Announced at E3 to the tune of ‘Everything is Awesome’, the plastic Lego world has crashed into the photo-realistic world of Forza Horizon 4. On the face of it, these two vastly different worlds shouldn’t work together, but they do – rather brilliantly in fact.
Forza Horizon tends to follow a theme with its DLC, the first release will be rather serious and straight faced expansions (Horizon 3 had Blizzard Mountain, and Horizon 4 brought Fortune Island) and the second batch of DLC brings a bizarre and fantastic spin on the formula. Horizon 3 had the Hot Wheels expansion pack, that gave players the feeling of driving along bright orange tracks like a living room playset, it a was strange, yet brilliant idea, and the Lego DLC has driven off with that idea.
The expansion starts by turning the player into a Lego minifigure and introduces the Lego variations of cars on offer. Then Forza launches into Lego Valley for one of Forza Horizon 4’s signature exhibition races. Showing off the landscape, from the colourful countryside, to the Dinosaur infested desert. The game plays out its signature moves at the start, a running commentary, slow-motion set pieces, the Lego DLC wonderfully paints by numbers in the formula perfected by Forza.
When the race ends, the expansion shows the primary goal: build. On the base game, there is an element of real estate management allowing the player to buy houses, but in Lego Valley, you have to build your own starter house, unlock and build new Lego vehicles, and then further extensions on the Lego house.
In order to progress, players players must complete challenges to earn Lego bricks. These challenges can consist of achieving 3 stars in a speed camera challenge, some are simple races, others can be stunts using certain vehicles. These challenges are a fantastic way of providing a real sense of progress, rather than back on the main game completing 3-star challenges for no real reason.
The expansion brings 3 new Lego vehicles, the Mini Cooper, McLaren Senna and Ferrari F40, and when jumping into these Lego cars, the players’ driver character also transforms into Lego form, it’s an adorable little touch that adds to the brilliant nature of this expansion pack.
The expansion keeps a fairly regular narrative throughout: keep working toward challenges to unlock the next set of challenges, so far, so Forza Horizon. The DLC also keeps up with the Showcase events, such as putting a Lego F40 against a real F40, it’s entertaining enough for you to forget how bizarre it really is.
The entire Lego Valley premise is pretty absurd, as it attempts to balance the scale of realistic graphics and plastic parts. All the people are all Lego people, all the animals are Lego animals, most of the trees are Lego trees. There is a real road surface throughout, but through the town, you’ll find yourself racing on Lego tiles. The whole experience is rather jarring as the battle between photorealistic racing and childish plastic fun takes center stage.
Forza Horizon 4: Lego Speed Champions DLC
Lego Speed Champions is a bizarre dream that shouldn’t work but weirdly, it does. The DLC does a fantastic effort in making players feel like a child again, flashbacks of playing with toy cars. The key word of the expansion is “weird”, but that’s not a bad thing.
- Graphically fantastic
- Brick building gives a feeling of progression
- Incredibly fun
- Jarring plastic/realistic graphics
- Doesn’t add new gameplay elements
- No multiplayer adventure mode