Forza Horizon 5 is just weeks away, but developer Playground Games remains steadfast in its pre-release showcase schedule. In this week’s Forza Horizon 5 showcase, the coveted multiplayer aspect was shown off. The Horizon series has prided itself on its multiplayer focus for quite some time now, so these features are some of the most sought after by a decent chunk of the community.
The new title will feature classic online modes, sectioned off as Horizon Arcade, Horizon Tour, Horizon Open, and The Eliminator. There’s also a few newcomers: the Baja Circuit, Gift Drop service and LINK system.
A party on the Horizon
Players can come together as a Convoy and then play together in a group. Horizon Arcade mode features a slew of zany minigames, that will pit players against each other in rather ridiculous scenarios. One such instance shown off is the Piñata Smash minigame, where piñatas are scattered across the map and players must work together as a group to locate and smash them within a time limit. Once one event in Horizon Arcade is completed, participating players will get a prompt to keep the session rolling and continue to play together.
The next mode, Horizon Tour, is a little more grounded. It’s described as being a friendly competitive mode that’s more casual-oriented. Players can enjoy co-op races and then have quick bursts of downtime between them to goof around the map. It’s meant to be a more social mode, allowing players to do more hanging out and having fun rather than competing to get a higher leaderboard rank. The new LINK system makes it easy for players to matchmake and join up with each other in this mode, as it can be used to send out a convoy creation request to other nearby players. LINK can also be used to allow players to help each other locate Barn Finds. Doing good deeds for other players is rewarded with the new Kudos currency system, which we’ll discuss later.
Parking lot donut dozen
As for the new Horizon Open mode, it’s a revamp of what was previously known as Team Adventure. The reason for the change in name is due to the fact that the developer has made it more accessible by eliminating the “higher-skill” elements that Team Adventure previously featured. This includes things the elimination of the Ranking system, and overall team performance affecting a player’s position, just to name a few. There are four activity categories in Horizon Open, including Open Racing, Open Drifting, Playground Games, and now The Eliminator mode is also roped into it.
Forza Horizon 5‘s take on the Eliminator mode is much the same as it was in Forza Horizon 4. The clearest change is that all players now start in the Volkswagen Beetle rather than the Mini Cooper. But, the dev mentioned that the sheer popularity of this mode in FH4 did have a big effect on how the new Mexico map was created. It’s been designed with this mode in mind and gives players more flexibility and fluidity, making it a little easier to do things like finding good hiding spots, jumping spots, and points of interest where car drops are likely to be located.
As for the new Baja Circuit, it’s a location on Forza Horizon 5’s map that’s located towards the western section of the map, fittingly in the desert, based on Baja California. It’s made entirely out of thick white sand and features lots of smooth curves, wild jumps and even a Figure 8 section. This was created after the positive reception of the racing circuit that was featured in the Lego Speed Champions expansion for Forza Horizon 4.
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One aspect of the online racing experience that the Forza Horizon 5 developer has attempted to improve is the AI racing. It’s had a “massive overhaul,” particularly with the physics and matchmaking. The system does a better job at matching real players with AI drivers that best fit their racing style and skill, and the physics behavior is more advanced and realistic.
Another addition is the Gift Drop service, which is a part of the aforementioned new social currency called Kudos. Players can use Kudos to reward other players for good behavior. At launch, there is not a feature that allows players to send gifts directly to each other. So, for instance, you can’t specifically send a gift car to your friend.
Forza Horizon 5’s extensive list of multiplayer features will soon be enjoyed by players far and wide. Unfortunately, one recent announcement that isn’t great news is that there will not be a demo version of the title. Nevertheless, Playground’s newest entry in the Horizon series will race to market on November 9.