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Forza Horizon 5 Rally Adventure review: McRae's Focus RS joins the party

Horizon 5's new DLC focuses on off-road racing, with one clear star of the show...

Published: 03 Apr 2023

Forza Horizon 5 certainly knows how to tug on our nostalgia. The new Rally Adventure downloadable add-on, available for Xbox and PC now, kicks off by placing you in the same Colin McRae Ford Focus RS from 2001 that we spent many an hour wrapping around trees in Colin McRae Rally 2.0 on the original PlayStation. There's just a few more polygons on this version...

For your 20 quid, Rally Adventure serves up another wedge of gorgeous, idealised Mexico, this time riddled with switchback-laden canyon roads designed to make the most of four-wheel drive gravel cannons. This is a somewhat authentic rally experience too, there is the option to turn off the racing line for rally stages and rely on the brand new pace notes system to warn you of what lies ahead. This being a Horizon game, though, the notes aren't delivered by a slightly harried Welsh bloke in the passenger seat and instead from a helicopter that swoops dramatically along the course ahead of you.

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It all works well. To our eye, some of the routes are narrower than your average Horizon road and the routes have been designed with rally staples like hairpins and water splashes in mind. The scenery is also spectacular, full of dramatic elevation changes and stunning vistas. Plus just about every finish line is over a crest, meaning you're repeatedly treated to a gratuitous slo-mo shot of your rally weapon flying through the air with all four wheels spinning wildly.

It's worth mentioning that there are also 10 additional vehicles included as part of the package, but it's the McRae Focus RS that is the unequivocal star of the show. The rest are a selection of mostly specialised offroad kit including an electrified Ford F150 Lightning and a Hoonigan-tuned Baja Bug. More cars are always welcome, but when you likely have a Horizon garage that reaches into the hundreds, it's never going to be the main attraction.

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