Forza Horizon 4 has literally hundreds of cars in its roster already, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for more. But the cars in the Hot Wheels Legends car pack aren’t just any cars, they’re pretty special. That’s because all of the models in this pack are actually real-life cars, yet are based on toys. Wild, right? Even wilder is how they look. This pack includes 6 cars, including such greats as the 2018 2JetZ, 1972 Chevrolet LUV, and 1969 International-Harvester Loadstar CO-1600.
Every vehicle in this pack is straight-up unconventional from bumper to fender and everything in between. From a car that’s meant to look like a jet, to a semi-truck that’s trying to imitate a race car, the visual spectacle is on full display with all of the vehicles in this pack. Hot Wheels cars are already known for being head-turners, but there’s something about these custom-built behemoths that truly represent mad creativity with a total disregard for any form of normalcy.
But, of course, we’re still talking about a game here. While Hot Wheels both in model and IRL form are mostly meant for show, what’s the use of having them in a wild game like Forza Horizon 4 if all you’re going to do is pull up to one spot and snap a bunch of pictures? (More on that later.) Thus, the real moneymaker here is how these “Legends” drive. In a word, it’s funky.
Right off the bat, I can say that despite their mean looks and intimidating engines, none of these cars will hold a candle to the prime picks of vehicles in the base game. Forza is about drifting through corners, tearing up dirt roads, and rocketing down straightaways. And yet, none of these cars are any better suited for that task than ones that you’d already have in your virtual garage.
To evaluate this pack, I decided to do a simple test. I’d drive the vehicles a bit on the open-world map to see what their strengths and weaknesses would be. Then, I’d try a single Horizon race according to the type that best matched the vehicle. Each test was conducted with a purely stock vehicle: no tunes, no upgrades. The results were not what I expected.
Toys to life
When I saw these cars in their promo trailer and in screenshots, they looked like they would be seriously mean machines out of the gate. But really, they’re all quite tame. Even the 2JetZ, which is the only S-class car in the pack, doesn’t have a huge kick to it.
That particular car is fast and nimble, but it’s also rather twitchy and an absolute mess on anything that isn’t a paved road. Beyond this, I found myself being pleasantly surprised with getting used to the handling and power of the other vehicles. I wasn’t sure at all which would “speak” to me just by looking at them. But, I can say that it’s a bit of a toss-up between the Studebaker, LUV, and Loadstar.
These three, in particular, are what I would consider being the “all-rounders” of the Hot Wheels Legends pack. Whether on or off the pavement, they handle well and have decent speeds. Stock, they’re all pretty modest, despite each of them showing off their engines with prominence.
While I’m sure most Forza players tune and upgrade their cars already, I will say that to get the most out of any of the vehicles here, you’re really going to have to spend some time with them in the workshop. Otherwise, they handle like weighty, average cars that just so happen to look (ridiculous-yet) cool. This isn’t really a con as their modest stock behavior gives them the flexibility to be souped-up in a variety of ways. But, for the sake of fairness, I didn’t apply any tunes even after I was done testing. I’ll definitely be going back after the fact to try this, however.
Returning to the design of these vehicles, taking pictures of them is almost as fun as driving them. The sharp edges, exaggerated features, and comedically-huge dimensions stand out like a sore thumb to every other car in Forza Horizon 4. Even so, these Hot Wheels mean machines absolutely control the canvas when they’re out there and will get you playing with the game’s photo mode in new ways. Apply the right camera settings, and you’ll be reminded quite clearly that these are actually just cool-looking toys gone IRL.
The price of playtime
But, what really makes the Hot Wheels Legends pack stand out among the several hundred other cars in Forza Horizon 4, is that these machines come with a price-tag, and I don’t mean an in-game one. Up-front, you’ll have to shell out $10 to gain access to these toys-turned-track stars.
While that may not be a huge asking price, this is still the only pack that every player has to pay for in order to access it. Even folks who bought the Ultimate edition of Forza Horizon 4 or who bought the Car Pass separately are going to need to pony up to ride. That’s really where the question of “Is it worth it?” comes in.
Speaking with the bold bias of being a frugal gamer, running out to buy the Hot Wheels Legends pack isn’t my recommendation. On one hand, these cars are not bad at all. They’re quite fun to drive and they do look massively different than anything else in the game. But, out-of-the-box they don’t do anything special or better than any of the other cars included in the base game.
Tuning and upgrading are a necessity in order to get any special behavior out of these cars. This isn’t at all a deal-breaker, as that applies to just about every car in Forza Horizon 4. But, really, aside from the visual flare, even the tuned versions of these vehicles aren’t going to do anything wildly different than base-game cars.
What I would have really loved to see is these vehicles also being sold individually, but that’s currently not the case. It’s either the full $10 or nothing at all.
For veteran Forza Horizon 4 owners, I imagine it would be annoying to have to spend more money (unless you happen to be a Hot Wheels fan to begin with). But, these vehicles do add some pizzaz back into the game. As for newcomers, playing around with what’s already in Forza Horizon 4 is really my best recommendation; these cars are not at all necessities. Are they still fun, though? Definitely.