At this point Playground, just flipping tell us we're never getting a modern urban environment

My opinion on the new DLC is “disappointed, but not suprised.”

I and many other players were holding out for the fabled city expansion DLC, something people have been rumoring about since Forza Horizon 4. With the leaked codename being “Project Nightlife” everything pointed to a night-focused road racing DLC set in tight city streets.

But nope, Playground once again rips off their past content, this time remaking the Rally DLC from Forza Horizon 1. Alright, I’ll give them an ounce of credit. If they absolutely HAD to copy one of their DLC expansions for a second time, this would be the one I’d pick.

…But then again, why did they need to copy themselves at all? This rally stuff feels meaningless. When the first rally DLC came out for Forza Horizon 1 in 2012, that was the first ever time rally racing had ever been showcased in a Forza game. It was an entire new racing discipline packed into a DLC.

A decade later and we have miles upon miles of dirt roads, including an incredibly long mountain road made of dirt you can race down. We have dozens of rally cars. We have hundreds of EventLab missions that emulate proper rallying to a tee. While it’s great to see rallying in a Forza game being done like how it is IRL, this should’ve just been how dirt races are handled in general from the start.

The thing is what is keeping them from an urban setting? It’s like they have this deep-seated fear of a modern city in their game. Throughout the entire franchise, we’ve only gotten one modern city, and while it’s a fantastic location and probably one of the best parts of any racing game map, it felt too small and it’s layout had much more opportunity for interesting gameplay.

Even Need For Speed, which has been slightly emulating Forza Horizon’s map design for a while now (100x times better, mind you) still manages to fit a decently packed city into it’s map. Sure, it’s not the entire map and in some entries it did suffer in size, but there were so many interesting choices and designs for gameplay. Take Lakeshore from NFS: Unbound, their most recent title. That city is awesome and is something I’d KILL to see replicated in Forza.

In short, I’d just wish for them to say something about WHY they won’t do this. The only genuine reason that makes sense to me is either engine limitations, or just blatant disdain for actual tarmac racing. Just at least tell us. Explain why we’ve never seen a decent city since FH3 at all in the franchise. I keep holding out through this games worst seasons hoping it’s going to get better, to the point I didn’t even play for a long time. It just isn’t, at least on any meaningful way.

I’m sure the Rally DLC will have some cool stuff. The teams progression mechanic looks neat. Doing actual rally events like IRL instead of just cramming 12 cars onto a dirt road is cool. Epitaph Records coming back is precisely something I’ve asked for. The fact the expansion list has only 1 actual rally car and the rest is just different trims of pre-existing offroad considerably less so, but I digress.

I just don’t like the absurd amount of recycling this franchise regularly does. It’s capable of so much, but the devs just refuse to acknowledge it’s potential. It’s depressing.


I think you already said the reason even though it is still something I roll my eyes about considering we’re supposed to believe gaming is supposedly sooo much more advanced than ever, engine limitations.

Due to the series having to look 10/10 quality it limits it’s quantity, I personally think that is more on MS’s end than PG’s though, demanding it looks tip top to showcase the capability of the console.

So any vast amount of assets at that quality would just be too much to handle, I’m sure we’ve all seen what problems a densely packed EventLab can cause for example, the game would be as stable as a drunk walking a tightrope if the devs tried something similar as a permanent part of the map.

I’ve said on here before I would be happy if the graphics were still at FH2’s level if it meant we’d get a bigger map with more crammed in, FH2 despite it’s age still looks better than The Crew 2 which dedicates it’s resources to the sheer size of the map at the expense of graphical quality.

Something in the middle of that scale between FH + TC2 would be ideal, pretty enough to be miles ahead of TC2 + satisfy most who care about that sort of stuff but also vast enough to accommodate so much more than FH’s maps do, including at least 1 decently sized urban environment.

I doubt we’ll ever see that though, MS wouldn’t let a new first party title in any of their franchises have 8 or even 9/10 graphics to allow for more scope + the vast maps of TC is one of it’s USP’s.

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At least Fortune Island felt different from the main map in FH4, the northern lights, lightning storms, the mountain climb was new. From the rally expansion the panning shots look exactly like the main map that we already have in Mexico, pretty disappointing.

I wasn’t expecting a fully built Tokyo City or anything crazy, but maybe something like a smaller surfers paradise from FH3 or even something with buildings like a lot of the event labs have been.

But no, just more sand dues and dirt roads…


You do realise what is involved for a cityscape, don’t you? First, pick your city. Map it. Code it. Except you have to be lean on detail because the package has to work on a system of a specific minimum specification. You’re trying to code THAT level of graphics to work with minimum spec FH5 and something has to go because it won’t be stuttering gameplay as the bottlenecks get reached, you can only push so much through before the sheer level of data and calculations overwhelms memory, gpu, cpu and drives. It is an immense task, the “oh, look, more sand” approach is less intensive

So go for “cityscape” then expect bland backgrounds, which then leaves it to the “commyoonité” to kick off about poor backgrounds when the reality is that they would complain about the concrete buildings somehow being “the wrong shade of grey”.


Not saying you’re wrong, but, convincing some of the facts, eh… hard road. I also had a chuckle at the “Well they could have just had ChatGPT code it in a couple minutes.” LOL ! Yeah. Sure.

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That one tickled me too

This sounds harsh, but I have no sympathy for those who get unrealistic expectations and then have the nerve to be mad at developers for not delivering on their delusions.

Sure, a more urban addition would have been nice to break up the sand, but what a lot of the “community” fails to realize is Surfer’s Paradise was very small and sparse for a city.

A lot of them are envisioning a GTA, Los Santos-style (Midnight Club L.A.) level of detail, and that’s just not going to happen in an expansion, or even a mainline game?

A lot of this comes from nostalgia of Surfers Paradise, and also because many of the Horizon crowd come from the older NFS games (where nostalgia reigns supreme, yet again) where there are cityscapes, but they’re also very limited, bland and very restrictive compared to an open world game where the city has to appear real and “open” and not closed off.


So…a floating island with three diverse and absurdly-detailed environments is a piece of cake, but a city that will certainly not be 1:1 in scale and will also be altered for gameplay purposes is not feasible.

Got it.


I don’t see a problem with a GTA V style map for a simcade like Forza.


Well, I’m positive that wherever PGG is taking us next in Forza Horizon 6, they have “large modern city” high on the checklist of areas to include, considering they’ll need something much different from Mexico and Great Britain to make a convincing impression of creating brand new game and avoid complaints about delivering recycled content again. Besides, it’s not that they don’t hear feedback at all :wink:


I’d love that, too, but what I’m referring to is people having unrealistic expectations this level of detail would be in an expansion for a game that is primarily about wide open spaces. Hence, the name “Horizon”.

The argument can be made to look at the previous expansions like HW, but again, it’s a wide open space (even if fantastical) and not a dense, urban area with back alleys, highways, and even underground sections. I’m not saying this can’t be done for an expansion, but this is usually the scope of a mainline game and to expect that in an expansion is (was) just silly, IMO.

Also, like I wrote on another thread, we still have to remember, FH5 is still available on the Xbox One. So, there are hardware limitations that have to be met that would also compromise what level of detail an urban setting would involve… Because people conveniently forget, Surfer’s Paradise was a very small “city”… But nostalgia makes them think it was like Los Santos, when it was farthest thing from it.


Oh, I’ve no doubt they hear the feedback, just as I am very sure they choose to ignore it.

I wouldn’t be surprised if themes for both expansions were chosen long before the game itself launched (they could even make decisions on what cars should be left behind on release to be brought back in updates based on that plan). So I’d say that it takes a couple of years between hearing feedback and bringing it to life. Heck, even adding one car to the game takes year or so :slight_smile:


Alternatively, they hear it, investigate it, and decide it doesn’t fit (either creatively or technically) the kind of game they’re making. Or, they already have one planned for a hypothetical Expansion 3.

Also, expansions would have been in pre-production since before Forza Horizon 5 was even announced, so asking for citiyscapes post-launch isn’t going to do squat for this game.

Maybe they have chosen a cityscape for Forza Horizon 6, check back in a few years to find out.


Most “big content” (of which a map is certainly one of those things, cars slightly less so) for a AAA game is roadmapped early on alongside the base game. It may not exist outside of a Word doc at that stage but it would eventually become a thing.

If somebody at Playground decided today to add a new city, you likely won’t see it until Forza Horizon 6. I highly doubt Forza Horizon 5 will continue to see big content drops in 2024 and beyond; this game came out in 2021.


I wonder if Forza Motorsport coming out later this year had any impact on Horizon decisions.
I am aware they are very different games, but if FH5 released a city/urban street/race or test track update perhaps they worry it would cannibalize some sales of Motorsport, probably reaching a bit with this.

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Yeah… Personally I don’t mind the rally theme but I didn’t expect the new map to be in Mexico.

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I’d say that it’s likely going to receive some good content in 2024, but it’ll probably stop around July-September

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Maybe I’m an odd duck (okay I am), but I genuinely don’t understand why so many people were clamoring for a city environment. For my money, city racing has been by far my least-favorite part of the Horizon games I played. The tracks in Edinburgh sucked, and Guanajuato is somehow even worse. (The Cathedral Circuit…ugh) I’ll at least give Surfers Paradise the fact that it was a more modern city, but even then I remember most races there being frustrating.

Like, do people legitimately enjoy endless 90-degree corners that don’t even allow you to properly hit the apex because there’s a building shoved right up against it? Or being thrown to a dead-stop in an instant because you’ve managed to clip a nigh-invisible bit of geometry along the side of the road? Or having the AI fling speed-killing telephone poles and light posts all over the track? Is it some sort of masochism thing that I don’t get? Because given the choice, I will go with a nice wide-open flowing stretch of tarmac or twisty jumpy dirt road every single day of the week.


The announcement of the rally expansion has definitley caused a shifting of the tides in the Horizon fandom. Though we have plenty of our regulars dissatisied with it, the more casual audience seen on Reddit are also outraged at being denied the city expansion they felt they earned while a lot of more serious players are a lot more positive. I suppose its about high time the casuals see how the other half lives, and this is one time where I hope Playground doesn’t buckle under audience pressure, especially since it seems that they are doubling down on something resembling progression and actual competition.

I personally didn’t want a city expansion, and I am also puzzled as to why it was in such high demand when cities usually suck in racing games without even more forgiving physics than what Horizon already has. I’ve also said it like five times already, and I’ll say it again, but Forza’s physics are terrible when it comes to 90 degree corners. I dread 90 degree corners when they come up in sprints and espeically in street races. Heck, these kinds of corners are why I dread playing on tracks like Silverstone and the Hockheimring in Motorsport.