In 2012, Microsoft Game Studios took a gamble. Turn 10 Studios’ Forza Motorsport had owned sim racing on console through the preceding generation, with the fourth entry arguably marking the series’ zenith. But a new U.K.-based development team named Playground Games saw potential in a spinoff that applied Turn 10’s physics model, based in realism, to a more casual, open-world street-racing context, under the guise of a music festival. Just like that, Forza Horizon was born. This month, the franchise’s first installment turns 10, and Playground is celebrating with a big update to Forza Horizon 5.
Rolling out over successive weeks, the content drops will include cars, like the yellow-and-black SRT Viper from the cover of the first installment, as well as a Mustang Mach 1 that recalls FH1's introductory car-versus-plane race, one of those Top Gear-style special events that would come to define the series’ flair for stunts.
The Viper is earned by completing a new Story event called Horizon Origins, that recreates moments from each of the four preceding games. Festival hubs have been newly built in key areas of FH5's Mexico map, to call to mind the locales in past Horizon titles. From the official blog:
In the Summer “Wet” season, reminisce the origin days of the Horizon Festival in Colorado as we celebrate the original Forza Horizon with a new festival site in the Copper Canyon. In the Autumn “Storm” season, reflect on the days of cross-country racing through Europe’s vineyards in Forza Horizon 2 with an associated outpost west of the city of Guanajuato.
The Winter “Dry” season is all about the land down under as we relive the days of driving through the Outback in Forza Horizon 3’s Australia with a desert festival setup south of Dunas Blancas. Last, but certainly not least, we look back on countryside roads of beautiful, historic Britain as we celebrate Forza Horizon 4 with an appropriately themed outpost south of the Horizon Stadium.
Music has been a major part of Forza Horizon since the very beginning, and a new radio station called Horizon Mixtape will host choice cuts from the last decade:
Playground is also adding 22 new ADV.1 wheels to the game, which is a sizable amount. More wheel choices are always, always welcome. And for the completionists out there, October will bring a smattering of achievements, accolades and profile badges, making an absolutely massive game even more massive. The Forza team gets into the other goodies in their own blog, but safe to say that if you consider yourself a Forza Horizon enthusiast, there’s plenty of fan service just around the corner.