What Does Horizon Mean To You? (The Catharsis Thread)

It’s pretty surprising to me that for a franchise which has reached the level of Forza Horizon, there is still such a considerable amount of division among the player base when it comes to the content, issues, deployment & design of the game. The amount of response to a recent closed thread, which rather directly attempted to address some of these concerns, is pretty clear evidence of that.

Despite that, it’s also pretty clear that the Forza player community is one of the largest, cohesive groups in the gaming community, despite the frustrations. Let’s face it, if the core player base wasn’t so passionate about the game, it would not receive the level of focus that it does, good or bad.

The continuing decline in the overall player base & engagement in the game is of course disheartening. I’ve suffered from the same frustrations that have had me at the minimal play time in recent weeks, but I always find myself coming back. I’m looking forward to the new DLC & hopeful it will help breathe some new life back into the game.

Part of my habitual “Forza fix”, is keeping up with the community here in the forum. The recent closure of the above mentioned thread seems to have triggered some resentment, which made me think about what the underlying issue really is & to me, I think it’s just that feeling of being heard, with feedback & support from fellow community members, as a bit of “group therapy” :grin: (keeping it respectful of course).

Along this line, I thought back to the nostalgia of the anniversary series with the question being asked to Scotty about what Horizon meant to him. Despite the fictional context & strain toward a trite storyline, I think this is also a fundamental question particularly applicable to the long term, dedicated player base.

For me, Horizon means: car culture, period. I feel like the quantity of available vehicles, available upgrades, design tools & available activities are, in a macro view, unmatched & really a “celebration” of all things cars. This allows access & insight into vehicles I’ll never even see IRL, let alone drive :smile:

So fully realizing this is opening the door to a lot of potential cynicism (please keep it respectful) here’s your opportunity to share. (If you read this far, thanks for sticking with it & sorry for the potential TLDNR length).


To me, Horizon is a celebration of cars and the automotive culture. Horizon is a place to enjoy cars and car culture however you want, through racing, freeroam driving, drifting, etc.


To me, the biggest part of “car culture”, is the sense of community. And there is no sense of community in Horizon 4 or Horizon 5.

Here in these forums we have our sense of community. And it’s frustrating when our conversations keep getting shut down. This is our form of “Crusin’ the gut” so to speak. Or whatever it’s called in your specific locale.

It would be nice if there was a sense of community in the game. The forza link is just pointless blabber of mostly stupid one line phrases. They do nothing to help players communicate with one another. You can’t even communicate with players if you’re in a convoy. Having a microphone communication feature or a texting communication feature would work. That would allow players to build up community within the game.

Closing the “Developers please read” thread was tantamount to having the police come in on a Friday night cruse and shut down the “The Gut”. Then the community “The Car Culture” just drives off to an alternative gut for more crusing.

Happy crusing friends.


Have to agree & why I disabled it as soon as I learned that was an option. Unfortunate that in a community based environment you’re reduced to a horn tap as a form of communication, but that’s pretty much the standard.

I mean if I want FH6 to be a FH1 remake, I’d jump in and leave the infantile nature behind.

FH1 was a classic, and for so many reasons. I want FH6 to be exactly like the original Horizon, giving the vibe of a real music festival and cars as first priority.

Actual rivals and bosses, well-thought out car selection (albeit small and some of them left behind), and a sensible progression system made it a legend. Nowadays it’s fallen into the “it’s all about me” rank, and being a superstar right out the gate was wrong.

I mentioned a few posts around the closed thread about a spiritual successor of FH1’s storyline, with MW2005 bones. Your fast car seizes up against a rival who happens to be a long-lost cousin to Darius and you lose everything. That’s better in my book.

FH3 did a decent job with the boss saga, but that meant progression was relegated to new expansions of the festivals. The game’s progression went overboard starting in FH5. And the days of a live service gimmick began since FH4.

And if you’re talking about pointless blabber @AnakalaRon the dialogue is worse in FH5. Why is this? It’s the infantile nature of the game. That and they threw out Keira for absolutely no reason whatsoever.

I know dialogue isn’t a strong suit to the Horizon series but Keira was at least a respectable character and her dialogue and delivery was serviceable. Unlike Haley who keeps talking as if she’s still a manchild. Same with your player character, they’re poor. I’d rather have Kimi voice the player for FH6.

Other characters in FH5 are either bland or just horrible at the dialogue department. Ramiro is highly annoying and sounds an awful lot like the Geico gecko. Alejandra’s dialogue borders on creepy behavior and it’s bad. Her story set ‘El Vocho’ was a mess in the dialogue and was a missed opportunity to even recreate a 2003 Beetle (you know the ones used as taxis in Mexico and one of them is in the museum in its home country, Germany)


For sure; there’s definitely a need (opportunities) for more of a balance towards some of those game dynamics which made Horizon great in the initial iterations, compared to what it has evolved into. I definitely feel like I missed out not having played those original titles.

For me, having anyone voice anything for my player character is immersive breaking. I don’t sound like that. I wouldn’t say that.

EDIT : Alright, yeah, sorry, this is supposed to be “what IS forza horizon to me” not “what ISN’T forza horizon to me” but sadly at this point, and I’m probably not alone, it probably is largely defined by what ISN’T forza horizon to me… in one sentence, it ISN’T what it used to be, what brought many of us into it, and has kept us this long and hopeful for a return of what it used to be.

p.s. Oh and thanks for the outlet thread Bravo437, as short lived as I fear it will be…


No problem & well said. This can absolutely be what it “isn’t” to anyone as well. It’s open & that’s part of the “catharsis” :grin:, just asking to keep it respectful so it doesn’t get shut down. Thanks for the feedback :+1:t2:

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I don’t care what my character says or sounds like as long as it’s in character with a good story line. And that story carries through the game with good continuity. And there’s good interaction between my character and me with the game. That’s something NFS Heat and Payback both do very well.

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Car culture, music, the presentation of the two, and the web of communities that make up the playerbase is what I think of when I think of FH. There’s the players who only play online, there’s the players who only play rivals, the players who play competitively, the players who sit at the main drag strip start line and wait for somebody to line up, there’s the players who make liveries, tunes, tracks, etc.

To use this quote to continue my post. I actually think FH4 had a much more visible community than any of the previous games. You could load up Fortune Island, look at the map, see 8 or 9 players drifting up and down the mountain. You could drive over and start tandeming with some random player’s ghost. You get the notification for a Forzathon and everyone lines up like its a car meet waiting for the event to start. There was that player trying to improve his drift zone score in the middle of the festival. The players waiting at the end of the highway for somebody to race, etc. I will agree on FH5 but it’s really just because the game has a bad open world system, which was a problem for the previous games too. You had to actively seek out these communities to find them, much like in FH5. Yes, there was game systems to facilitate it, but it was still more obfuscated than FH4. Which unfortunately means I don’t think FH4 is probably the example I should use as “what I think of when I think of horizon.” It’s more of an exception.

I’m not personally a player who uses voice chat but I did enjoy hearing people talk when we had access to it and I’ve never liked Forza Link. It’s so limiting and there’s so many better ways they could’ve implemented a chat than just 3 preselected phrases. There is absolutely no way to have a community with something like that. Even going back to something like FFXI on PS2/360 you could type entire context subjective sentences by just selecting phrases and combining them. No idea why at least that isn’t an option.


I think this game lost a lot of its soul when it became a live service with a battle royale mode and socks and hats became winnable things.

FH5 feels really phoned in
-early access for people who pre-ordered was borderline unplayable
-both expansions show much less creativity or thought than in the past
-a large number of cars removed from FH4 to slowly be added back in

I love cars, and car history, and learning about cars and manufacturers, new car tech, and street racing dream cars and old cars, etc. To my knowledge this game doesn’t even list what the stock engine is in cars nor do I find myself being enthused about car culture through the game.
Does everyone that plays have to know about induction, displacement, brand histories? no. But that is what got me into car games and has really been watered down now.


The way people share knowledge, tunes and designs to help each other go faster and look cooler doing it. “Tuck” from TC2 seems to get it better than any FH5 character. I think Ken Block is very much part of the spirit of Horizon too. I can think of him and still have a big smile on my face as I pull an alley-oop falling barrell roll off a strike on the halfpipe. :smile::metal:


Horizon means vrooomm vrooomm to me


Horizon 3 was really nice and it gave me a really good feeling too, with all the beautiful areas, and sunny weather, it also had decent nights too, and unbreakable road barriers.The charachters were pretty ok, the only one missing was Paul Hogan, wresting a crockodile in the rain forest water, that would have been cool to see.Australia felt and looked really good, unlike run down Mexico.

I played that extravaganza story last week in FH5, the one with the stunt races and the anoying mexicans in masks, what horiffic charachters they are, so anoying I turned the volume off. I loved the extra props etc for the races, they were really well done, but the story was just ruined by the crappy OTT voices, and the stupid, lame charachters.

Forza just is not what it used to be, I feel like this is going to be my last one.

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FH1 is a unique gourmet burger with intense flavors. Absolutely delectable to its target customer, offensive to some, ignored by the rest. You will always remember the first time you ate one.

FH5 is a quarter pounder. Sold to billions but no one really likes it. No one fondly remembers the first time they had it. It’s made cheaply and without passion, which you can taste with every bite.

I want my gourmet burger back!


That’s an insult to the Quarter Pounder, frankly. Horizon 5 is a value-menu cheeseburger, made with minimal effort and sold to people too desperate or ignorant to realize that better options exist.


Value meal? FH5 is more like a hamburger… with nothing but the bread. That’s it. Two sesame buns and nothing else.

Again while the game is pretty the gameplay feels rather stagnant. Part of me wished the game should have given a few more months prior to release. Unfortunately that’s the price you pay for live service games.

Though not all live service games are bad and not all of them are created equal, the Forza one seems to be a special kind of awful.

Oh and by the way, I could care less about the graphics. Gameplay matters, and if it’s executed poorly, it’ll be miserable, no matter how gorgeous the graphics are.


I think that’s a bit extreme when you consider for overall content, Horizon doesn’t have much competition, which granted, is part of the problem when it comes to the lack of concern with “changing the recipe”.

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It’s a shame they couldn’t get him to feature more in FH, NFS 2015 managed to get him + multiple other real world car people to appear in the story as themselves, even in a weak game like that it added so much to the atmosphere and immersion being surrounded by + racing with them.

All FH4 + FH5’s characters have ever got me immersed in is heavy sighing + an envy of the deaf.

To me, Forza is all about that perfect vacation where you can enjoy great cars, all kinds of car community and have a blast in races. As a person who loves cars and going every year on multiple music festivals, it’s a perfect combination for me. That’s why FH3 was my favourite, looking like a great time if I was in that world. FH4 was good, love that it was alive with people around the map. FH5 feels like it doesn’t have any direction. Map is empty, festial sites are looking overdone and not like a place where people would be all day. Characters are worse than kids YouTubers, main character is acting like a child that plays with hot wheels… It’s not a bad game, basics are good, but lack of identity and all the problems it has since launch are dragging it down very badly.

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