First impressions are everything and Forza Horizon is a series that knows exactly how to make a big one.
Each of the games has an Initial Drive that serves to demonstrate all of the game’s bells and whistles, show off the setting, and give the cover cars a few moments of the limelight.
One might think these elaborate set pieces, a culmination of everything that game is trying to communicate, would be developed nearer the end of the game’s gestation. Our chat with Mike Brown, Creative Director at Playground Games, revealed this isn’t exactly the case.
“Yeah, it’s interestingly the opposite. It’s one of the things that we build simultaneously throughout the game development,” Brown said.
“We try to make them spectacular, we make huge investments in making sure that they really say what the game is about. We probably might save ourselves a lot of effort if we did it in the end. We work on it constantly throughout development and keep refining it. I think as well, even internally within the team, it allows us to point to things like this is what this game is about.
“It’s driving down the side of a volcano, it’s like tearing through the farmland with a dust storm blowing over. It doesn’t require me to give a presentation to say this is what this game is. No ten bullet points of what you need to know about Forza Horizon 5, instead it’s an eight-to-ten minute drive where you’re left thinking this game has a lot going on.”
“So it is a thing we constantly iterate on and we’re constantly trying to find those best bits that really show the game at its best. It’s a constant work in progress throughout the entirety of development.”
Forza Horizon 5 releases for Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC, and Xbox Game Pass on November 5, 2021.