IT is no secret that I have been excited for the Hot Wheels-themed expansion for Microsoft’s open-world racing game Forza Horizon 5, and from the moment my wheels hit that memorable orange track I was blown away – I felt like a child on Christmas morning!
Everywhere you look, there is something spectacular to see – from gravity defying loops, lava pools and motorised dragons, you will find something to make you say “wow”.
What A Ride
(Racing across the varied terrain of Mexico in the newest Hot Wheels cars added to Forza Horizon 5)
The opening races are always something I look forward to in Forza Horizon and this Hot Wheels race was on point. In true Forza Horizon fashion, the game dumps you straight into the throws of the game – giving a taste of what is in store for the rest of the game.
The tracks guide your vehicle across the new four biomes that span across a snowy Ice Cauldron, the abundant green Forest Falls, the fiery molten lava in Giant’s Canyon; and the Horizon Nexus which completes the park as the home of the local Horizon festival.
Do yourself a favour: put on a good pair of headphones and immerse yourselves in this opening montage race – It truly was the best introduction I’ve experienced in any racing game. My Xbox Series X flexed harder than ever before in this game and it is safe to say I am obsessed.
(Race across the campaign solo or co-op, selecting from the 10 new vehicles in the lineup)
It’s a never-ending adventure, featuring Forza Horizon’s fastest, most extreme, gravity-defying tracks. I particularly love the new types of tracks which include magnetic and air tracks.
These racing surfaces offer varying driving experiences which add depth to the exhilarating races. Beware of your speed though, as you can put too much downforce on the magnetic tracks and be launched across the map. The loops and cross overs can be mindboggling with even some drivatars getting confused, however at the speeds you’re going there is no time to care – it’s all about you and the track.
Become A Legend
(The many twists and turns Hot Wheels have to offer)
The Horizon story is revamped as the DLC sees you rise through the ranks in the Hot Wheels academy to become a Legend. You begin as a Rookie and work your way up by earning medals through a series of specific major and minor missions that task you with completing races, PR stunts, unique challenges, and more.
As I completed more of the story, I gained access to the faster cars in the collection but could use B class vehicles available from the outset. The progression is satisfying and I also felt all the more motivated to complete as many things as possible thanks to unlockable rewards such as vehicles and Hot Wheels-themed clothing. I also enjoyed the Hot Wheels history that was woven into the missions.
(The stunning 2021 Hennessey Venom F5)
My favourite vehicle by far, is the 2021 Hennessey Venom F5 . It packs 8,000rpm and 1,193 lb-ft of torque, making for one thrilling ride across both the Hot Wheels tracks and the streets of Mexico. With the 1,800+ horsepower I found myself not wanting to drive anything else. To unlock this car, I had to discover every road in Hot Wheels Park.
The Hot Wheels DLC in Forza Horizon 5 is what childhood dreams are made of, it’s a whimsical, adrenaline fueled, wonderland made for young and old. With so much to do and the significant upgrade from the previous Forza Horizon 3 Hot Wheels Expansion, this game will be loved by Forza Horizon players both new and returning.