Forza Horizon 5 | The Road to Mexico October Update

Alan Walsh
Friday, October 22, 2021

With only two weeks to go until early access for Premium Edition owners, we’re counting down the days to Forza Horizon 5! We’re so excited for players to get their hands on the game, however, before that day arrives, we’ve got our final Road to Mexico post before the launch.


In October, we hosted two Let's ¡Go! livestreams, shared our achievements list and celebrated Forza Horizon 5 going gold. With the game now being printed onto discs, it was only fitting that we also revealed the soundtrack that will accompany your driving adventures.


On the first Let's ¡Go! of the month, we were joined by Creative Director Mike Brown, Game Designer Kelly Boyle and Character Artist Pav Plaha to explore the many ways you can express yourself in Forza Horizon 5.



Customization has been a big topic on the past few livestreams. We’ve improved and evolved how players can customize their cars and even their own Horizon Adventure path. Naturally, we also expanded our character customization options with more to choose from than ever before. Customize who you are, or who you want to be, how you look and sound, and have fun selecting clothing, accessories, emotes, and more.


Horizon Stories invites players to interact with characters and locations in the world by completing a variety of racing and driving objectives. They also now offer choices that create unique paths with different Accolades and new rewards. Players can replay any chapter to explore options they didn’t pick during their first time.


We also showcased two Horizon Stories. In V10, movie director Mike Steel is back with Frankie Beaumont, the lookalike actor who can’t drive. It’s on you to secretly pull off all his stunts. Meanwhile, Born Fast is a club of seven rich street racers with custom rides. You’ll need to beat them all, one by one as you climb the ladder and convince them to join the Horizon Street Scene!



Horizon Stories are expressions of family and connection, which are really at the heart of Mexico. In Vocho – a Barn Find story, you’ll restore a great grandfather’s Vocho, the Mexican word for a Beetle.


We also previewed Festival Playlist and some of its rewards. From Nov. 5, we’ll have an introductory week in Spring that encourages you to explore Forza Horizon 5 at your own pace. Then on Nov. 11, Series 1 begins with a host of new content to discover – including the 1982 DeLorean DMC-12.


Additionally, Forza Horizon 5 introduces some notable changes to the Festival Playlist structure. We’ve replaced the percentage-based system of measuring each Playlist’s completion with a new points system to make it even easier to focus on the content you enjoy most. New activities also contribute to the Festival Playlist, including Horizon Arcade, Horizon Tour, Treasure Hunts, The Eliminator and Seasonal Collectibles.



Every month will bring evolving world changes. Series 1 welcomes you to the Horizon Festival, while Series 2 celebrates the holidays – so look out for snowmen and presents in December.


To close the show and while driving the DeLorean DMC-12 in Forza Horizon 5, we asked Mike, Kelly and Pav some of the questions you’ve sent our way.


Click on the any of them below to jump to that timestamp in the livestream:


Q: How many Barn Finds will there be?


We aren’t ready to confirm the full amount of Barn Finds yet, but there’s more than 10!


Q: Being a massive fan of the Route Creator in FH4 and I’m completely excited for EventLab, I was wondering if there’s a connection between the two?


Route Creator is now augmented with all the prop placement and route building functionality that was originally introduced by the Horizon Super7 in Forza Horizon 4. It falls within the larger umbrella of the EventLab toolset which allows you to customize the rules and gameplay of specific events.


Q: What’s the process like for creating clothing items in a Horizon game?


We use a program called Marvelous Designer which lets us make clothes like how we do in real life. So, we cut out 2D patterns of clothing and then this program will stitch them together and simulate the folds. It's like a different way of thinking to just sculpting the folds ourselves.


Q: Will the Car Collection feature be integrated into Autoshow or are they two separate features?


They are related features. I think it's more the other way, the Autoshow exists as it is but if you're in the Car Collection there is an option to quick buy any car so you can add them to your garage and complete those little corners of your collection.


Q: Do Horizon Stories feature any returning characters?


Yes. V10 has Mike Steel and Frankie Beaumont. Born Fast sees Jamin return.


Q: Are there any new activities in Festival Playlist or exciting ones that have changed?


We've got loads of content to do – all the new features are in there, all your favorites are returning but the biggest change is going to be evolving world like seeing the world change every series, seeing new things appear in races and new collectibles around the world.


As people create awesome things in EventLab, we can surface them on Festival Playlist so that your awesome creations then appear for everybody else. We’ll find those really brilliant things people have created and choose to put them in front of everybody as a little jewel in the Festival Playlist.


Q: Has the smoke from drifting improved?


We actually have an entirely new VFX system in this game, so the smoke is now high resolution, it's more voluminous and it also interacts with tire temperature more than it ever did before. If you're playing in summer, it’s hot weather – your tires are nice and hot – and you throw it into a big drift, you'll kick up loads of smoke. If you're playing in winter or you're in the snow, the tires are cold and they can't heat up, so you’ll produce much less smoke. There's a real dynamism to it.


Q: How does the player having a voice affect the overall experience?


The purpose for it is to allow you to interact with other characters in a more realistic way. We saw it in the Tulum Expedition when the player asks some questions of Ramiro: he responds naturally, like he's your friend and not overbearing or just shouting down the microphone at you. It allows everybody else, all the other characters that you meet in the game, to be that much more authentic.



In the October Forza Monthly, we spoke to cultural consultant Lalo Alcaraz. His guidance helped us bring Mexico to life and celebrate its culture through collaborations with local artists, voice actors and locally inspired storylines. Check out the VOD for the interview as well as gameplay of Vocho, the aforementioned Barn Find story rooted deep in Mexican culture and heritage.


Meanwhile, our second Let's ¡Go! featured the music of Horizon Mexico and we saw some exclusive Xbox Series S consoles adorned in mural art. To lead the discussion, Mike was joined by Lead Audio Designer Fraser Strachan and Game Designer Dave Orton.


The team set out to create the biggest music festival of 2021 and worked to source songs that tie into our gameplay experiences and evoke emotions. For instance, what do you want to hear while smashing through piñatas?



Our audio team researched the history of Mexican music and how it influenced the rest of the world. It has an instantly recognizable sound that we want to make sure is represented in Forza Horizon 5. Also, when you turn on a radio in Mexico, each genre has its own station, with a combination of local Mexican music and global songs. It was clear that an authentic approach was to curate an eclectic selection of both regional tracks and global hits. By featuring Mexican artists across all stations, you can tune into the channels you love listening to most and enjoy a completely authentic experience while you play.


Also, our friends at Hospital Records are debuting their latest drum and bass tracks in the game which will be featured on an upcoming vinyl release. With YouTube and Twitch being such integral aspects of gaming today, we’ve worked with Hospital Records and combined their tracks with our own original compositions to create Streamer Mode. It’s a seamless experience for content creators and it ensures the Forza Horizon DNA remains intact in the gameplay videos you watch online.


We’ve also introduced the ability to turn any of the audio sliders all the way down to zero to remove any specific audio content – ensuring you won’t hear music faintly in the background.



To demonstrate Streamer Mode, we played a dust storm race on the Bahía De Plano Circuit behind the wheel of the 2020 Lotus Evija – using EventLab to customize the weather conditions and season. You can even host a dust storm race in the jungle! It might look strange, but we allow it.


Lastly, we also played the Buggy and the Beast Showcase Event. You’re driving the 2017 Ford #25 'Brocky' Ultra4 Bronco RTR against the Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Bone Shaker. With the Horizon Cargo Plane circling above and another Monster Truck joining the fun, this Showcase is both chaotic and full of surprising twists as you race to the Horizon Stadium! As Mike noted on-stream, once you arrive, there’s nothing of interest that happens after that... we promise.


That wrapped up our final Forza Horizon 5 Let's ¡Go! livestream before launch. Thanks to everyone who joined us on the Road to Mexico! We’re grateful to have had you all with us on this journey and we can’t wait to celebrate launch together. Remember to follow us on Instagram and Twitter for all the latest news from the Horizon Festival. See you soon in Mexico – adios amigos!