Forza Horizon 3: Hot Wheels Review
Playground Games has unleashed it’s second (and likely final) expansion for Forza Horizon 3, and it brings a corkscrew-like twist to Forza that I doubt anyone could have predicted: Hot Wheels. That’s right, one of video games premier racing franchises has been blended with the wild world of Hot Wheels and the result is just incredible. Honestly, if you love Forza Horizon 3 and/or played with Hot Wheels as a kid – just go buy this expansion already – it’s that good. If you need a little more convincing, buckle up and come along for a ride!
The Hot Wheels expansion takes place on an island off the coast of Australia. I didn’t bother checking an encyclopedia, but I’m pretty sure Hot Wheels island doesn’t exist (however, if you’re reading this while living on Hot Wheels island, please send me a postcard). Much like the Blizzard Mountain expansion that came before it, Hot Wheels expansion takes place in a separate area with a separate progression structure from the main game – although, all the experience and cars you earn will transfer back to Australia with you. You’re once again accompanied by Kiera, Warren and your onboard navigator Anna – and they’ll do what they can to make the transition from slightly realistic racing to over-the-top Hot Wheels racing as smooth as possible. I need to take a quick moment to give props to whoever wrote the dialog for Kiera and Warren for this Hot Wheels expansion – some of the comments were pretty damn funny!
“You’ll race through loops, corkscrews, half-pipes and more – not unlike the Hot Wheels sets you could buy at the toy store”
Make no mistake about it; this is the best video game incarnation of Hot Wheels, ever. The tracks are comprised of iconic blue and orange snap together tracks! You’ll race through loops, corkscrews, half-pipes and more – not unlike the Hot Wheels sets you could buy at the toy store. Boost pads are scattered everywhere and will propel you to incredible speeds – these are some of the fasted moments the Forza franchise has ever provided. There are plenty of massive jumps, usually placed after a boost pad, and often they’ll include burning rings of fire to navigate through. You’ll also have a few encounters with a prehistoric menace – which was a very cool touch. The actual race events are identical to that which you’d find in the Forza Horizon 3 – just designed to take full advantage of the Hot Wheels style. To top it off, you’ll also get access to some of Hot Wheels classic vehicles like the Boneshaker.
While this expansion deserves a ton of praise for what it provides, it’s not without its flaws. And even though these flaws are pretty minor – they’re worth noting. The classic Hot Wheels vehicles look awesome, but they’re lacking in the performance compared to some of Horizon 3’s best vehicles. I often found myself picking non-Hot Wheels cars while racing, especially in multiplayer. Most of the set pieces, like the loops and corkscrews, are awesome and work exactly as you’d imagine – except the half-pipes. For some reason, the half-pipes just feel awkward – for example, if you slide too far up either side, you’ll fall off the track, even if it looks like you have plenty of track left to drive on. Finally, races often lead up to towering heights, yet some of the tracks are lacking any side rails which can result in accidental falls. Falling off during single player is an easy fix, just rewind time and get back at it. However, falling off the track during multiplayer almost guarantees you’ll lose – since you’ll respawn at a previous checkpoint, and usually way too far back to get back in the race.
“Turn 10 deserves serious props for the way they’ve handled the games post-release content”
Forza Horizon 3 is an outstanding game already (need proof, check out our review), but the dev team deserves serious props for the way they’ve handled the games post-release content. The Blizzard Mountain expansion was enjoyable, but this Hot Wheels expansion takes the game to a whole new level. I can say without any doubt; this Hot Wheels expansion is absolutely worth every nickel. The inclusion of the classic Hot Wheels vehicles, the massive iconic orange loops and corkscrews liberally applied throughout the tracks, the intense speed boosts followed by huge jumps – almost everything has been crafted in near perfect detail to provide the best Hot Wheels experience in gaming. If Playground Games announced that their next game was entirely Hot Wheels – basically this expansion but on a larger scale – I would not hesitate pre-ordering it for a second.
*** Forza Horizon 3 and the Expansion Pass was provided by the publisher ***
- Excellent use of the Hot Wheels license
- Some awesome track designs
- Cool collection of classic Hot Wheels cars
- Half-pipes seem broken
- Hot Wheels cars seem underpowered
- Too easy to fall off high heights