The announcement of Forza Horizon 5 at E3 earlier this year was a welcome one for racers.
Many had expected Forza Motorsport, announced over a year ago now, to land before the next Horizon title, but Playground Games has been hard at work taking everyone's favourite open world racer to the next level.
That includes some amazing new features like the Events Lab, but what is it?
Forza Horizon 5 Events Lab
To put it bluntly, the Forza Horizon 5 Events Lab is a game mode creator where players can use a lot of the tools the developers have at their disposal to create create custom races, challenges, and courses for themselves, their friends, and the community.
If that sounds familiar, that's because it sounds an awful lot like DIRT 5's Playgrounds mode, where players could create Gymkhana areas, checkpoint challenges, and block breaker games. With users creating Pac-Man maps and even rebuilds of Nitro Circus events, it was a huge hit with the DIRT 5 community.
However, it is a bit more than that too. Creative director Mike Brown described that the tools within the mode are "very much meant for game developers".
The mode offers an array of "if/then" options for players, as demonstrated in the gameplay demo at E3, where we see giant bowling pins being knocked down and scores racking up for players.
Players using Events Lab will also be able to play around with the relative weight of cars and the gravity within the game's universe, creating aerial play in a driving game.
Do we really need this mode?
FH4's weekly updates and amazingly long life is a great platform for Forza Horizon 5, but there's little doubt that it needs to do more than just be FH4 in a new location.
That's where Events Lab comes in. It allows Playground Games to outsource the creation of new content to the players. Now that's not to say they are being lazy, but instead it is working with the community, something that a game like FH5 really needs to do after several examples of poor relations between the player base and FH4.
Playground Games says that standout custom game modes from the Events Lab will be promoted within the wider game. This includes promotion in Forza Horizon 5's rotating Festival Playlist, as well as in the Horizon Open PvP experience. That should make the weekly and monthly updates far more diverse and encourage players to come back into the world and keep on racing. Which is always a good thing!
Forza Horizon 5 release date
Gamers still have to be patient for Forza Horizon 5. The official release date is set for 9 November.
Players can get in a little sooner than that though. The Premium Edition comes with four days of early access.