Forza Horizon 5: Rally Adventure Review – A Safe Ride

    A fun and bumpy ride that maybe feels a little too familiar.

    Several fans of the Forza Horizon series have been hoping that the second DLC expansion for the fifth game in the series would bring something new and exciting to the table. Unfortunately, several were let down by the announcement of Forza Horizon 5: Rally Adventure. While the previous Hot Wheels expansion was fun, it felt like too much of a retread of Forza Horizon 3‘s equivalent DLC for some. This left a perfect opportunity for the second expansion to end Forza Horizon 5 with a bang. However, as the main game already features an abundance of dirt and offroad racing, the Rally Adventure DLC comes off as underwhelming to some. 

    However, I was willing to give this expansion a fair chance. I’m not a hardcore fan of rallying, but I’m a casual appreciator of it and enjoy the odd rally game here and there. While the main game is great casual fun, the idea of driving through more demanding roads appealed to me. So, does Rally Adventure bring anything new to the table that is worth bringing players back? The answer to that is a little complicated. 

    Forza Horizon 5’s New Map

    A race being held in Sierra Nueva

    Forza Horizon 5: Rally Adventure introduces Sierra Nueva, a new location for players to drive around and complete events. While smaller than the main map, it is noticeably dense in comparison. However, those who are wishing for a map that feels significantly different from the main one may be a bit disappointed. The landscape does not differ very greatly from what came before despite looking very beautiful. On the other hand, there is quite a bit to appreciate about this new map. 

    Roads are generally more narrow, with plenty of twists and turns. This will require players to take a more technical approach compared to much of the main game’s wide, high-speed roads. There is also a pretty decent variety of surfaces to drive across, including dirt, gravel asphalt, sand, and more. It’s a fun map to drive around, but some may not enjoy the lack of high-speed sections. However, I appreciate that the tighter roads greatly incentivize the player to use vehicles other than the most exotic cars that the game offers. 

    There is not much need to worry if the presence of tighter roads seems daunting to you. This is still a casual game, and these roads are wide enough to hold standard races on. They are nowhere near as unforgiving as the roads you might encounter in the DiRT Rally games. You will just need a bit more technical prowess to drive as quickly as possible. 

    A Rally Adventure

    Forza Horizon 5 Rally Adventure

    Compared to the main game, there is a greater sense of progression in this new DLC. Three “teams” divide the content of this expansion. These teams will determine which kind of roads and conditions you will tackle. For example, if you join the Horizon Raptors, you will mainly be completing events during the daytime on dirt and other unpaved surfaces. You can tackle these teams in any order, but you’ll likely want to start with the Horizon Raptors or Apex Predators first. The Grit Reapers feature more challenging events that take place at night and on mixed surfaces. 

    As you win events and complete activities in the open world for each team, you’ll eventually be able to unlock a Team Champion Race. Interestingly, these races do not occur on rally courses but are instead one-on-one cross-country races. Once you complete all three of these races, you’ll be able to tackle the Goliath race. It’s far from the best sense of progression you can feel in a racing game, but it’s nice to have it here. 

    Unfortunately, by choosing to focus primarily on rallying, there is a noticeable lack of variety in events. Don’t get me wrong, powersliding around corners never really gets old for me, but this is a game where variety is a selling point. It won’t take you very long to complete the DLC’s main content as well, which may leave some players feeling underwhelmed. However, if you wish to complete everything this DLC has to offer, then it may take quite a bit more time.  

    Other Additions

    Two vehicles drifting through the sand

    I’m a fan of the new radio station that has been added alongside the release of this DLC. Epitaph Radio was originally featured in Forza Horizon 3 and now makes a return. It is a rock station that puts a greater emphasis on heavier songs than the ones found on the Horizon XS station. I appreciate the presence of songs from bands such as The Offspring and Bad Religion, which almost feels like a callback to Crazy Taxi. 

    One oddity of the expansion is the fact that most of the cars you can unlock aren’t rally vehicles. Sure, they are suitable for offroading, but they aren’t specifically for rallying, which is a bit of a shame. It’s not the end of the world, but I would prefer if the DLC had a greater focus on rally cars to keep in with the theme.

    More of the Same

    Driving through a course in Forza Horizon 5: Rally Adventure

    At the end of the day, if you want more Forza Horizon 5, Rally Adventure will likely satisfy you. However, if you are expecting a DLC that innovates the game’s formula in any substantial way, this expansion may disappoint you. Fortunately, Forza Horizon 5 is a lot of good, casual fun and this remains true for this DLC. There aren’t any surprises here, which could be seen as both something positive and negative. 

    If you have an interest in rallying but are looking for a more approachable, arcadey experience compared to a dedicated rallying game, then this DLC is likely a perfect fit for you. Even if that doesn’t really appeal to you, there is still the option to participate in more traditional races. These still utilize the same rally routes, but have you competing against other vehicles alongside you instead of racing against the clock. 

    I ultimately enjoyed my time with this expansion, but at the same time felt somewhat underwhelmed. If you are already burned out on this game, this DLC will provide you with little incentive to keep playing. As someone who has played this game for over 150 hours, I can’t see this expansion greatly adding to my overall playtime. Despite this, I enjoyed the casual rally experience and hope that future titles in the series contain rally events like the ones featured here. 


    Rally Adventure is a fun ride but doesn't bring much new to the table. If you simply want more Forza Horizon 5, this DLC will likely suffice. However, if you are looking for something that will shake up the formula a bit more, this expansion may leave you feeling underwhelmed.
    Itch has a strong passion for PC gaming and retro consoles (especially the Dreamcast). From Melty Blood: Actress Again to Forza Horizon, he will play just about anything that catches his eye. Ever since playing Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit as a young child, he has been in love with the medium of video games and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon.

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    Rally Adventure is a fun ride but doesn't bring much new to the table. If you simply want more Forza Horizon 5, this DLC will likely suffice. However, if you are looking for something that will shake up the formula a bit more, this expansion may leave you feeling underwhelmed. Forza Horizon 5: Rally Adventure Review - A Safe Ride