Ridiculously fast cars, massive explosions, and badass characters; these three things are synonymous with the Fast & Furious film franchise. Each and every instalment that releases tries to raise the bar from the previous offering, usually featuring even more insane stunts and blockbuster movie stars than before – adding the likes of The Rock, Charlize Theron, and Jason Statham. Taking into account how huge the franchise has become over the years, it’s no surprise that Microsoft Studios wanted a piece of the action. Thus, the standalone expansion Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast & Furious came to fruition in 2015.
Given that just two years prior the Fast & Furious: Showdown game massively disappointed the collective masses, due to it being an experience which appeared to be low budget, over-priced and lacking in almost every area, expectations were minimal. With Playground Games at the helm for the Xbox One though, focusing on merely an expansion to their already terrific racing game Forza Horizon 2, the Fast & Furious themed content had a lot going in its favour. Especially when Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast & Furious arrived on 27th March, 2015 for Xbox One and Xbox 360 without a price tag – yes, for the first two weeks after launch it was completely FREE. But why was it a freebie? To try and promote a film, of course.
The movie in question is Furious 7 starring Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster and Kurt Russell, amongst others. Sadly, only Ludacris (voicing Tej Parker) had a role in the expansion though and in all honesty, as a promotional tie-in to Furious 7 I’m not sure the DLC had much effect on getting more bums on seats at the cinema – the fact it’s the highest grossing instalment of the series is down to many alternate factors. As for drawing new eyes towards Forza Horizon 2 however, Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast & Furious did a stellar job delivering a compact version of the main game that’ll entice anyone unsure about a purchase to eventually pay up for the full offering.
Essentially it took just a small portion of the map found in Forza Horizon 2, letting you traverse the Nice and Saint-Martin regions of Southern Europe without possessing the game itself. The idea really was to give you a taste of what to expect, with the aim of leaving you wanting more. That’s why the usual side activities, speed traps and bucket list challenges for example, were in short supply, but these were merely the warm up act. There were also over 10 missions to partake in and two of the infamous Showcase events – which are the real showstoppers. To those unfamiliar with the goings on in FH2, imagine getting behind the wheel of a car and racing head-to-head… against a massive cargo plane. Such occurrences are a regular staple in the Horizon series, however it definitely fits in with the high-octane antics in the Fast & Furious films too.
As an achievement hunter, I welcomed the standalone content with open arms because a full 1000 Gamerscore could be garnered in the couple of hours it’d take to complete everything within. For many gamers, and petrol heads, the real draw actually came in the form of the 11 acquirable vehicles; all of which can be seen in Furious 7. The armoured beast that is the 2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited stood out for sure, but there were plenty of other awesome cars to jump into as well. Classics like the 1970 Plymouth Cuda (Letty’s favourite) and the 1998 Toyota Supra went hand in hand with modern delights such as the 2013 McLaren P1 and 2015 Dodge Charger. Add in the fact that the Nitrous boost was included in these cars and there’s no doubt adrenaline rushes were to be had.
Before you go rushing off to give it a go, I’m afraid anyone who missed out on Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast & Furious will have to live with that regret forever. Alas, it’s now delisted. Since its release, collaborations between the Fast & Furious movies and gaming have been lacking. In fact, Rocket League is the only game getting involved with tie-ins by unveiling a trio of Battle-Cars – Ice Charger, ’70 Dodge Charger R/T and ’99 Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 – alongside a handful of customisation items. Not overly exciting, let’s be frank.
Admittedly, the future looks a lot brighter due to Bandai Namco and Slightly Mad Studios working on bringing us a full racing game titled Fast & Furious Crossroads. Currently slated for May 2020 on Xbox One, PS4 and PC – but don’t be surprised if that’s pushed back till the release of the next film – Crossroads boasts an all-star cast including Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez and Tyrese Gibson. Players will be able to pull off awesome stunts and partake in elaborate heists through an authentic story mode, venturing across various global locations in the process. While the proof is in the playing, Crossroads sounds infinitely better than Showdown, so it’s one to keep an eye on.
For now, all we have are memories of the exhilarating Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast & Furious expansion, so feel free to share yours below. Were you one of those who played it and did you end up purchasing the full experience off the back of this standalone? As a fan of the films, was the cross-promotion instead rather underwhelming? Just get in touch and let us know!