The Forza Horizon Rally Expansion has been out for a few days now, so is it any good? Here’s what we think so far.
Image Credit: Playground Games
All the way back in December of 2012, Playground Games released the first of many expansion packs for its Forza Horizon games. Focusing on the sport of rallying, it totally changed the original Colorado map and placed players on challenging rally stages.
Bringing countless off-roading modifications for a great variety of cars and a feature implementing pace notes on competitive stages, it was a rally fan’s dream.
Since then, Horizon fans have looked back fondly on the original days of Horizon Rally wishing for a new version. That day is finally here as, just this week, we saw the latest expansion pack for Forza Horizon 5 drop. The new Horizon Rally goes one step further than its predecessor and adds a whole new map area to the game along with plenty of events and a full story mode.
This second expansion for the game certainly follows in the footsteps of its older sibling. But does it live up to the hype? Here’s all you need to know about Horizon Rally.
An Impressive Story Mode
If you ever grew tired of the do whatever you want approach to the Forza Horizon 5 story mode, you aren’t unique. Many fans of the series have long complained about its gradual descent towards a sandbox feel compared to the original title. For many, it seems like the fifth instalment in the series lacks any sense of progression whilst cars and other items are handed to you for minimal effort.
It seems the team behind the games is hearing the community’s concerns. Both the Hot Wheels expansion and Rally Adventure packs have implemented greater progression into their stories. The latter is even seemingly closer to the story mode as seen in the beloved first Horizon title.
After completing the traditional ‘Expedition’ as the Horizon team sets up the Badlands Festival site, you get introduced to the three teams with which you will compete in Horizon Rally. The three teams enter you in their specialist disciplines of racing. Apex Predators race on tarmac in Road Rally. Horizon Raptors tackle gravel paths in Dirt Rally. Finally, Grit Reapers require the spotlight of the team captain’s helicopter in Night Rally.
The gist of the career is as follows. Win races and complete challenges in each of the three disciplines as part of their respective teams to gain reputation. Once you reach the highest reputation level, it’s time to take on each team’s Ambassador. Win the race and you get their unique car. Win all three Ambassador head-to-head races and you’ll gain access to the Horizon Badlands Goliath. Wining Goliath will get you the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Platinum.
Overall, this is a refreshing approach to a Horizon career. You can’t rock up to the festival and race in any car class you wish. There’s a build up from being a newcomer to taking on the top dogs. This way, players have things to aspire to on the Horizon. Do excuse the pun.
Horizon Rally Map in Review
Part of the latest Rally expansion for Forza Horizon 5 is a new map. Dubbed Sierra Nueva, meaning ‘new mountains,’ it has the same overall look to the main-game map. But driving it is a very different experience. With large crests and dips, it’s clear to see what the developers and designers had in mind when putting this area together.
Every road in Sierra Nueva feels like a rally stage in itself. The region features flowing curves, plenty of elevation change and a perfect mix between tarmac and gravel surfaces.
The whole thing revolves around the main Horizon Festival, which is easily accessible from all four corners of this new world. The Festival is best compared as a mix between the main game’s Wilds and Street Scene festival sites. In fact, it has the same trendy style as Street Scene all whilst displaying the rugged nature of Wilds, as one would expect from a rally-centric camp.
Although the map looks great, it does have its down sides. In particular, as eluded to above, it doesn’t take long to get around it. One minute you’re in the Quarry in the South West. The next, you’ve traversed the whole region and are racing down the runway in the North East beside the Reserva Del Carrizo lake. In total, there are just 32 roads to discover making up 61km. In comparison, the whacky Hot Wheels pack has 200km of roads with 175 discoverable strips of tarmac.
The Forza Horizon Rally expansion brings some really good features, including its main racing mode. Predictably called rally, it removes other cars from your line of sight and instead races like a rally game.
Watch your competitors head off one-by-one, line up at the start, focus on the marshall’s countdown and blast off on your stage. Instead of racing side-by-side, you are racing against the clock. The HUD only tells you where you are versus your competitors at a handful of key gates on the course.
This game mode switches things up compared to the standard game. But the action factor certainly disappears when you remove the cars around you. This is especially the case when the AI feels set to let you win come the end of a race. One might compare it to main-game showcases. As a result, you may find yourself returning to the standard race mode in which you can get your elbows out on the fantastic new race courses.
Is Horizon Rally any Good?
As a whole, the latest Forza Horizon 5 Expansion is a very good addition to the main game, especially for rally fans. It genuinely recreates a popular, yet intricate corner of the motorsport world and makes it fun.
That being said, the map can feel small at times and the new racing mode is certainly catered towards diehard rally fans. Those that enjoy the vast openness of the main game and its hectic racing style may tire of this niche approach to the Horizon series fairly quickly.
If you have the Forza Horizon 5 Rally Expansion, what do you make of it? Tell us by sending a tweet @OverTake_gg or leave a comment down below!