Forza Horizon is the fifth installment in the racing series. However, it is more of an arcade spin-off than a pure simulation entry. It is carried out by a different development team, although with the participation of the original developers. Similar to Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2012), Burnout Paradise, and FUEL, it offers an open-world concept to the franchise. It has a day/night cycle in Colorado, USA, where the player participates in a fake Horizon Festival with a light tale. The Horizontal Festival is a central area on the map that serves as a hub for purchasing new automobiles, signing up for recent events, getting paint jobs, etc. After a brief race to gain admission to the event, the player can exit and explore the surroundings anytime. While the games’ realistic physics and wide range of vehicles remain, new features include AI traffic with a more forgiving crash system, off-road racing on dirt tracks, and a looser atmosphere with announcers, rivals who shout one-liners, radio DJs on three stations, and an audience at the festival.
The player begins as the last of 250 participants and must work his way up via racing and gaining popularity. The competition is separated into different Horizon Event tiers, represented by additional colored wristbands that must be earned to continue. Point-to-point races, circuit races, rally tracks, illegal street races, skill challenges, speed trap records, races against helicopters, hot-air balloons, and planes in showcase events, and the ability to directly challenge an opponent while driving around in a one-on-one sprint towards a random destination from the challenge point are among the possibilities available. Street cred must be achieved by continual sponsor challenges, including aggressive driving behaviors such as drifting, jumping over obstacles, near misses, trading paint, passes, burnouts, drafting, or driving on two wheels. These can be combined into combinations, which increase worldwide popularity, provide credits, and so open up additional events. Each challenge has a different rank to keep the player interested. Vehicles can also travel through fields and take shortcuts by overcoming barricades or other impediments. Certain events prohibit players from exploring the whole collection of accessible vehicles, many of which are borrowed from previous Forza games. Aside from pricey sports cars, there are numerous more types of automobiles. Some are hidden as a barn find autos. They can be rehabilitated and added to the roster once discovered. In addition to the standard credit currency, the player can advance faster by purchasing tokens with Microsoft points. Permits allow the player to obtain a car without using credits or grant a double amount of experience in sponsor tasks for a limited time. Tickets can also be spent on a treasure map to find hidden vehicles without searching for them.
The paint job creator from the series is still present, as are players trading and selling liveries. Many performance modifications are available at the festival’s mechanic Dak that can elevate the slowest vehicles to higher classes, but the cars cannot be customized further. Upgrades can be done manually or automatically, and the game warns the player if they attempt to enter a race with an insufficiently robust vehicle. The various sorts of driving assistance that can be toggled are also retained. A global and opponent difficulty level, braking, steering, traction control, toggling shifting and the driving line, cosmetic damage, and the rewind function all contribute to the difficulty. Disabling assistance increases the number of credits that can be won. When a mistake is made, Rewind allows you to halt the game and rewind the gameplay to a certain point. A top-down map with the ability to choose a destination is used to locate challenges. The Rivals system is used for time trials. Following each race, the player is challenged to beat a friend’s or another player’s time on the worldwide leaderboard, who went just a bit faster. The opponent is represented as a ghost, and the technique can be utilized to improve timings by introducing new spirits.
Regular races via different lobbies based on skill level are included in multiplayer. In addition to the standard races, there are King games of tag in vast areas like a warehouse or a golf course, Infected, where one player must hunt down survivors to infect them and have them join the infected team, and cooperate challenges in a free-roam mode with the whole game world. Cat and Mouse is the final game mode. Players are divided into two groups, each with one Mouse. The first Mouse to cross the finish line wins the game for the entire team, while the cats try to slow down and crash the other team’s Mouse as much as possible. Some game aspects are only available in multiplayer mode. Multiplayer includes a different leveling system for unlocking new cars.
Various outposts serve as minor hubs in the single-player mode. Each outpost has three PR stunts that can be done to reduce the cost of rapid transit between outposts on the map by 25%, 50%, and 100%. The speech recognition capabilities of the Kinect accessory are used to activate the GPS. Players can utilize voice instructions while driving to modify the waypoint to the festival, the next challenge, or the closest one. Ghost races, as well as movies and images shot in-game, can be exported. Another task is to find and demolish 100 discount signs scattered over the landscape to reduce the cost of performance upgrades by 1% for each destroyed character.