Forza Horizon 5 Rally Adventure is the latest expansion for the seminal Forza Horizon 5. Many fans felt confused that the series went back to a more grounded take for its expansion where rally takes the center stage instead of opting for a previous franchise mashup with Hot Wheels or Lego. And to me, it was the right move, that allowed the setting to really shine.
Developer & Publisher //
Platforms // PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
MSRP & Release Date //$19.99, May 29, 2023
Reviewed On // Xbox Series X
Welcome to Sierra Nueva
Similar to Forza Horizon’s Hot Wheels expansion, players can access the Rally Adventure map via the pause menu. However, to my surprise, I had to complete one quick event before I was able to access the expansion. After promptly completing it, I was transported to beautiful Sierra Nueva.
Let’s not beat around the bush, the location was absolutely stunning and the diverse biomes offered in Sierra Nueva kept things fresh. From the tree-littered mountains in this distance, palm tree forests, spiraling canyons, and dunes, all the vistas were absolutely breathtaking. I often find myself dozing off and just soaking in the sites of Sierra Nueva. I have to say racing on sand dunes was particularly impressive, as you would see the dunes deform as you drove over them.
Rally races are all about two things point-to-point racing and a co-driver to help you keep on track. Luckily Playground Games knocked it out of the park here when comes to both aspects. Point-to-point races aren’t anything new in Forza Horizon. There are checkpoints and split gates that you have to pass through and it compares your times to Drivatars from your Xbox friend list in true Forza fashion. I have to admit it was nice to see my timings sometimes pass the likes of Xbox head Phil Spencer. Surprisingly, P3 played a lot of the new expansion and very thoroughly combed through the entirety of Sierra Nueva.
Rally Adventure pretty much nailed the rally vibes. From the race launches to the hilarious co-driver voices, Playground didn’t miss a beat when it came to the rally presentation you would expect to see in other games like Dirt and Colin McRae Racing.
The instructions belted out by your co-driver were voiced well and precisely kept you on track. I quickly learned the rally lingo in no time. My favorite co-driver instruction is when they warned me about chickens crossing the race path, which is hilarious, but also caused anxiety as I tried to avoid running over the little critters.
If point-to-point doesn’t interest you then Rally Adventure does offer players choices if they prefer a traditional race with opponent racers on the tracks. However, I would advise removing driving and braking lines when competing in point-to-point rally races as it immensely adds to the rally experience and immersion.
Some Criticisms of Rally Adventure
Though there are some slight criticisms worth mentioning. The helicopter that follows you during races would sometimes blow dust in front of you which would impair your vision. Additionally, if the helicopter would fly low to you, its droning motors would drown out all other sounds which were a bit annoying.
Lastly, I would have preferred to see more fans present at turns and move out of the way as they do in real rally races. But for the most part, Rally Adventure was on point when it comes to its presentation and the high standards we’ve become accustomed to in Forza Horizon 5.
3 Rally Teams to Rule Them All
Forza Horizon 5 Rally Adventure offers players the to join 3 different rally teams. The teams are called: Horizon Raptors, Apex Predators, and Grit Reapers. Each team has its own theme and competition. For instance, the Grit Reapers’ events took place at night. They easily became my favorite because their logo looks awesome and who doesn’t enjoy a good night rally?
Easy to Follow Progression
Each team had its own free mini-battle pass that unlock goodies. Unlockables include cars, driver cosmetics, custom car horns, and more. Though I do wish there were more cars available in the expansion as only 10 new cars are available.
One thing I definitely appreciated was the ease of navigating what to do in Rally Adventure. In other words, it’s easy to follow what race/challenge you had to complete next. It’s a far cry from the Hot Wheels expansion sometimes was difficult to follow what to do next. It looks like Playground Games learned its lessons and made the Rally Adventure an intuitive and easy-to-follow experience. All in all, it took around 4 hours to complete all of the major race events.
Final Thoughts on Forza Horizon 5 Rally Adventure
Forza Horizon 5 Rally Adventure is a wonderfully realized expansion. From the breathtaking vistas to the immersive rally vibes, the latest DLC adds to the Forza Horizon experience. And that’s precisely what expansions should do. Some might be disappointed that there is no franchise tie-in. However, Sierra Nueva is guaranteed to leave a positive impression.
Forza Horizon 5 Rally Adventure is available now for $19.99 on Xbox consoles and PC.