launch date

Microsoft says that Forza Horizon 5 will launch on the 9th of November. However certain versions of the game will unlock four days early. Premium Edition owners will be able to start driving on November 5, which will give them a whole weekend to explore the game before everyone else.

Forza Horizon 5 is set in Mexico

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Forza Horizon 5 price

As with the previous Forza Horizon games there are few different purchase options. These can often be confusing, so we’ll break down what you get here. 

Forza Horizon 5 Standard Edition - $59.99/£54.99

This gives you the base game, and on day one it will be a near-complete version of Forza Horizon 5. You’ll be able to unlock hundreds of cars as you drive, and earn in-game currency needed to buy your favorites to zoom around Mexico. You won’t get additional cars for free and there may be car pack bundles offered 

Forza Horizon 5 Deluxe Edition - $79.99/£69.99

If you’re not bothered about the extra DLC challenges, unlockable areas but you love cars, this is the bundle for you. It includes the base game and additional cars. You’ll be able to drive everything, but not play the two game updates unless you buy them later. 

Forza Horizon 5 Premium Edition - $99.99/£84.99

The top tier is certainly not cheap. It does give a saving versus buying all the bits separately. And purchasing this version access to more cars without having to work so hard to buy them. Some cars are locked behind DLC, so you’ll need this version if you’re a completionist. 

Buying Premium also unlocks the game four days early, which means you’ll be able to smash all the speed camera records and set other times ahead of your Xbox friends. 

Microsoft and Playground games are incredibly reliable with DLC. It generally arrives on schedule and the company doesn’t then add in loads of extra DLC later, forcing you to pay more.

Forza Horizon 5 Premium Add-Ons Bundle - $ 49.99/£39.99

If you own the base game, this bundle will allow you to upgrade it with the two additional DLC expansions as well as the extra car packs. This is handy if you buy the base game, love it and decide you want everything possible. Forza Horizon DLC expansions are usually good, with a fair few hours of extra gameplay included. If you’re a car nut, having free access to some great vehicles will also appeal. 

Buying this, plus the base game, works out around $10 more than buying the Premium Edition. 

Forza Horizon 5 and Game Pass 

It’s perhaps no surprise that Horizon 5 will come to Game Pass at launch. Subscribers will have access to the base game, although they will be able to pay extra to unlock other content and the four day early access. 

Forza Horizon 5 DLC price

If you buy the base game and then want the DLC expansions, you should expect to pay around $20/£20 for it. If you go down this route you will end up paying more for the game than buying the Premium pack, but for people not in a rush you could always wait for discounts before buying these optional components. 

Also available separately will be the car pass, VIP membership and the two DLCs, if you want to pick and choose what you play, this might well be a good option. For example, you might not have been too interested in Horizon 4’s Lego expansion, so skipping it would save you some money. 

Forza Horizon 5

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Forza Horizon 5 outlook 

The Forza games are an absolute joy to play. Although it lacks the more serious competitive experience you get in Forza Motorsport. However, the scenery, graphics, car selection and the races will all be an absolute riot if past games are anything to go by. 

With the game being available on Game Pass it will likely be a massive hit, at least in number of players. But with this being a showcase title for both high-end PC gamers and the new generation of consoles it will likely be a must-have title.

A tech journalist with many years of experience, Ian got his start writing about the battle between HD DVD and Blu-ray. Technology might have moved on, but there's still plenty of skirmishes to report on.