It happened as expected – the Steam counter shows I have already spent 224 hours playingForza Horizon 5 (while I still have a lot of questions about the game). Therefore, of course, I was waiting for the release of the DLC. I waited back in December when usually the first additions to the Forza Horizon games are released. I waited in January… February and March fell out the calendar for obvious reasons, so I continued to wait for DLC in April. And finally, when the delay became, to put it mildly, outrageous (usually the second expansion of the game should be released in the summer), Playground Games issued an addition to the judgement of players. So meet Forza Horizon 5: Hot Wheels!

Forza Horizon 5: Hot Wheels
Genre arcade racing
Platforms Windows, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
Languages English
Developers Playground Games, Turn 10 Studios
Publisher Xbox Game Studios
Reference, Steam

So, it’s Hot Wheels again. Those who still remember the third part of the series (by the way, it is still quite good to play) know well what to expect. High-speed, breathtaking tracks in the spirit of roller coasters on aerial islands somewhere high above the clouds of the Gulf of Mexico. Dead loops, tailspins, riding on walls and even on the ceiling. More arcade elements, all kinds of accelerators, ice and magnetic surfaces, and even rivers flowing on the race track. It sounds wild, but it’s actually fun.

In Forza Horizon 5: Hot Wheels, the speeds are such that for the DLC they added a separate setting of the field of view, which slightly changes the feeling of driving the car, and something like an aerial horizon, which helps to navigate during crazy stunts of higher autopilot. This indicator has caused a lot of criticism from players, but it is really useful, and if it bothers you so much, you can always turn it off in the settings.
Due to the crazy track configuration, some cars are not allowed to appear on the aerial island. Class C and D are not allowed here, they just don’t have the speed to go through most of the Hot Wheels corners. That is, you start with class B, and to get access to more powerful cars, you need to complete several tasks and pass an exam. Then repeat the same procedure for class A, S1, S2, and X. Each class has its own tasks and its rewards, after completing them all, you can collect a complete collection of Hot Wheels cars, and also learn a bit of the history of this extremely popular game in the United States.

As I have already told you, most tracks in Forza Horizon 5: Hot Wheels are high-speed. Here even an A category car can be accelerated to 400+ km/h if desired. Therefore, the races here require a lot of attention and concentration, and every, even a small mistake can push you to the end of the peloton. Racing is also made a bit more difficult by the different viewing angle settings, which means that you have to get used to the more sensitive controls, especially if you prefer the external camera, like me.

Like all DLC for Forza Horizon games, Hot Wheels isn’t big. At first, it seems that the aerial island, located somewhere outside the clouds in the Gulf of Mexico, is large, but the addition can be completed 100% in just a few days. Well, if you play for several hours a day, the DLC can be stretched over two weeks. Yes, soon the players will make a lot of new interesting routes based on the assets added to the game, but for now… For now, you will have to return to Mexico, complete daily tasks, and look for interesting jobs for the community in the main game.

The release of Hot Wheels, like all recent updates to Forza Horizon 5, did not come without new bugs. It seems that Playground Games has a special department that deliberately adds new problems to the game instead of the ones that have just been fixed. So, after the release of Forza Horizon 5: Hot Wheels, some players re-received all (!) awards from automakers, which include very rare cars. This ultimately broke the game’s economy, which had already received a lot of criticism. Winning 1,000 credits on Wheel of Fortune with 20,000,000 worth of rare cars is pure mockery!

Other bugs include losing progress in achievements, including kicking a player out of the Hall of Fame, that is, removing them from part of the race. Treasures disappearing in one of the previous updates (PC only). As for bot drivers, it seems that they have become even dumber, and sometimes they behave like real rude online players: they cut you off, push you off the track, unmotivatedly crash into the fence, drive in zigzags, and so on. It’s a real shame, not the game AI.

As for cars, they are added every month, and currently, there are already 637 of them in Forza Horizon 5, but… Players want truly unique cars and daily beg Playground Games to add one or another legendary car. Instead, the authors present… 4 more Porsches in addition to the other 40 in the game, and 4 more Ferraris in addition to the already existing 50. It was noted for the “successful” expansion of the Hot Wheels line and DLC, in which, in addition to Hot Wheels cars, all Extreme E championship cars were added to the game! That is 10 identical Spark Odyssey 21 cars with different liveries of Extreme E teams. Playground Games, are you okay?

As you can probably tell by now, the release of Hot Wheels hasn’t changed how I feel about Forza Horizon 5. I love and hate the game, so I’m definitely going to put in a few hundred more hours. Here are really fantastic graphics, a rich selection of cars and interesting races. But the number of bugs and the very strange attitude of the developers towards the audience is frankly surprising. In any case, I will continue to complete the weekly tasks and build my car collection, and of course, I will wait for the next DLC. But at this rate, it won’t most likely appear until the end of the year.