Developer Playground Games has unveiled the map for the Forza Horizon 5 Hot Wheels expansion. The reveal was posted on the official Forza Horizon Twitter account over the weekend. Just in time for the DLC to release with it launching tomorrow.
The reveal gives fans something to look forward to ahead of launch. The maps design is split up into four parts each bringing something very different to the table. There are three biomes that appear to be snowy, desert, and forest. These biomes are connected together with Hot Wheels tracks that weave their way through the sky.
With it being a Hot Wheels DLC, you can expect all sorts of crazy tricks. From loop to loops to big ramps there will be no shortage of excitement. Also, it isn’t just an island that’s getting introduced with this DLC. Forza Horizon 5 will be receiving a ton of Hot Wheels themed cars alongside the new map.
So far fourteen cars have been confirmed. This includes iconic Hot Wheels cars like the 2000 Hot Wheels Deora II, 2012 Hot Wheels Rip Rod, and the 1949 Hot Wheels Ford F-5 Dually Custom Hot Rod. Some of these will be bundled with the DLC whilst others will have to be earned through the Series 9 Festival Playlist. You can expect more non-confirmed cars to follow later on in the series.
Long term Forza fans have probably noticed something familiar about the new DLC. This isn’t the first time we’ve gotten a Hot Wheels expansion. Back on Forza Horizon 3 there was another Hot Wheels DLC that was similar to this one. It was extremely well received with players feeling as though it tapped into Horizon’s chaotic fun better than any other mode. Given its popularity it isn’t too surprising that Playground decided to run it back for Forza Horizon 5.
Today developer Ninja Theory unveiled Project: Mara. The unexpected announcement was posted on the official Xbox website providing some insight into it. The post was written by Ninja Theory’s studio head, Dom Matthews. Matthews has over 13 years of industry experience at Ninja Theory and Capcom.
The post provides some vague details about what Project: Mara is. Matthews confirms that his studio’s new “experimental title,” will explore new ways of storytelling. He even emphasises that this new project could become “a new storytelling medium.” Effectively hinting that his team are looking to redefine narrative writing.
What is Project: Mara?
Truth be told, this is not the first time we’ve heard about this project. Back in 2018 Xbox Game Studios confirmed the acquisition of Ninja Theory. Microsoft’s purchase of the British development studio was announced alongside the acquisition of four other developers. That list included Forza Horizon developer Playground Games and puzzle game specialists Compulsion Games.
Less than two years after that acquisition, Ninja Theory unveiled the first Project: Marateaser trailer. Since then, news had gone quiet but this latest post confirms that it is still in the works. Furthermore, given Xbox’s official backing, it might be closer than initially expected.
Unfortunately, this post appears to be a simple marketing stunt more than anything. Whilst it is nice to get reassurance Project: Mara hasn’t been scrapped; it doesn’t provide any meaningful new details. Thankfully, it was released alongside a more useful developer vlog.
The vlog sees Ninja Theory’s chief creative director Takeem Antoniades detailing some of the studio’s goals. The reoccurring theme of Project: Mara is that it is aiming to create as realistic a world as possible. The vlog provides examples of real world versus in-engine visuals, and they look scarily common. Depending on how development goes, this project has the potential to be the best-looking game ever made.