There was definitely some confusion when the first Forza Horizon 5 expansion was leaked on the Steam Store – indicating it would be Hot Wheels (again). While it was thought to be placeholder artwork for something else at the time, it was in fact another Hot Wheels expansion. This announcement received mixed reactions when it was officially confirmed by Playground Games – with some embracing its return and others wondering if it would just be a quick rehash.
If you did play the original Forza Horizon 3 Hot Wheels Expansion in 2017, you should already have a good understanding of what to expect going into the fifth game’s first expansion. It’s another dose of Hot Wheels racing and that means more orange tracks, loop-the-loops, fire hoops, speed boosts and giant dragons hanging over certain segments of the course. The Event Lab track builder and community-created events also spice things up.
As the player, you’re once again thrust into an isolated location, this time known as ‘Hot Wheels Park’ – set in the clouds above Mexico. Here you’ll race across multiple biomes, 80 distinct snappable track pieces, race 10 “amazing” new cars – including iconic Hot Wheels racers such as the Deora II and Baja Bone Shaker, learn about the history of Hot Wheels in special events and participate in plenty of insane stunts.
Your task at Hot Wheels Park is to work your way through the ‘Hot Wheels Academy’ – five separate classes from rookie to legend rank. In these tasks you’ll complete the usual races, sprints, destroy objects and complete various other missions. As you progress, you’ll then be able to use more of your cars within the Hot Wheels expansion. Not everyone may appreciate their existing car collection being locked off from particular races or other vehicle restrictions in place, but it does encourage players to progress through the missions and ranks, and perhaps enjoy each car and class unlock just a little more.
The expansion itself looks straight out of the Hot Wheels toy line - with loops as far as the eye can see. Admittedly though, there does feel like a lot of empty space in-between the racing lines, with not much going on when you’re free roaming in each area above the sky. You might see other racers, but it can still feel a tad lonely sometimes. There are things like moving objects and environmental features such as waterfalls; however, a lot of other parts of the track feel quite static.
Another thing that not everyone might necessarily be a fan of are restrictions of the track. There are some areas in each biome where you can race along the sand, snow and other terrain types. However, in most cases, you’ll be between the track’s barriers. Fortunately, there are now more track parts than ever – such as water slides, magnetised segments, ice roads and boost zones, and it’s much bigger than the scale of the original Hot Wheels expansion.
When the original Hot Wheels expansion was released during the Forza Horizon 3 era, it was a new and exciting themed DLC. It was different from what had been done before and did a great job freshening up the festival experience - providing something players hadn’t seen previously. The second coming of Hot Wheels in Forza Horizon is definitely a larger-scale experience this time around, but how much enjoyment you get out of it may depend on if you’ve already played the previous Hot Wheels expansion, along with how creative the community can get.
If you are new to Forza Horizon's Hot Wheels expansions, you’ll likely have a blast with the latest one. It's once again a nice change of pace from the main game – with cars reaching all-new top speeds. For returning players, you can go into this paid DLC knowing what to expect, although it may not be quite as thrilling as the first time for some veterans. At the same time, you could say the Hot Wheels expansion for the Forza Horizon series has now been fully realised thanks to the power of Xbox Series X|S. It’s got us excited to see what’s next for the fifth entry in terms of future expansion content. So go on, get out there and burn some rubber.
Yep, 8/10 is my score too. It's very good and does exactly what it sets out to do, but as a player of all the FH games and expansions it does feel a little too familiar.
The graphics are superb however, driving down the corkscrew parts into volcano or the water rushing past with waterfalls either side definitely make this the game to showcase the Series X's graphical prowess.
It's all new to me so I've only positives so far. Maybe you want a bit more but it is only an expansion and not a completely new game.
Great review. I agree with your opinion that locking the existing car collection is odd. Wouldn't mind if they had done that at the start of the base game to give a little direction but many of those still playing have sunk 100s of hours into this game. Locking cars we've earned is just strange.
I also agree that the zones are pretty but unused. Reminds me a lot of Anthem. Great scenery but shallow in content. The lack of substantial accolades kind of proves it. I felt that adding a variety of accolades in the base game gave goals to keep players entertained but the Academy goals can be completed fairly quickly and with little exploration.
It's a good dlc but if you've been playing the franchise for the past decade it does seem to be lacking in creativity.
I’ve really fallen out of love with Forza Horizon. I’m fed up with all these “missions” - I just wanna race! I did the first 3 races in the Hot Wheels expansion in the rookie category, but it won’t let me progress until I’ve fulfilled these other silly missions 🙄 I got bored with the base game pretty quickly and was hoping this expansion would drag me back in, alas it hasn’t.
Short lived fun which is pretty much my opinion on FH5 in general It look and plays great, makes a big splash but lacks any real depth to keep me around
The FH5 Hot Wheels DLC is a blast and very polished... I just wish there was more of it. I finished all the content in 10-15 hours, whereas the FH4 expansions kept me engaged much longer.
Finding it funny that Playground is doing Hot Wheels better than that actual Hot Wheels game that came out last year. It's not a bad game by any means (aside from load times on Switch), but this is pretty excellent.
This pretty much just introduces some F-Zero-esque tracks and racing to the series. Honestly, I've been loving it with the fastest cars in the game. It's really designed around hypercars and supercars, you gotta have something super fast to really enjoy the Hot Wheels tracks to their fullest. Considering how I usually find the hypercars to be too fast to really enjoy on the roads, this feels like the perfect place to really open them up.
Outside of that though, the appeal of driving around in this DLC environment has been wearing off quickly. It isn't like the main map where I just love to cruise around, and it isn't really fun to explore as you're being herded around on the Hot Wheels tracks the entire time. Yeah you can go off them at some areas, but there isn't really any point in doing so, not much you can do off the tracks.
@Nightcrawler71 You can actually turn that off, somewhere in the options they added an option to disable needing to play through the story missions in order to progress. I thought the story missions were a real weak part of the main campaign as well, I like to drive my own cars and I didn't care for all the banter.
Have you played hotwheels unleashed? Its a great racer which does Hotwheels much better than this does.
Not that this is bad at all, Im having quite a blast now im using s2 vehicles, you kinda need those speeds to enjoy the tracks fully.
The story is meh, but I didnt really relate to it on the ground either.
There's plenty of content here for the money, and it looks great. I have a feeling though that once Im done Im not likely to return...
@Titntin Yeah, I actually own HW Unleashed, but on Switch, which may be why my experience with it was stifled.
I agree with you in regards to the need for speed in FH5 Hotwheels and having just started it over the weekend, it's just such a stark contrast going from S1 and 2 cars in H5's vanilla game, back to B class vehicles, but at least that provides a nice sense of progression.
There's a part of me that wishes that the first DLC was either famous car chases/races from cinema or even Micro Machines would have been cool. Regardless, More FH5 is always good.
Yeah its fantastic and worth the money, the feeling of speed is insane in it.
How does the handling differ from the main game? Is it totally different, ie more suited to a kart style racer?
@PanFriedSoup Thanks for the reply my freind. Im not aware of how unleashed is on the switch, I have the game on PS5, so weve probably had slightly different experiences. The boost technique you need in that game to powerslide around the courses adds an element of skill to that game that I completley missed in this DLC and the courses are designed with genuine peril, like the sideless tracks with fans trying to blow you off track. Theres also a lot more variety of pieces and hazards to face, and obviously, greater variety of environments.
Much as Ive enjoyed zooming round FH5 hotwheels, there is absolutely zero challange to it and Ive never failed a mission. Races tend to be me passing everyone in the first 10 seconds and not seeing them again, I dont feel like im in a race. Obviously, with 300 + cars in the garage, im likely to have any tool I need to win easily, but a bit more challange would help!
Im delighted this dlc got me back in the world again, and there's plenty to do for the cost and it looks fantastic. I just wish there was a little more peril, and that they introduced a boost technique unique to hotwheels vehicles so there was an incentive to use them, as there is no hotwheels vehicle in any class that isnt outclassed by other vehicles in your garage, so no incentive to use them other than looks.
Id rate this a solid 7/10, but I do feel a little more ambition and it would have been a 9. I hope everyone is enjoying it!
Haven't tried this yet but hearing plenty of people having a blast with it. Will definitely need to play it at some point but just finished As Dusk Falls and have to give that a round of applause. THAT'S how you tell a compelling story, loved it.
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