Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast & Furious Review
Reviewed on Xbox One
March 31, 2015
Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast & Furious is a short yet cleverly executed little crossover package that combines the beautifully balanced driving dynamics of the genre-leading Forza Horizon 2 with a smattering of some of the cars from Fast & Furious 7. It’s a fun way to spend an evening, although I noted it’s an experience largely built by repurposing wholesale slabs of Forza Horizon 2 content rather than doing much new or interesting with the movie license.
Unlike last year’s Storm Island expansion, FH2 Presents Fast & Furious takes place on part of FH2’s main map but is an entirely standalone game (although this means a confusingly hefty download, even if you already have FH2 installed on your Xbox One). It’s basically a chunky, themed demo for FH2.
It limits us to the French portion of the pre-existing map but it does cover quite a few event types in its brief two- to three-hour duration. There are tight street races around Nice, high-speed blasts through the countryside, a small clutch of stunt challenges, and a pair of the series’ trademark Top Gear-inspired Showcase Events (which, in this case, pit your car against a helicopter and a plane).
As you’d expect, the racing and driving here is just as blissfully brilliant as it is in FH2. Several driving aids can be toggled to hone the experience to your liking, and there’s a huge amount of joy to be gleaned from tearing up France in the Fast & Furious series’ iconic black Charger, watching the butterfly valves on the blower work overtime as you poise nearly 4,000 pounds of Detroit metal in the perfect drift.
The one notable new mechanic is a nitrous boost mechanic – an obvious inclusion for a Fast & Furious tie-in – and it’s been implemented well. When triggered, the screen shakes and there’s a nice, powerful shift in the already excellent audio. The overall effect on your speed doesn’t cross into Hollywood absurdity, it’s more subtle and realistic, but I think the latter is more fitting for Forza. It’s only available during events, however; you can’t activate nitrous in free-roam. It’s an odd design choice and one that’s slightly disappointing.
But again, owners of Forza Horizon 2 will find little more than that by way of new content. The intro of FH2 Presents Fast & Furious, which drops you into a yellow Lamborghini Huracán, is largely a rehash of FH2’s introduction. The two Showcase Events are actually just repeats of existing Showcase Events in FH2 (the chopper race in the Xbox 360 version and the cargo plane face-off from the Xbox One version). The cars, weather, and time of day are different here, but the routes are identical, which feels a bit cheap.
With so much recycled, it’s somewhat strange that several regular Forza features have been plucked out. There’s no economy here; you simply earn the available cars by winning them over the course of a short series of 11 events (the action is narrated by Fast & Furious series actor Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, who provides the game’s credible but admittedly loose association with the films). There are also no visual customisation features either, nor is there any upgrading or tuning. Each car comes pre-tuned to the top of its class and you can’t apply custom designs.
Perhaps most disappointing, the new cars built for FH2 Presents Fast & Furious aren’t able to make the trip back across to FH2 (or, least, they aren’t for now) if you own both. It’s a small shame because, once I’d clocked the available events and reaped most of the Forza Rewards points on offer via the Forza Hub (where it’s listed as a separate game), I’ve felt little reason to go back to this version.
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