Every child has a favorite toy they enjoy playing with for hours, unleashing their minds with imaginative scenarios that allow them to see themselves in a whole new light. For some children, these toys are Barbie dolls that allow them to pretend they have fancy clothes and extravagant makeup. For others, it’s platoons of army men who inspire kids to see themselves as daring action heroes.
To me, those toys were Hot Wheels. Many of my childhood afternoons were spent carefully assembling race tracks and racing the iconic miniature cars, imagining what it would be like if I was in the driver’s seat one. I loved pretending my custom routes were scenic drives through huge mountain ranges or winding roads through futuristic cities, even though in reality they were just pieces of plastic on my bedroom floor. . I also had a sizable collection of cars, always keeping them safe in a blue Hot Wheels carrying case whenever I wasn’t using them.
I haven’t thought about my Hot Wheels in a long time, but when I was offered the chance to try out Forza Horizon 5’s Hot Wheels DLC, my memories of them came flooding back. And while playing with digitally recreated versions of the cars and tracks I loved as a kid, it’s not enough likewise, this expansion nevertheless felt like a blast from the past.
Forza Horizon 5: Hot Wheels takes players into the clouds, unleashing them on the fantastic new Horizon Hot Wheels Park which features multiple unique biomes and over 120 miles of track. The verdant forest filled with waterfalls of Forest Falls and the colossal rocky Giant’s Canyon remind me of the exotic places I imagined my Hot Wheels tracks in, and the Ice Cauldron, a unique region of tundra that gives way to pools of lava in fusion. in several places, is absolutely beautiful. There’s also Horizon Nexus, a central festival site that connects to all the other biomes and features plenty of bright orange tracks that Hot Wheels fans know and love.
In addition to these classic Hot Wheels roads, there are also other types of tracks throughout the Horizon Hot Wheels park that will shake up your racing experience. Magnetic silver tracks allow for gravity-defying loops and corkscrews, while water channels increase your speed as you traverse their currents. There are also a handful of treacherous tracks, including frozen roads that test your vehicle’s traction and rough and bumpy sections of paths that threaten to send you out of control. There are even boost pads dotted around the map that you can use for massive speed boosts, which daring stunt masters will no doubt find plenty of great uses for.
The new map makes me feel like my childhood imagination came to life and I had a lot of fun roaming it freely. You also have the option to play through a wide variety of “Hot Wheels Academy” missions, challenges and events, progress to Expert level and unlock 10 new cars (four of which are authentic recreations of Hot Wheels cars). Wheels) as well as a variety of smaller cosmetic items. Of these missions, my favorite were the Horizon Story missions which explore the history of the Hot Wheels brand, as I learned interesting facts about my favorite childhood toys that I might never have discovered otherwise.
The expansion also brings additional content to Forza Horizon 5’s creation toolkit, EventLab. The developers at Playground Games have given players the ability to create custom race tracks with 80 different types of snap-on track parts – just like how you can mix and match parts from real Hot Wheels sets. It’s incredibly exciting to think what Forza’s passionate community will put together with this feature, especially since EventLab includes some of the wackiest track types in the DLC. I look forward to playing the courses players are doing in the future (maybe I’ll even create some of my own too).
Overall, the entire Hot Wheels DLC made me quite nostalgic, and I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting some of my fondest childhood memories while playing it. Gone are the days of playing with my Hot Wheels collection for hours without a care in the world, but when I’m accelerating around huge loops of loops at breakneck speeds in a 2000 Hot Wheels Deora II, I can’t stop. to stop feeling like a kid again.
Forza Horizon 5: Hot Wheels is available now on Xbox, PC, and Xbox Cloud Gaming, either as a $20 standalone purchase or as part of Forza Horizon 5’s $50 Premium Add-on Bundle (it’s currently on sale for $40). You need the base game to play it, which we highly recommend you pick up as it’s easily one of the best xbox games available now.