Now that the Horizon festival has landed in Mexico, it’s safe to say that this year’s map is based on more exotic and dramatic places than ever before. With mostly positive responses from critiques and achieving the greatest launch in Xbox history, we now have high expectations of the upcoming expansions! Question is, what are some of the potential Forza Horizon 5 expansion map locations? Are there any locations we can rule out? If we look back to the previous titles, we can definitely see a pattern in the choice of expansion themes. As always, there are two expansions coming to the game. Both are included in the expansion pass or available for purchase separately.
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Speaking of this pattern that I mentioned, the first expansion tends to focus more on extreme racing. By extreme racing, I refer to unusual weather conditions and sometimes tough terrain. The first expansion of Forza Horizon 3 was Blizzard mountain and the theme of this expansion is self-explanatory. The first expansion of Forza Horizon 4 was Fortune Island, a dark place with hidden treasures and of course extreme racing. Those who played back in the days of Forza Horizon 2 may even remember Storm Island.
The land of the living history of cars is a country near Mexico. Of course, I’m talking about Cuba! As some of you may already know, Cuba is rather known for conserving history, especially when it comes to vehicles. This can also be seen in the opening scene of Fast 8, where Dom, the main character, completely melts the engine of his custom-built car. This is because Cuba has never had any manufacturers. That means all cars had to be imported, preferably from America because it’s the cheapest way. Once the Cuban revolution broke out, along with the cold war, the Cuban-American relationship would come to an end. Neither cars would be supplied to the Cuban market, nor any spare parts until the 90s when the cold war was over. Therefore, the Cuban culture has a rich piece of history and would suit perfectly with the Horizon aura.
So how can Playground Games implement extreme racing into this type of environment? Clearly, Forza is much about street racing and there are several factors that characterise extreme racing. For instance, heavy rain combined with narrow roads could contribute to extreme racing. Playground Games is a team of creative developers and I’m sure they will find a way to make this expansion memorable. Whether they focus on weather conditions or the terrain or perhaps both, Cuba seems like a potential location.
PC users of Forza Horizon 5 have access to game files and can dig as much as they want and obtain whatever desirable information. Predictably, plenty of unreleased cars was spotted among these game files recently. A phenomenon that used to be very common back in the days of Forza Horizon 3, where Redditors used to dig among game files and reveal Playground Games’ secrets such as the time when Porsche was leaked before it was officially announced. Back to the point, many cars spotted in Horizon 5 game files were classic American cars, which may hint at a Cuban-themed expansion. While this is all speculation, the expansion might as well be set in a country nearby. We’ll probably find out soon!
Back to the states
If we’re not heading south, we might as well head north, possibly to Colorado, and celebrate the 10th anniversary of Forza Horizon 1. Time really flies and the moment we brought the Volkswagen Corrado to the Horizon festival for the very first time has become a nostalgic moment to us veterans. And to celebrate this in the best possible way, an expansion would’ve been perfect. Though Forza Horizon 1 does not have any significant connection to the existing features in Forza Horizon 5, a smaller remake could be possible. By adding houses, introducing a Festival Playlist, including snowy conditions, and so on, the outcome would be interesting to see.
Considering Forza Horizon 1 is no longer available for purchase, newcomers may finally experience the amazing sunny Colorado roads and the festival which Darius Flynt once used to rule. However, Forza Horizon 5 keeps a focus on the Hispanic culture, there’s a little clash by setting an expansion in the United States. Nevertheless, a 10th-anniversary celebration is likely to happen in one or another way. Maybe as an expansion, or maybe as a car pack. Despite the clash, the Mexicans developed their own car culture in the United States, known as lowriders which are quite popular among most Hispanic-American car nerds in the west part of the states. After all, the United States may still be a possibility for expansion!
The second expansion of Forza Horizon 3 was Hot Wheels. The second expansion of Forza Horizon 4 was LEGO. Clearly, Playground Games are partnering up with famous brands across the world, most likely for marketing purposes. One thing that these expansions have in common is that they want to relive childhood memories. By combining such beautiful memories with your favourite racing game, the result should bring great satisfaction. At the same time, the themes must suit a world full of cars. Hot Wheels and LEGO are exceptional choices. So what brand could Playground Games partner up with for the second expansion?
Collaboration with series/TV-shows
The Grand Tour may not be related to the Hispanic culture whatsoever, but maybe it’s time to revisit some good old partners. A couple of years ago, the former program leaders of Top Gear used to have a good relationship with the developers of Forza, thus eventually appearing in several titles as voice actors. Of course, things change with time and the program leaders have moved on to provide entertainment through their very own show, The Grand Tour. It has a similar focus to what they used to do in the Top Gear episodes. Even though Top Gear and Forza are already in a partnership, with the absence of three clumsy boys of The Grand Tour, it doesn’t have the same spirit.
The experiments of The Grand Tour and their custom-built vehicles certainly would bring excitement to the fans of Forza. Although they’re not entirely serious with their projects, not to mention James May’s mud car. However pointless their builds are, it brings entertainment for all motorheads and it’d be fun additions to Horizon Mexico! If it’s not coming as an expansion, perhaps a regular car pack would’ve been suitable. Who knows what Playground Games are planning? Forza is all about entertainment and so is The Grand Tour.
Fast and Furious
There’s a possibility of seeing Fast and Furious expansion returning to Forza since we’re approaching the end of the production of these films. And with a history of close partnerships ever since Forza Horizon 2, one last expansion should be added as a farewell. Fast and Furious features some of the most iconic cars which have made several appearances in Forza over time, but nowadays a mystery since these cars are missing. Whether it’s about licensing or the cars being irrelevant to Forza, one last ride would be welcoming.
Return of Hot Wheels
It’s hard combining real-world brands with a racing game franchise. Therefore, welcoming old expansions wouldn’t harm anyone, such as Hot Wheels. The great loops and funky-looking cars gave a satisfying result to fans. In fact, one of the most successful expansions to date. There’s absolutely no reason not to bring it back again! Even though it’s missing the focus on the Mexican culture, I reckon no second expansion has ever integrated any specific culture.
The expansion received a rating of 7.7/10 from the Metacritic user score, which clearly shows it was a successful concept, unlike the LEGO expansion with an average of 5.7/10. LEGO was likely to be done for marketing purposes, but it could not be taken seriously by fans. The LEGO cars didn’t make a return in Forza Horizon 5… but the Hot Wheels cars did. And, surprisingly, another Hot Wheels car has been leaked among the game files. Although it doesn’t indicate a new expansion, it’s a sign of Hot Wheels still being relevant to Forza. When you think about it, why would Playground Games keep adding Hot Wheels when there are no Hot Wheels tracks? Because what are Hot Wheels without their orange tracks? It’s a little miss when adding Hot Wheels packs to Forza Horizon 4. Now it may be time to reintroduce the twisty orange tracks!
Since these expansions are only theories, there’s still a slight chance of them becoming reality. Expansions are meant to be small, yet more creative. Playground Games tend to bring us unexpected content, so no theory can ever be ruled out. I mean, who would’ve thought a LEGO expansion would be possible?