Forza Horizon 5’s 2nd expansion is here, Rally Adventure. A “love letter” to the sport of Rally Racing, this is a more grounded expansion than the Hot-Wheels-themed first. Is it worth visiting the new map, Sierra Nueva? Let’s hit the dunes, smash through the forests, and visit the gorgeous vistas to find out.
Rally Adventure is a more focused, and cleaner version of the rally racing found in the base game. There is nothing fantastical or over the top here for the majority of its content. You will go around a big map and do Forza Horizon things. Smashing billboards, winning races, competing for stars in the various drift and speed zones, and more are all taken straight from the base title. The new map is gorgeous, featuring some of the best horizons in the series yet. A new feature is an improved deformation tech for soft surfaces. The marks you’ll leave behind on the sand are prettier than ever and add to the lived-in feeling of each track. There are six biomes in total, and they offer a variety of looks as you drift your way into Rally Heaven.
Things start out as they always do in Forza Horizon. You’ll race your way through the new map with a guided tour featuring sharp turns and incredible jumps. At this point, things differ and you’ll choose from one of three starting teams. You have one focused on Rally Racing, another on Night Time Driving, and a third called Apex that spends more time on the road than in the mud. Each team has a linear progression path that offers up a mix of car and customization item rewards that you will easily earn as you progress through each race. Every race victory opens up the next race and potentially some side objectives like speed zones to complete. It is a clear progression system that carries over the improvements found in the Hot Wheels DLC.
One of the best new additions is the punk station, Epitaph Records. Hearing The Offspring in a racing game is always a good time, and they do not disappoint here. There are fifteen songs in total and I kept the station playing for my entire playthrough. Car-wise there are ten new vehicles, including the Ford F-150 Lightning Platinum electric truck, and a 1973 Hoonigan Volkswagon Baja Beetle among many more. Most of the cars and many cosmetics are earned through the career mode progression system and it feels like a more catered selection to the vehicles than the typical bloat found in Forza games.
Gameplay wise the biggest change is the rally-style turn call-outs. There are three team leaders, whom you will have to beat in their final team challenges, and each will call out the turns and hazards in every racing event. I chose to turn the driving line off and relied on my eyes and their call-outs. It felt far more exciting and engaging than I typically find Forza Horizon races. These options along with minimal use of the replay system put weight into every choice that I normally avoid. First-person mode is chaos will all the bumps and turns and I absolutely loved it.
The community creation labs kit returns, and while there wasn’t a ton to test out early on I think it’s safe to assume that within a few months’ time, there will be a lot of user-generated content available. I did the default settings for most races and kept to my favorite Hoonigan Ford Focus Rally car. Chomping through the palm forest, where every tree is destructible filled me with a giddy glee as I perpetrated a crime against nature I would never do in real life.
The expansion pass is $30 on its own, and available for those who purchased the Gold Edition/Upgrade of the original release. You can also buy this expansion outright for $20. We were provided a Gold Edition review code back in late October 2021, which is how I was able to review this expansion. Playing on a Series X in performance mode the game looks better than ever. The new deformation tech offers up a more natural look to the tracks left behind by your vehicle than the game had previously done.
Wrapping Things Up
Rally Adventure is grounded expansion. Those aren’t typically my favorite in the Horizon series, but this one is the exception. I’m still not a huge fan of the chatter from the NPCs but every other part of this expansion is top-notch. If you love the base game, this is more of it in a better-than-ever package.
Forza Horizon 5: Rally Adventure
Xbox Series X
- Stunning Looks
- Excellent Progression System
- Lots To Do
- Solid Seleciton of New Vehicles
- NPC Chatter
- Not really “new”