After absolutely losing myself in Forza Horizon 2 last September and October, I was pretty keen to jump back in after hearing about the standalone Fast & Furious expansion. It’s been a bit over a week since the standalone package came out, and after spending two hours listening to Ludacris and driving some of the coolest cars Furious fans will no doubt drool over, I was fairly convinced. For a free package, Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast & Furious is a good use of marketing and provides a solid experience of what Forza Horizon 2 has to offer.
Fast & Furious starts off with one of the best montages I’ve ever seen, with an awesome mix of scenes from the Fast franchise to get you into the mood of high speed, adrenaline-filled racing. From there, Ludacris lends his voice to guide you in your quest to earn ten of the major cars that appear in Furious 7. That’s really it in terms of story, and from there you’re free to explore a slice of Horizon, compete in events, challenge drivatars and so on.
For existing Forza Horizon players, there’s not a lot new to explore in Fast & Furious. The races are very similar and take place in various locations around Horizon, which was disappointing considering the potential the Fast franchise has to offer. Following on from that, the actual races themselves are more-or-less replications of races you would have competed in during Forza Horizon 2, which heralded both a feeling of disappointment and understanding. This is a free package after all, but I guess I was just hoping for something a little fresh for returning players.
The biggest drawcard for Fast & Furious is the fact that the cars you’re using throughout the two hour adventure are all seen in Furious 7. I’m a big fan of the Fast franchise and being able to drive Dom’s Dodge Charger in particular was a bit of a surreal experience. All ten of the cars are excellent in the way they handle and feel very different from one another, making the initial drive with each unique and entertaining.
Of course, Forza Horizon 2 was an excellent game, and Fast & Furious is a good marketing strategy to show off Microsoft’s latest Forza entry as well as advertising Universal’s latest Fast film. It’s a really smart move when it comes down to it, and it should be an enticing option for newcomers to test the waters before buying the whole game.
If anything, Fast & Furious feels like a demo of Forza Horizon 2 – which I’m sure was the idea back when it was first pitched. You get a slice of Horizon to explore, a couple of events to participate in, a great soundtrack and some sweet cars to drive around. It’s classic Forza by all means, and the fact that it’s free right now gives you nothing to lose besides 15 gigabytes of internet. I’d really hoped that there was more to do in the world and I’m a little annoyed that the location is still based in Horizon which, for returning players, does nothing much to pull us into coming back for more after it’s all over. To be frank, it’s a disappointing package given the opportunity the Fast franchise presents.
For what it is, Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast & Furious is a good amount of fun for newcomers who enjoy the Fast franchise and want to dabble in Microsoft’s Forza series.
Developer: Playground Games
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Platforms: Xbox 360, Xbox One (Reviewed)
Fast & Furious is still free on the Xbox Store for the rest of the week. It’ll jump up to $13.45 on Saturday.