The Game Awards took place last night, with Forza Horizon 5 flying the flag for racing games. Despite being skipped over for the Game of the Year shortlist, it was still a great night for the Forza team.
Forza snubbed for Game of the Year
The consensus among critics is that Forza Horizon 5 deserved to make the shortlist for the biggest prize in game development. It looks like it was a quirk of the timing of the nomination process to blame. Journalists were told to submit their nominations by 4th November, the day before the Premium Editions of Forza Horizon 5 unlocked.
Windows Central, GameRant, and G4 all highlighted the snub. No racing game has ever been nominated for Game of the Year at the Game Awards. Many feel that if ever any racing game has deserved a nod in the top category, this was the game.
Forza Horizon 5 takes three awards
Forza Horizon 5 did pick up three awards at the Game Awards last night. The huge hit has achieved recognition outside of genre fans. With millions of players over the month since release, it's reached an audience beyond most previous racing games.
One win was in the Best Sports/Racing Game category. Forza beat such competition as the official Formula 1 game F1 2021 and also the latest instalment in the FIFA series. The other victories were for Best Audio Design as well as Innovation in Accessibility.
The engine sounds and the ambient noises were something the Playground Games team was keen to highlight early when the game was announced. It's nice to see this recognised with an award.
The third award for Innovation in Accessibility reflects the efforts the team has put into making the game playable for all. This isn't just to do with the driving aids such as auto-steering and assisted braking helping gamers who are less able to control their inputs. It also highlights the work the art team has done. Forza Horizon 5 enables players to have limb-different avatars, with prosthetics available for any or all limbs.
We're pleased to see a racing game achieve this recognition. It's a sign of the recent growth in the genre. Forza Horizon 5 may have its problems but as these issues are addressed there's little argument with the idea that this is one of the best games of recent times.