Forza Horizon developers Playground Games and Turn 10 Studios have revealed details of their upcoming Rally expansion pack, out December 18 on Xbox Live Marketplace for 1600 Microsoft Points ($20 USD). The add-on, in fact, goes well beyond the typical car pack. This one actually changes the game by adding co-drivers who shout rally calls, new stages, new online events, and yes, five new cars. Let's break them down:
Forza Horizon Rally packs new point-to-point rally stages that span the game's fictional Colorado setting. The stages are "full of severe and sudden terrain changes, including steep banks, narrow tree-lined cuts, big bumps, jumps, drops and natural hazards like rocks and trees," says Horizon design director Ralph Fulton. "In addition, we've got more road surfaces than ever before, on-track vegetation with new physics properties, and new particle and sound effects."
Yep, no racing game add-on would be complete without new rides, and Horizon Rally includes five -- all of which have close ties to rally racing. There's the '92 Celica pictured above, the 2004 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII MR, the 2005 Subaru Impreza WRX STi, 1992 Ford Escort RS Cosworth, and 1982 Lancia 027 Stradale. Season Pass owners also get the 2003 Ford Focus SVT. And they're all upgradeable: "You can take the same rally upgrades that are featured in the cars that are packed in with the expansion pack and apply them to any car in your Forza Horizon garage," Fulton explains. "These upgrades include rally tires for improved grip on loose dirt and gravel, springs and dampers that raise and soften the suspension to maintain stability on the most sever off-road terrain, and rally transmissions that feature shorter gear ratios more suited to the quick accelerating nature of rally racing. I think these cross-game upgrades are a game-changer for Horizon – they allow you to upgrade any car you own into a dirt-eating machine for use in the Rally Expansion Pack stages."
"It’s important for players to heed the warnings and instructions from their navigator," says Fulton. "Ignore a camber warning, for example, and you might find yourself off track completely." One examples a of rally call: "One hundred, easy right, into medium left. Care bumps." Translation: there's a right-hand corner 100 yards ahead you don't have to slow down much for, but it blends into a medium left turn that gets bumpy.
It sounds like everyone should be happy in the online department: "We’ll have a new set of rally-themed Rivals events for players to explore, with new Rivals events being added each month," Fulton explains. "In addition, we’ll have two new rally-centric online playlists, one for rally beginners, and one for veterans who know their way around a rally stage."
Finally, Fulton sums up how the rally experience changes Forza Horizon in one sentence: "Rally driving has this strange and thrilling duality that makes the sport unique – you’re constantly focused on what’s happening right now in the car, while simultaneously being mindful of what’s coming next…even if you can’t see it."
Gaming, Tech, and Entertainment news at its finest!