Forza Horizon 5 Rally Adventure Expansion Is Good, But Not Perfect

Forza Horizon 5 Rally Adventure Expansion Is Good, But Not Perfect

The developers at Playground games have once again bestowed an expansion upon us. This time, we’re going back to the series’ roots to Rally Adventures. Long-time players will remember the original Rally expansion. I sure do. I hated it. So, how does the latest Forza Horizon 5 Rally Adventure expansion ($19.99, if you already have the Forza Horizon 5 base game) stack up?


The reason why I hated the original rally expansion was that the game had gone from being fun and open and anything you wanted, to this rigid series of races with a high difficulty level. It was like the opposite of the Horizon festival, and it’s the only part of the original game I didn’t finish.

Rally Adventures has learned from that and improved in many ways. You’re not forced to rally, you can do normal races, but also the rally narration is more fun. You really do feel like you’re racing with a friend, and I always get a kick out of Alex telling me there are chickens on the road.

I do wish it was more traditional rallying, where you have a co-pilot with a map in the car, rather than a disembodied voice coming from a helicopter. I understand the challenges of animating another character in the car would probably have broken some things, and it’s not a deal breaker. But it would have been nice.

Another thing that irked me is that the difficulty levels seem off. On the main island I usually race in the Unbeatable difficulty, sometimes dropping down to Highly Skilled if we’re going up a big hill, because the AI doesn’t seem to notice hills on Unbeatable. In Rally Adventures, I had to drop down to Average or Above Average. This is good and bad. It’s good, because it means there’s more growing room. It’s bad because it’s clearly a completely different difficulty scale to the main campaign which does give you a bit of whiplash at first.

But, there are ten new cars that are fun to play with, in a new style of racing, on new roads and tracks, and they’re a lot of fun once you adjust. The Hoonigan Beetle is a highlight, and worth the expansion on its own.

Forza Horizon 5 Rally Adventure is set in Sierra Nueva

Forza Horizon 5 Rally Adventure screenshot
Image: Microsoft

The best part of Rally Adventures is the new Sierra Nueva part of the world. There technically aren’t a lot of roads (just 32), but there is so much to explore, and roads are always optional in Horizon anyway. It’s a world of a manageable size, with so much to discover, like deep canyons, interesting quarries, and little bends in the road that will take players ages to fully master.

While I wish there was more to actually find while exploring, it’s a solid new area to introduce. And is the absolute star of the show.

Progression and is it enough?

I really like the balance that the developers struck with the progression in Rally Adventures. The Hot Wheels incremental progression was good, but felt like it came from a much more linear game. It made sense for that expansion, but it didn’t feel like Horizon because it was too gated.

At the same time, progression in the main game can seem overwhelming. There’s too much all the time and there isn’t enough structure (beyond the pointless grind of the weekly playlists to keep you subscribed to Game Pass). Again, this is one of my favourite games ever, but even I get a bit overwhelmed when I look at a newly fully unlocked map and don’t know where to start, knowing it will never be fully finished because this is a game without an ending now.

In Rally Adventures you’re given a little bit at a time, but enough that you feel like you have choices, as you unlock the three teams. Then, once all three are unlocked, you can go back to playing in the open world, lots of options, you don’t really have to race kind of way we’re so used to in the base game.

For an expansion, there is enough content there to justify the spend. There is not as much as I wanted, but I think what I wanted was a whole new game in this game so then I could play forever, and that’s not really realistic. This is the right size for a solid expansion, it’s just hard to go back to a balanced diet after living at an all-you-can-eat buffet for two years.

I would have liked better rewards, though. They were a bit lame. Sure, adventure is its own reward, but sometimes rewards are their own rewards, too.

Forza Horizon 5 Rally Adventure verdict

Forza Horizon 5 Rally Adventure screenshot
Image: Microsoft

This review has been weirdly hard to write, because I love it, but it’s not perfect, and I didn’t like parts of it for nonsensical reasons when the things I didn’t like were completely solid. Rally Adventures is an extremely good expansion that made me finally enjoy rallying after complaining about the mere concept of it for over a decade, which is pretty impressive.

It’s not the strongest expansion to hit the Horizon festival, it’s not as flashy as almost any other expansion since Horizon 2. I think it would have been cooler if they went for the traditional weather-themed exploration expansion where we got to hunt for treasure chests during a volcanic eruption or something. Part of the problem is that the Hot Wheels expansion set the bar high for what to expect from the creativity of an expansion, whereas Rally Adventures is just what’s available on the main game, but with narration.

But for a rally expansion, it’s great. Wonderful. Rally fans will love it, and people who wanted more of the same from Horizon will love it. It’s an absolute must play for people who have ever enjoyed a Forza Horizon game. Just don’t set your expectations too high.


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