Forza Horizon 3 is one of the best racing games ever. It built upon what made Forza Horizon 2 so good and literally turned everything up. It has seen a lot of updates over the last few months and even had an expansion released late last year called Blizzard Mountain that introduced snow environments. The latest expansion however is a perfect addition to the game and it comes as a collaboration between Playground Games and Mattel. Forza Horizon 3 Hot Wheels is the final expansion for the base game and it is something I never knew I wanted until I watched the teaser trailer.
If you’ve been living under a rock and don’t know what the Hot Wheels toy line is, well maybe go outside and look at literally any toy store because Hot Wheels cars are everywhere. Shocking everyone in the announcement, Playground Games’ Hot Wheels expansion has somehow made one of the most fun games ever, even better. This expansion takes you to a new island.
The best part about everything is how bonkers the landscape looks. The island is scattered with the usual XP boards, events, a barn find, and more. You’re still playing through an Australian locale but now Hot Wheels tracks are all over the place including loops. The boosters are an amazing touch as well and getting boosted into a loop at full speed is pretty damn amazing. The new cars you have access to are also super fun to drive around the tracks in. There are also quite a few jumps across the city on elevated tracks. Expect to fall off the tracks if you aren’t careful. You can get off the Hot Wheels at some of the locations and doing this in the night seeing the city lights and the tracks lit up all looks fantastic.
Progression through Hot Wheels involves gaining Hot Wheels Medals. You earn these through various events across the island that include speed traps, danger signs, and races. Races require a specific task to be completed to get the 3 medal win. This ranges from a drift zone in the race to even just reaching a specific speed in one area of the course. You can even use the Blueprint system instead of doing the pre made races. The Blueprint system is a bit different here but it feels too limited. The Stunt Swap system lets you swap out specific special sets on the track with others. While this is a nice addition, I would’ve preferred a way to let you actually layout the track yourself but I feel like that is a game in itself.
Visually, the only problem I had with the base game was the pop in for some of the scenery. Over here the tracks look great during all times of the day. Reflections on the bright orange plastic tracks are super. I love the attention to detail here because it actually looks like gigantic Hot Wheels tracks put together with huge connectors. The blur during the boost is another nice touch and jumping through a ring of fire will make you wish the Xbox One could take screenshots faster. They even put in massive robot dinosaurs on the side of the tracks.
Since I spent all my time in the base game listening to Horizon Pulse, I switched over to Hospital Radio here. Unfortunately there’s no Hot Wheels radio station so I just did a minor genre change to keep things feeling different all the way. I also love how self aware the game is. Your assistant even makes a joke about the Rewind feature.
Overall, Hot Wheels is a worthy addition to Forza Horizon 3. It is well worth getting along with the previous expansion if you’ve been craving some more arcade racing fun.