Forza Horizon 5 Hot Wheels not what we
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Forza Horizon 5: Hot Wheels – not what we expected, but good too. review

played on Xbox series S

The Hot Wheels add-on for Forza Horizon 5 uses the same trick as the main game. The very first race is a spectacular attraction that demonstrates in a short time the main “chips”, a map divided into three regions with completely different atmospheres, all kinds of loops and other elements of tracks never seen before in the Mexican region. As one of the characters says, this is the largest amusement park in the world – there was a place for a lot of entertainment, although the idea of ​​​​DLC does not seem very exciting.

New vacation

This is not the first collaboration between the developers of Forza Horizon and the Hot Wheels brand – the third part had a similar addition. It’s not currently available, but fans of toy cars that ride on plastic tracks with fences can return to this world of children’s imaginations and race in a way that regular Forza Horizon 5 can’t. The further you drive through the so-called career, the more peculiarities of the routes you see: either you drive along hydraulic channels, then you go through ice sections where the car skids and you easily lose traction, then you drive through air sections or zones with accelerators.

    The design of the local cars is excellent

The design of the local cars is excellent

The game still looks amazing, and the variety of biomes enhances its beauty every time. From a snowy place with ice-covered hills we move to the jungle with waterfalls, and from there to a canyon with cacti. Tracks designed for Hot Wheels cars are built above ground, and underneath are either levels or chasms that will automatically propel you to a higher place after falling down. So that There is both classic races, on dirt or snow, and only possible in this add-on – with high-flying tracks from which it is almost impossible to get off.

In a game where freedom is one of the main assets, fenced tracks feel a bit alien. Partly for this reason, the announcement of the addition didn’t excite the public – audiences expected otherwise. But the authors tried to make the gameplay as exciting as in the original Forza Horizon 5, including scattering familiar entertainment around the map: there are high-speed sections, drift zones, danger signs, and prize booths. Collectibles also include balloons in the shape of the Horizon mascot – you need to perform tricks to pop them.

But in Mexico that was impossible!

Unlike the usual “Forza” where you take any car and do all the races with it contract, in Hot Wheels the progression system is different. First you get a class B car and are asked to pass a qualifying race. Then you’ll be accepted into Hot Wheels Academy and given the rank of Rookie, after which you’ll have to pass tests and earn medals. As you advance to the next rank, new entertainments appear on the map, and at the same time more powerful cars of the highest categories become available.

Again, this isn’t quite the usual approach, but thanks to the varied gameplay and constant surprises, these limitations don’t bother you in the slightest. On the contrary – if you try to get a cooler car in the usual “Force” right away, then the player gets the opportunity to try out weaker specimens that he would otherwise not even consider. But it must be said that without tuning, winning some races on the usual difficulty level is almost impossible – and unless you want to fiddle with the settings yourself, there’s nothing stopping you from loading other people’s custom mods. The main thing is that the category of the car does not change, otherwise the races cannot start at all.

    It's even somehow unusual to drive on tracks that aren't hanging in the air

It’s even somehow unusual to drive on tracks that aren’t hanging in the air

Freedom for drivers!

“Stories” have also migrated here from the main game – as you race from point to point in a special racing series, documentary characters tell you the story of Hot Wheels: who and when came up with the idea of ​​making such toys, as they were painted , and so forth. In some places it looks more like an advertisement and a text written by marketers, but still, even players who are far from this topic can learn a lot of interesting things.

At the same time, it is particularly noticeable in the story races that the closed routes do not go so well with the usual gameplay. You can’t cut corners, there aren’t many opportunities to overtake, and the easiest way to negotiate sharp corners is by side-impacting a wall. And because the tracks are polished to a high gloss, most of the races don’t have the beloved driving experience on stones or dirt – the cars practically “stick” to the road.

    Most challenges require you to win races on Experienced difficulty or get three stars in other activities.

Most challenges require you to win races on Experienced difficulty or get three stars in other activities.

The authors rely on extreme routes – either you drive into a loop, the road bends, or you generally have to jump over a chasm at high speed. In this context, a score counter for the Overload technique was added and with it something like an artificial horizon that shows what slope your car is driving. If the angle is large, the speed is maximum and you don’t collide with anything, you get bonus points for buying passive bonuses. A very small innovation (and judging by the reviews, many people prefer to turn off the sights – it doesn’t depend on the player anyway), but thanks to it, and thanks to the design of the tracks in general, the total score counter is growing even faster than in normal races in Forza Horizon 5.

***

Hot Wheels is a good first expansion. It limited the freedom to race and explore the map, but retained the other virtues of Forza Horizon 5. The race is just as exciting, the entertainment is very diverse and the scenery is still insanely beautiful. Not exactly what we were expecting, but as a prelude to a major expansion (it’s going to be massive, right?), the DLC does a good job and is a further reminder of why Forza Horizon remains one of the best racing games today.

Advantages:

  • spacious map with three different biomes;
  • a variety of entertainment – migrated both from the fifth part and from new ones;
  • the races that tell the story of Hot Wheels are surprisingly entertaining;
  • The tracks are full of unique elements like hydro channels, boosters and loops, which makes the races exciting.

Defects:

  • sometimes you miss the free ride of the usual Forza Horizon 5;
  • Fences along the edges of the track limit racing opportunities.

graphic

Still one of the most beautiful racing games – you always want to take screenshots (sorry, they’re mostly blurry).

sound

Everything is as before, except that it is possible to filter out the sounds that cars drive on different surfaces. They’ve been particularly successful in metal areas where the car magnetizes on the road.

single player game

Like the main game, the expansion is a great solo experience pitting your friends against the Dryvatars on Xbox Live.

Estimated travel time

From 12 to 15 hours for a complete cleaning of the card.

collective game

For the first time in the series, all races are instantly playable in co-op. Otherwise everything is as before.

overall impression

A nice addition to a great game. Not what I’d like, but as a seed ahead of a bigger DLC – that’s it.

Rating: 8.0/10

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About the author

Alan Foster

Alan Foster covers computers and games and all the news in the gaming industry.

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