My opinion on the new DLC is “disappointed, but not suprised.”
I and many other players were holding out for the fabled city expansion DLC, something people have been rumoring about since Forza Horizon 4. With the leaked codename being “Project Nightlife” everything pointed to a night-focused road racing DLC set in tight city streets.
But nope, Playground once again rips off their past content, this time remaking the Rally DLC from Forza Horizon 1. Alright, I’ll give them an ounce of credit. If they absolutely HAD to copy one of their DLC expansions for a second time, this would be the one I’d pick.
…But then again, why did they need to copy themselves at all? This rally stuff feels meaningless. When the first rally DLC came out for Forza Horizon 1 in 2012, that was the first ever time rally racing had ever been showcased in a Forza game. It was an entire new racing discipline packed into a DLC.
A decade later and we have miles upon miles of dirt roads, including an incredibly long mountain road made of dirt you can race down. We have dozens of rally cars. We have hundreds of EventLab missions that emulate proper rallying to a tee. While it’s great to see rallying in a Forza game being done like how it is IRL, this should’ve just been how dirt races are handled in general from the start.
The thing is what is keeping them from an urban setting? It’s like they have this deep-seated fear of a modern city in their game. Throughout the entire franchise, we’ve only gotten one modern city, and while it’s a fantastic location and probably one of the best parts of any racing game map, it felt too small and it’s layout had much more opportunity for interesting gameplay.
Even Need For Speed, which has been slightly emulating Forza Horizon’s map design for a while now (100x times better, mind you) still manages to fit a decently packed city into it’s map. Sure, it’s not the entire map and in some entries it did suffer in size, but there were so many interesting choices and designs for gameplay. Take Lakeshore from NFS: Unbound, their most recent title. That city is awesome and is something I’d KILL to see replicated in Forza.
In short, I’d just wish for them to say something about WHY they won’t do this. The only genuine reason that makes sense to me is either engine limitations, or just blatant disdain for actual tarmac racing. Just at least tell us. Explain why we’ve never seen a decent city since FH3 at all in the franchise. I keep holding out through this games worst seasons hoping it’s going to get better, to the point I didn’t even play for a long time. It just isn’t, at least on any meaningful way.
I’m sure the Rally DLC will have some cool stuff. The teams progression mechanic looks neat. Doing actual rally events like IRL instead of just cramming 12 cars onto a dirt road is cool. Epitaph Records coming back is precisely something I’ve asked for. The fact the expansion list has only 1 actual rally car and the rest is just different trims of pre-existing offroad considerably less so, but I digress.
I just don’t like the absurd amount of recycling this franchise regularly does. It’s capable of so much, but the devs just refuse to acknowledge it’s potential. It’s depressing.