Last year Forza Horizon 2 sucked me into its world and held my attention long past the point at which usually I abandon a game and move onto the next. In unleashing Turn 10’s sublime vehicle handling physics onto the open road, Sledgehammer Games provided me with a much more fulfilling experience than that of Forza 5’s constrained circuit racing.
With the release of Forza Horizon 2’s DLC expansion, Storm Island, I finally have just the reason that I needed to return to Microsoft’s Xbox One exclusive racer.
Over the last few months the steady stream of premium Forza Horizon 2 DLC car packs have been given players plenty of opportunities to put their hands in their pockets. Storm Island is, however, the only DLC that actually adds new cars, races, challenges and a new location to the game.
Storm Island, or Isola Della Tempesta- to use its proper name, is a far cry from the idyllic, sun-drenched locale from the main game. With a tempestuous climate and, for the most part, unsealed roads, Storm Island presents players with some very welcome new challenges.
Storm Island lives up to its name with the weather turning from a beautifully clear summer’s day to a tropical monsoon in the blink of an eye. Rain and fog obscure visibility, whilst the wet makes the already slippery roads even more hazardous.
The expansion provides 30 new events across six tiers. Each tier has four events consisting of a mixture of three circuit or point-point races across the island’s rugged terrain. The final event is a punishing night-time-only gauntlet race.
Whilst the actual island is smaller than the location in the main game, the roads are a lot more fun to drive on. All the races are along extreme courses that’ll have you fighting for control as you bounce around and gain ridiculously big air. If you found racing in the main game satisfying, you are going to find Storm Island absolutely exhilarating.
It’s a credit to Turn 10’s physics modelling that the cars handle some well in the mud and wet. It takes a bit of getting used to, but you soon learn to turn early, steer into the slide and elegantly drift around the corners.
Five new cars especially suited to the island’s harsh environment are included in the DLC: a 2013 Robby Gordon #7 Speed Energy Drink Stadium Super Truck, 2013 MINI X-Raid All4 Racing Countryman, 2014 Ford Ranger T6 Rally Raid, 1981 Ford Fiesta XR2 and a 1992 Mitsubishi Galant VR-4.
Whilst it’s been great to sample the steady stream of new car packs that have been released for Forza Horizon 2, it’s nice to finally get hold of a decent meaty bit of DLC like Storm Island. The new locale, with its rugged road network and sometimes appalling weather, offers veteran players both a change of scenery and an extra challenge. The slippery and bumpy tracks are guaranteed to test the skills of even the most seasoned racers.
I had a lot fun returning to Forza Horizon 2 with Storm Island. I’d say that it is an essential purchase for fans of the game and one that’ll provide hours of exciting additional gameplay.