Forza Horizon 5’s big tech trick will be the game’s massive, ever-changing map. At 1.5x the size of Forza Horizon 4’s landmass, it can afford to have some variety in its world. So while you’re racing through the Mexican landscape, developers PlayGround Games have confirmed you’ll be driving through 11 different biomes, and each will have seasonal weather events to bring more variety to the outrageous looking racer.
Expect these biomes to come with their own challenges. The seamless transitions between the areas could make for some interesting, lengthy races. Simply taking a shortcut through a jungle leads you through a dense and misty race space that abuts a more serene farmland biome. The map tapestry also includes canyons, tropical and rocky coasts, arid hills, sandy and living deserts, swamps, a city and, most interesting of all, a volcano. The volcano can be driven up, and it's the only place in the game you'll encounter snow.
All those areas will also have seasonal shifts that will bring specific changes to the world. According to the official Xbox blog:
"Each of the 11 unique biomes will transition though the seasons differently. As an example, spring means the rainy season in the jungles and farmland of Mexico, while summer could bring intense tropical thunderstorms along the coasts. Forza Horizon 5 seasons ensure Mexico is constantly evolving, encouraging players to explore the world in full each time the seasons change."
More specific examples include driving through the tropical coast during a storm will add uprooted, flying palm trees to contend with. The lake in the arid hills biome, meanwhile, will dry up in winter, adding a new shortcut to the map.
The more I hear about Forza Horizon 5, the more I am excited about taking it for a test-drive. It's not going to be as extreme as Fuel, but I think it shares some of its wider traits. I really hope there's a mode where you can just drive around and experience it. It's out November 9th.