Announced at the Xbox and Bethesda showcase, the Forza Horizon 5: Hot Wheels the expansion was met with overwhelming positivity but also some criticism. Some series veterans immediately canceled it as developer Playground Games “retreading” the old ground. There was a similar crossover between franchises for Forza Horizon 3 in 2017.
Beyond the familiarity of it all, this first major expansion for Forza Horizon 5 is not so much a return. It’s a revitalization: going beyond what its predecessor did, and literally. Whereas Skyline 3the offshore map of the had subtly flown over a picturesque fictional archipelago, Skyline 5The new Hot Wheels Park will take players above the clouds of virtual Mexico to an all-new arena with captivating biomes and different types of tracks. Just by its pure concept, this is shaping up to be the craziest Horizon the Playground experience has not yet been prepared.
Miles, miles and miles…
124.27 miles – this is the total distance of the new roads that the new Hot Wheels park contains. Considering the base game is already an absurdly large 41 square miles in size, the two combined bring new meaning to the phrase “go big, or go home.”
The Hot Wheels Park map is made up of four distinct environments. They’re laid out in a web of wild serpentines, physics-defying loops, and massive jumps. Horizon Nexus serves as the starting point for the new festival location, as well as the focal point of the map that connects the other three sectors: Forest Falls, Giant’s Canyon, and Ice Cauldron. And these new biomes have quite an interesting set of features.
To go beyond
Each of these other three environments doesn’t just serve as a simple backdrop for the action, either. They are well integrated into the lane network through the use of elemental hazards merged into the lanes themselves. The overall experience serves to organize an ongoing series of events that are not only unique, but very different from what happened Horizon events have included – even those that are the basis of Skyline 5.
Forza Horizon 5The biggest feature of is its integration of environmental hazards into the gaming experience. Playground first introduced the game by showing the massive dust clouds found in the desert and the intense tropical storms that cover the jungle. and coastal areas of the game map.
The Hot Wheels park is nestled in the clouds, made up of its own new floating islands. It all serves as an epic fusion of Skyline 5the core DNA of and the madness of what the Hot Wheels franchise is known for.
Spills and Thrills
Really, this This is why the new expansion is so far removed from its predecessor. Playground has done a great job of capturing the high-octane action that Hot Wheels is known for, bringing toy play into the “real” world of Forza Horizon 3 without overdoing it. It was pretty reserved, throttling the action in a relatively small arena with minimal extras – even in terms of eye candy.
That said, the studio’s take on this concept fits better into Forza Horizon 5. Over-the-top action is exactly what Hot Wheels sets achieve in their commercials. The thrills, danger, and absurdity of it all finally seem to be truly captured in the expansion. It’s like comparing a swimming pool to a lake. The real icing on the cake: despite everything that will be included in the base package itself, it will also serve as a continuous stream of thrilling new creations.
Forza Horizon 5The next defining feature of is the scope of its EventLab toolset. The Super7 mode originally added to Forza Horizon 4 served as just a sampling of what players were able to achieve today with Skyline 5creative engine. From replicas of Japan’s iconic streets to more extreme concepts (like the one inspired by Erase tracks), the EventLab of Forza Horizon 5 served as the breeding ground for some seriously insanely fun ideas in the nine months the game has been on the market. Once Hot Wheels tracks are added to the mix, things will – understandably – heat up.
The interlocking mechanism of the real toys has been integrated into these virtual track pieces. Players will be able to build concepts just as wild (if not more so) than what the expansion itself seeks to achieve. Seeing as the EventLab has been made even more complex with features like gravity manipulation, sheer madness that some of the most talented people in the community will no doubt be thrown off balance.
What’s probably the best part about this particular factor is that while only extension owners will be able to to build Hot Wheels-themed creations, any player will be able to to access their. While this was undoubtedly decided in order to ensure full parity among the playerbase, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a secret reason behind it as well.
Especially in the case of Game Pass players who are just playing with the game out of minor interest or boredom, if they meddle with a few creations from the Hot Wheels community, they may very well be inspired to go out and grab the game and outright expansion.
So, in a way, community creations have the ability to serve as small, one-off demos for the full expansion, while also serving as a continuous stream of new content for returning players. Either way, it works in favor of engaging the game.
It goes without saying that I have very high hopes for this new expansion. I absolutely loved it Forza Horizon 3take in charge. Since the scaling level has been pushed well beyond 11, all that remains is to understand feeling exactly how it plays out. Forza Horizon 5 itself appealed to me far more than I had originally anticipated. Although very biased, I still expect the same result for the new Hot Wheels expansion.
Certainly, I understand the calls for something completely new and original. But there’s still a whole other expansion planned for the game later down the road. Even with just that, though, it’s likely going to introduce a whole new level of depth to the Forza Horizon 5 experience that will now be marked in the history of the series.