Hot Wheels in Forza Horizon 3? The Horizon series belongs firmly in the arcade racing bracket and has always been a bit exaggerated, but combining it with Hot Wheels sounded like it was taking things too far. And, of course, it's crazy. Crazy fun, that is. Something we noticed almost immediately. As we travelled to the Hot Wheels island, we went up and down on a rollercoaster-like construction, screaming at the top of our lungs as we tried to tackle a Drivatar friend of ours into the lake below.
In terms of concept, the Hot Wheels expansion is practically identical to the previous expansion, Blizzard Mountain. There are three medals to earn per competition and by collecting medals you can unlock more to do and finally earn your way into the finale. To get three medals, you need to finish first but also achieve certain objectives while doing so. Other recurring activities like stunt challenges and hidden cars are also sprinkled on the new island. So there are several hours of action to enjoy here and together with the basic game and the previous expansion, Forza Horizon 3 is now one of the most content-crammed car games we've ever seen. We also had more fun with the Blueprint mode here than before, there's just something about building ramps that speaks to us.
However, it is only the overall structure that is similar. The whole Hot Wheels island is dazzled with orange tracks and it's on them that the racing takes place. It's still Forza Horizon 3 we're talking about here and you'll recognise it right away, but on the other hand, there are a couple of things that need to be learned. For example, if you happen to be in the middle of a loop, you need to take a closer look at the car when it's drifting. Calculating how the car will move does not feel the same as it does on the ground. On the tracks, there are now turbo pads that give you extra speed, which is also necessary to cope with the imaginative level design. The sense of high speed is completely unrivalled and the effect of driving on narrow lanes with curved sides only reinforces it further.
Included in the package are ten new cars, and there's a blissful mix of speed demons we have seen before plus, of course, Hot Wheels vehicles such as 2011 Hot Wheels Bone Shaker, 2012 Hot Wheels Rip Rod, 2005 Hot Wheels Ford Mustang, 2016 Jeep Trailcat, 2016 Zenvo ST1, 2007 Toyota Hilux Arctic Trucks AT38, 2010 Pagani Zonda R, and 1972 Chrysler VH Valiant Charger R / T E49. The number of supercars that are currently in Forza Horizon 3 is almost incomprehensible and we find it hard to believe anyone could have trouble finding a favourite for any and all situations in the game.
The design is, by the way, gorgeous and the bright colours are a wonderful contrast against the beautiful and realistic island. Just looking at it makes us want to play right away. Forza is always stunning and the detailed Hot Wheels cars are a pleasure to look at in your garage, where you can slowly swipe the camera over the shining steel and let the saliva flow down your chin until someone tells you to stop. Or perhaps that's just us.
Forza Horizon 3: Hot Wheels is a lovely and fun addition to one of the world's best arcade racing games. It feels more playful than the other content and it is (in spite of our initial scepticism) actually very good and complements the experience. To throw your car around a loop and then back down in a hurry is just as fun the first time as it is the one hundredth. We would have liked to have seen some more new features that directly impacted the game mechanics so that it really justified the price tag, but if you own Forza Horizon 3, you'll no doubt extend your fun with this slice of DLC.