The LEGO expansion of the previous part might be confusing, but in reality it has been 6 years since Hot Wheels arrived in the Playground Games saga. Now, with the new Forza Horizon 5 expansion, orange tracks, loops, and hot rods are back.

The first of the two expansions coming to Forza Horizon 5 is no small addition, in fact it almost delivers another game, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that all fans of racing in Mexico will like it. The new map and cars also bring a new way of driving.

A new way to drive

Perhaps what I miss most about Forza Horizon 5: Hot Wheels is the toy franchise itself. On one hand, its story borders on advertising more than once. I appreciate the oddities and acknowledge that I didn’t know the story behind the toy cars, but it walks a line I would have preferred to avoid.

On the other hand, its orange tracks are not only the main complement of this DLC, but also a paradigm shift in terms of gameplay. What was total freedom in Mexico, here are labyrinthine routes that can be a bit claustrophobic for the explorer and cross-country fanatic.

The reward for this lack is free fast travel, which can instantly take you to any race – we hardly remember the advances in load times this generation has – but also to fast-paced courses where only running counts. Perhaps that’s why it’s the brief introduction and final supercar track that you enjoy the most.

When the game calls for hairpin turns and there’s a lot more than you might expect, the new plastic lane physics make it very difficult to adjust to the required speed. Even the throttle and brake guide that tells you how to corner is wrong when it says to start braking much later than you should.

Thanks to the magnetic tracks and additions like bumps, turbos, and ice zones, jumping from one track type to another is almost constant, so there’s never a dull moment in another race. It’s a delight when you get one of these tracks that mixes jumps with loops and then takes you to the jaws of a dragon.

ForzaHorizon 5

I have better memories of the dinosaur from the previous expansion, but either way, it’s still a great Hot Wheels feature without the necessary presence. The shark biting the track, the monkey dropping a truck full of cars… There’s room for some jumps that could be a lot more spectacular.

The mission structure is very clear, there are many pieces for the creative mode, challenges waiting to be unlocked to get new cars and cosmetics, and the always juicy challenge of completing all the stars of each challenge and race.

If it takes you a few afternoons to get by, you might stretch your gum for a handful of hours if you go all out. However, remember that it’s not the same Forza Horizon you just played. If you don’t have a Special Edition or the Season Pass, you can get this expansion for 19.99 euros in the Xbox Store. $17.99 if you’re a Game Pass member.