Forza is one of the games that never fails to push the power of the Xbox console no matter what generation it is. This remains to be the case with Forza Horizon 5.
Undoubtedly, the beautiful supercars featured in the game take top billing, but not to be counted is the beautiful local that races take place in. Forza Horizon 5 was easily one of the standout games of Microsoft’s E3 2021 presentation. We learned that this installment in the famed open-world racer would take place in Mexico.
Monday (Jul.26), Xbox and Playground Games decided to break down the 11 locations, aka biomes that you will challenge your friends on the road, or off it sharing some stunning screenshots as well as descriptions of each location accurately based on Mexico using some groundbreaking technology brought to life with the immense power of the Xbox Series X.
Per Xbox Wire:
“We knew from the beginning that we wanted this to be the biggest Forza Horizon yet. However, if we wanted to be the biggest, then we felt we also needed to offer the most diversity and contrast as well,” says Mike Brown, Creative Director of Forza Horizon at Playground Games. “Mexico is almost like the whole world in one country: snowy peaks, tropical jungles, epic canyons, beautiful beaches, ancient architecture, and modern cities. When you add on Mexico’s incredible culture – the music, the art, the history, the people – there is no more exciting location for the Horizon Festival.”
Here is a breakdown of each location that will see you burn rubber on the streets of the Urban City of Guanajuato, to the tropical coast, and even a volcano.
You might recognize this as the biome that was shown in the Forza Horizon 5 reveal trailer in June. It’s filled with rock formations patterned with unique striations, many of which erode into hoodoos that are only found in the canyon. Fun fact: each of the biomes have unique audio, and the canyon has more echoes than any of the others.
This might be what you think of when you imagine a tropical Mexican vacation. Filled with palm trees, seagulls, white sand beaches, and calm waters, it feels a lot like a postcard come to life. At least that’s the case until you reach storm season, which completely changes how you need to navigate it. Watch out for flying palm trees!
Unlike the flatter or drier farmland found in some of the previous Forza Horizon games, these rolling hills are filled with lush vegetation, fruit-bearing trees, and wide, shallow rivers. You’ll have plenty of fences to smash through and picturesque homesteads to explore while you’re cruising through here.
As you might suspect, given the name, this biome is full of dry grasses on rolling hills and plains, providing plenty of open spaces to drive across if you feel like off-roading. One of the coolest features in this biome is a lake that actually dries up in the winter season, opening up shortcuts via fast passages and secret areas.
Filled with lush, dense vegetation and towering trees that let beautiful rays of sun through the canopy, this biome also sports some impressive waterfalls and winding rivers. There are also a number of hidden temples in this area, all of which are based on real locations in Mexico.
In a first for the Forza Horizon series, Forza Horizon 5 features a cactus desert that’s full of towering saguaros. There are also a number of rock formations and rock piles that are unique to the area. As the name implies, it’s full of life and features plenty of flowers and wildlife.
While the tropical coast features lots of trees and vegetation, this one has a completely different vibe. Since there aren’t many trees, you’ll get a full view of the ocean and some excellent views of the sun setting at the end of the day. As a bonus to all you golfers out there, you can even take a spin around (read: through) a golf course.
Full of towering sand dunes, this biome is perfect for cruising around in a buggy and carving into the sand. If you don’t feel like getting sand between your toes, many of the roads in this area feature long straightaways, so there are plenty of opportunities to see how fast your favorite ride really goes.
Although a swamp might not sound like the best place for a race, this biome’s shallow waters are a great place for it. The swamp also features a lot of mangrove trees that sport very thick, interconnected roots. You can actually smash through these during races, changing the route depending on whether or not your car can handle it.
Urban City of Guanajuato
Like a number of cities in Mexico, there’s a good deal of amazing architecture and vibrant colors everywhere you look. Unlike a lot of cities, however, it features a lot of rolling hills and tunnels, making for some really fun race routes. As with the Canyon, you’ll hear plenty of echoes bouncing around the city’s tight roadways.
In another first for the Forza Horizon series, this massive mountain is situated right next to the Living Desert. It’s a very high-altitude volcano, so driving to the top is a unique experience that rewards players by seeing way off into the horizon. This is also the only place in the game that you’ll encounter snow, so be sure to pack an extra jacket.
Forza Horizon 5 launches on Xbox Series S|X, Xbox One, PC on Windows and Steam, and Xbox Game Pass including console, PC, and Cloud Gaming (Beta) November 9.
Photo: Xbox / Forza Horizon 5