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Forza Horizon 5 makes a run for Mexico in November

Playground Games’ open-world racer spans Sonora’s high desert to Yucatán’s rainforest

Forza Horizon 5, announced at E3 2021 during the Microsoft and Bethesda E3 Showcase, takes drivers to Mexico and gives them miles of racing action, from the Sonoran desert to the lush Yucatán peninsula.

The fifth edition of Playground Games’ action-racing franchise will launch for Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X on Nov. 9. Microsoft says it will be available on launch day to Xbox Game Pass subscribers. Earlier this week, Microsoft set a public goal of launching a new first-party game with Xbox Game Pass every quarter.

In a lengthy preview demonstration, players were shown a variety of single-player and multiplayer events featuring vehicles speeding through Playground’s vision of Mexico. Developers say the game will rip through the alleys and highways of cities like Guanajuato, and ascend to the highest altitude seen in a Forza game. This is key, as Playground established an “if you can see it, you can drive to it” ethos for Forza Horizon with the original game in 2012. Forza Horizon 5, Brown said, will take place in the largest game world the series has seen to date.

Players saw a scouting expedition for a rally-race through the jungle as well as gymkhana over the old-world cobblestone streets of a Mexican suburb. “This is a recreation of Mexico that is honest, authentic, and filled with love,” said Playground’s Mike Brown, the creative director for Forza Horizon 5.

Multiplayer game types include the ability to call down an arcade-type racing game with friends, on the fly. An example shown was a piñata race, where players scramble to bust open colorful objectives strewn in their path. Playground says Forza Horizon 5 fans will also have a customization toolkit where players can create and shape their own multiplayer events, from the familiar to the bizarre. In one example, cars plowed through an arena filled with humongous bowling pins.

Forza Horizon 5 follows 2018’s Forza Horizon 4, which sent racers to a stylized version of Great Britain. That game was one of the first to get a same-day launch on Xbox Game Pass, and it’s been a staple experience since then.

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