With the Horizon festival heating up, out in the outskirts of Colorado is the first Horizon Rally Championship. So has Microsoft pushed Colin McRae off his perch and made this open-world racer top dog? Let's power-slide into this latest DLC and go for a spin.
If you fell that you need more racing fun, Turn 10 and Playground Games brings their take on the rally world with this first expansion pack for Forza Horizon. The first thing you will notice is that you can select the rally events from the main menu of the game, and with that, events can be selected and started right away, which leaves you without the need to ride around Colorado to start a rally event. The way in which this DLC is accessed feels rather out of place and a little weird, as you jump from event to event without getting the chance to explore a new section of the world. So away from the busy streets you arrive at a dirt road full of the opportunity to take the rally championship finals and take the championship crown, but first you must race through seven different rally events, with each event divided into four legs of against-the-clock racing.
Once you get the feel of the new rally cars and tracks you soon begin to easily progress towards the championship finals. Each new track is unlocked as soon as a rally event is completed, regardless of your performance. Doing well in each rally event however is really important if you want to get to the finals, and it’s worth noting that there can be a jump in difficulty spikes along the way that can frustrate you at times, even when playing on normal mode.
Even on the normal setting the AI driver’s times are pretty tough to beat, which is certainly a welcome challenge. To really understand how you are doing on the track is somewhat misplaced too, because you are racing along the track, against the clock, and only once past a checkpoint will you know how you are faring. What surprised me with this content is that you have a co-driver that actually tells you what’s coming up on the track instead of the GPS you have in the main game.
There are very little new cars to drive in this DLC pack. Even though you are able to convert your entire garage into rally form, this doesn’t help boost the appeal with having only five rally cars to buy and play with. This DLC feels somewhat disconnected from the rest of Forza Horizon. Nothing you do in this DLC really effects your overall career as you would expect it would. You can make some decent money in Horizon Rally, to put towards your overall Horizon career, but nothing you do in the DLC furthers your progress in the main game or change anything that goes on in it.
So is the expansion pack worth the 1600 Microsoft points? Well if you want to have a couple of new tracks, some new cars and access to some new multiplayer rally events, then this content may be for you. But for me I feel that there is more you can spend your 1600 points on. Playground Games have made a decent attempt to bring the rally experience to Forza Horizon, but sadly they have let things slide, by not integrating the events into the main game, leaving you feel a little disjointed from the main career mode.