Forza Horizon 5 Horizon Retrowave Impressions


Forza Horizon 5’s latest update is another excellent addition to a long line of great updates that the game has received over the years. Here are my thoughts after completing Horizon Retrowave.  

As the name implies, the game has added a new radio station that plays synthwave music with a robust 21 tracks, and each one of them perfectly captures the mood of Horizon Retrowave at nighttime. While I enjoyed the soundtrack, I found the DJ for this station, Isabel Moss, to be another generic voice interspersed between the tracks, which is something that I hope Playground Games can rectify in the future. She lacked any distinguishing traits that would make a lasting impression.  

However, the game’s seasonal landmark left me in awe. Playground Games built a nighttime light show on the highway whose strobing effects react to the BPM of any music playing on the radio. Driving around at high speeds in a DeLorean never felt so good. Playground perfectly distilled the atmosphere they were pursuing with this neon highway. This brilliant addition to the open world encouraged me to cruise up and down the highway savouring the lightshow whenever I got the chance to do so.  

Horizon Retrowave is Pure, Glorious Vibes

Speaking of the DeLorean, this Horizon Retrowave features an excellent selection of new cars that embody the 80’s Synthwave aesthetic. These include the 2022 Hyundai N Vision 74 and the 2021 Lamborghini Countach LPI 800-4. These two cars are inspired by the past as reflected in their body design, while the 1986 BMW M635CSI and the 1980 Lotus Esprit Turbo live in it. All in all, this is a great balance of new and old cars which players can receive as free rewards.  

This season smartly focused on the driving experience as opposed to the one full of a bevy of racing events. They accomplished this by making the open world more interesting to explore thanks to the light show, and they also extended the duration of the nighttime just for this season. Especially after racing heavy seasons like European Automotive or Horizon Race off the change in pace is appreciated. It enabled me to focus on the sights of sounds of the expansion and experiencing my own Miami Vice fantasies.  

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, Horizon Retrowave is an excellent update that added in a stellar selection of new cars and a new radio station with great music. While it hasn’t overhauled the Horizon formula, it did keep me engaged throughout the season and that is a mighty feat this long in FH5’s life cycle.