We've still got a few weeks left to wait until Forza Horizon 5 drifts onto Xbox Game Pass at launch on November 9, but a few lucky critics have had a chance to get hands-on with the game for the first time over the past few days.
The good news? They're suitably impressed! Here's what the verdict is on Horizon 5 so far:
"Traveling to each race or side activity was a blast because Mexico's beauty is unparalleled. Dynamic weather effects like raging sandstorms added a newfound level of intensity to exploration, and each visually diverse location was unique with a modicum of secrets to find. Narrative beats, otherwise known as Horizon Stories, take you to exciting points of interest while characterizing the game's cast."
"The Mexico map, which I was able to explore fully in my preview of the first hour or so of the game, reminds me most of Forza Horizon 3's wonderfully vivid rendering of Australia, and is equally defiant of any narrow expectations you might have of the landscape. Sweeping, sandy coastlines to both east and west bound desert, jungle, rocky wilderness, lush farmland and the multicoloured, warrenous, hillside city of Guanajuato - a worthy successor to Edinburgh, the series' most compelling urban location to date."
"Forza Horizon 5, to all intents and purposes, does feel a lot like Horizon 4 but set in a different country... However, that’s pretty much exactly what we were hoping for. This is one of those rare situations where ‘more of the same’ is not a criticism."
"A lot of it simply wasn’t unlocked and the big open world wasn’t connected to any other drivers, so I was testing out the offline version of the game. The much hullabalooed emergent weather system also didn’t creep up in my preview outside of the two scripted sandstorms. But outside of that, this was a pretty fantastic preview. Forza Horizon 5 makes a great first impression, and I can’t wait to see what else I’ll see at this festival south of the border."
"Forza Horizon 5 is offering gamers the same experience we saw in Horizon 3 and 4, though now the action goes down in Mexico. Are a simple location swap and some fancier graphics slapped on top of a cross-generation game enough to equal magic? ¡A huevo!"
It sounds like more of the same, then, albeit in a new location that seems to be a perfect fit for the Horizon series. Everything is shaping up nicely for this to be a great pre-Christmas addition to Xbox Game Pass on day one.
Excited for Forza Horizon 5? Drop us a comment and let us know below.