A little over six months since Playground Games launched Forza Horizon 5: Rally Adventure, I finally got around to playing the add-on this past weekend thanks to its big Black Friday discount. Another Pure Xbox racing fanatic in Liam reviewed the DLC pack when it first arrived in March, but I wanted to wait for a sale as I wasn't sure on its general direction. As it turns out I needn't have worried - this is another great Forza Horizon expansion and its linear progression is exactly what I want more of from the series.
Don't get me wrong - I love asphalt racing in Forza Horizon and don't necessarily want off-roading to be a huge focus for the team, but I really liked how Rally Adventure was set up from a campaign perspective. The DLC takes you through three racing teams in a pursuit to beat a boss from each category, and its more-linear simplicity was a huge breath of fresh air after the bloated nature of Horizon 5's single-player mode.
I've enjoyed FH5 plenty, but after Forza Horizon 4 it just felt like it was spinning its wheels a bit - pardon the pun. Playground's latest racer opted to largely build on what was already present in Horizon 4, but after finishing that game's core progression, and spending years with its live service, I felt too exhausted to stay fully tuned into FH5 after launch. The change of setting was nice, but not much else felt truly new.
In parts, that familiar feeling is present in Rally Adventure too. This DLC pack takes bits of Fortune Island and mixes them with inspiration from Forza Horizon 1's Rally Expansion - so it's hardly a groundbreaking affair. And yet, because of its more bite-sized nature and its easy-to-digest single-player mode, I had lots of energy to blast through it and see everything it had to offer - unlike the main game.
That energy stretches to Rally Adventure's map as well. For me personally, Horizon 4's condensed version of Great Britain was more fun to cruise around than the more stretched-out landscapes of Horizon Mexico - and Rally Adventure brought that tight-knit driving feeling back. Its winding dust roads and tight tarmac corners are just great fun to drive on, and it definitely has something about it compared to the main game's map. Horizon Mexico is stunning, but it's just a bit too stretched out for my liking, and Rally Adventure feels more like Horizon 4 or its Fortune Island expansion when it comes to the driving experience.
Anyway, I just wanted to put this out there because even if I'm not fully tuned into Horizon 5 and its seasonal updates these days, Rally Adventure was well-worth picking up and playing after all. At the time of writing this DLC is 50% off in Xbox's Black Friday sale (as is the 'Premium Add-Ons Bundle' featuring Hot Wheels) so if you need a little something to get you back into the world of racing on Xbox, why not give it a go? I'll certainly be cruising around the Horizon Badlands for some time to come.