FH5 The Road to Mexico | July Update

Jacob Norwood
Friday, August 6, 2021

Welcome back to our “Road to Mexico” series of blogs! (Check out June’s edition.)


We’ve had two Let’s ¡Go! streams this month, with lots of new, exciting info. about what’s gone into the development of Forza Horizon 5, and why it’s so special. 


The first stream of the month was all about engine sounds. The community had been hoping to hear more about the process of capturing and creating engine sounds in Forza for a while as we all know the distinctive rumble of an engine can be as unique as a fingerprint. For many people, the sound is as important to the identity of a car as any visual detail or performance customization. That’s why our development team put so much care into the tech and process for capturing hundreds of engine sounds and recreating thousands of upgrade configurations, to provide the most authentic and realistic car sounds possible.


Watch the full stream for the details now!



We also posted all of the videos featured in the stream as separate YouTube clips so anyone can listen to the raw sound. This includes behind-the-scenes footage of our sound capture process from cars.



Here is a clip of several cars in the game to show the variety of sounds:



Finally, a demonstration of the new engine revving feature in the upgrade menu and how you can hear changes in the engine as you customize:



Just like always, to wrap up the stream, our host and guests took questions from the community. You can click on the questions to navigate to that timestamp in the livestream.


Q: How do you keep the exhaust out of the muffling (when recording engine sounds)?


It’s all about mic placement. We have to position mics to avoid the car exhaust as it gets extremely hot. That tends to keep the sound clean as well, however, it’s also about trying things and finding what works.


Q: Why did the method of recording change for engine sounds?


The previous method could capture engine sounds as a car accelerates, which then had to be manipulated to simulate the sound of the car decelerating, as opposed to actually recording that aspect.  Recording live at a track guaranteed the authenticity and natural character of the engine sound came through.


Plus, any excuse to drive cars on a track!


Q: Because sounds have changed and improved, will interior car sounds change as well?


Yes! A method called “cockpit impulse response” was used to capture sounds at every range audible to the human ear. It’s basically a complex process of capturing reverb that makes the first-person perspective sound amazing when racing and also captures the sound of weather, tire screech, and all types of environmental sounds.


Q: Is the huge bridge seen in the E3 gameplay trailer part of the huge highway mentioned previously?


Nope, that’s a separate road that runs through the jungle.


Q: Will the Eliminator start covering the entire map?


The circle is certainly larger than before, and can occur on any part of the map, but it is not all-encompassing.


Q: Can we expect to see familiar Forza Horizon characters return?




Alex Strachan, Jaimin Shah, Scott Tyler, Amy Simpson, and Mike Steele all make their return, plus a cast of new characters to walk you through the Horizon Story.


Q: Are there new engine swaps?


Oh yes! We’re bringing over 500 new engine swaps to Forza Horizon 5.


In our fourth stream, which aired on July 26, we looked at some of the eleven biomes that make up the world of Forza Horizon 5. We’ve talked a lot about how geographically diverse Mexico is and how it represents several types of environments, from deserts to swamps to mountains, all in one country. That’s why this stream marked the start of a tour of the different geographic regions of the Mexico in the game.



We started off in the swamps of Mexico, showing off destructible mangrove roots, incredible water visuals, wild dogs, and more of what makes this biome unlike anything you’ve seen on previous Horizon maps.


From there we drove straight into the jungle, showing off the volumetric fog, foliage and dynamic lighting that gives this area a specific and tangible feel to it. We even checked out an ancient temple in the heart of the jungle inspired by real-world locations.


Finally, we dropped in on the largest geological feature ever represented in a Horizon game: the volcano, which also includes two of the largest switchbacks we’ve ever created. Be on the lookout for the best rally track you’ve ever driven on the slopes of the volcano as well. We finished this segment by showing off some localized weather effects on top of the mountain, including snowcapped peaks and the frozen caldera lake!


Following that, we shared some exciting race gameplay from the Emerald Circuit road race, and finally, we answered your questions.


Q: What was the biggest graphical challenge?


It wasn’t just one thing; it was that everything was overhauled and it has to be consistent. For example, when you level up your lighting to be photorealistic, everything else has to rise to meet it, and that’s a challenge!


Q: When do we get to see the map?


We’re planning to show the map on the next Let’s ¡Go! stream on August 9 at 10 AM PDT.


Q: Will every car have a V8 and V12 option?


Conversion options for V8- and V12  engine swaps will only be available where it’s appropriate and realistic for the car. That means there will be lots of opportunities for those swaps, but not every car will have them.


Q: Has Forza LINK replaced the Quick Chat?


You will still have the option to use Quick Chat messages as a part of the Forza LINK feature, which additionally tracks your and other players’ behavior to give everyone more contextual options for chatting, such as communicating specific locations, races and game modes to others.


Q: Are the seasons going to switch on a weekly basis again like Forza Horizon 4?


Yes! More info about this to come as we approach game launch.


Q: Will the map have more off-roading and fewer roads?


The map is 50% larger than in Forza Horizon 4, so there will be more off-roading and road racing overall, however the proportions of each are comparable to previous games. 


To keep up with every detail and announcement, make sure to tune in on Twitch to catch the Let’s ¡Go! series, and follow us on Instagram and Twitter.