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Forza Horizon 5 Creative Director explains the lack of ray tracing

Forza Horizon 5 will be coming out officially next month on 5 November, as the next-gen sequel to the 2018 Forza Horizon 4.

We were lucky enough to speak to the Creative Director of the latest game, Mike Brown, about how the Xbox Series X and S allowed them to develop ray tracing in certain aspects of the game.

Forza Horizon Vista mode will be the only mode that supports ray tracing, with Brown saying, “Forza Vista is like premiere, car viewing experience, a place where we really turn on all of the graphical effects in order to have the cars looking as good as they can.”

Ray tracing is a pretty big buzzword nowadays in gaming, and it refers to advanced lighting effects that render more realistic looking lights and shadow. However, as Mike Brown explains, ray tracing can be very demanding on the hardware that runs it.

“With every graphical effect, that you turn on, you’re turning something else off effectively. Unfortunately, even with the power of next-gen, there are limits,” Brown told Trusted Reviews.

In other words, ray tracing puts too much pressure on the Xbox consoles, especially since the game is targeting a 4K at 60fps performance.

Forza Horizon 5

Plus, Brown mentions that ray tracing wouldn’t be used best in other modes of the game.

“I think when you’re driving around in the open world, [ray tracing] is best done elsewhere… because we do actually have still really, really high-quality reflections,” Brown went on to say.

“You wouldn’t really notice the benefit of ray tracing, but you lose other stuff, the quality of the shadows or something else,” Brown concluded.

Some may consider that a controversial opinion, but we agree that the implementation of ray tracing isn’t always obvious to the naked eye, especially in a game such as this where you’re moving at such high speeds.

Still, it’s a shame that Forza Horizon 5 won’t even feature an option for the next-gen technology on Xbox, outside of the Forza Horizon Vista mode. The likes of Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart at least gives you the option in the graphics settings.

If you’re looking for more Forza Horizon 5 news, check out our other article where we spoke to Mike Brown about how they created a realistic Mexico for the new game.

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