Much speculation has surrounded the upcoming Rally DLC for Forza Horizon since it was announced last month with nothing but a firm December 18th release date to go by. Will it be a car pack? A track pack? Or will it be an expansion with entirely new events? Well, according to a new interview with Design Director Ralph Fulton on IGN, the DLC will contain several rally special stages that take place away from Forza Horizon's map of Colorado, with the aim to deliver "a pure rally experience".
“Everybody here now is totally heads down on rally. And they have been for maybe about a month or so, maybe six weeks, because obviously work finishes on Horizon in advance of it coming out", he told IGN.
“We’re trying to put together a really enthralling rally package. I think there’s an opportunity to go much deeper into that pure rally experience; that’s maybe something we didn’t have the chance to do in the broader context of Horizon itself but we identified that pure, one-car-on-a-rally-route, really intense rally experience that you can get if you go deep into rally is something that I think a lot of people are going to respond to and really look forward to.”
As for content, the rally stages will be entirely separate to Forza Horizon's Colorado map, “It’s not going to be part of the open world, because obviously we’re changing quite a lot of the world and that’s going to make syncing up between people who have and don’t have the pack difficult. So instead you’re going to choose to enter the Horizon Rally Championship. That’s going to take you off into a separate mode in which you get to experience the new routes and the new terrain that we’ve built.”
“Now I’m not sure of figures, right off the bat, but I know there are, I think, seven individual rallies within the pack. Each event is broken up into multiple stages so you get that stage by stage experience in each rally, and that’s really what we’re trying to do there. We’re just trying to go a little bit deeper [into that] rally experience that you get from just having one car on a really narrow, intense, undulating route."
It's all sounding extremely promising, but it's a shame that Ralph didn't hint at any additional car content, as chucking a few more off-road cars would make sense. Still, off-roading has been entirely new territory for the Forza franchise, and its inclusion in Forza Horizon certainly gave off the impression that there was room to explore it even further. Some fully-fledged rally events could well be the answer.
Considering that some of the staff on-board with Playground Games worked on the first two DiRT games, Forza Horizon's rally expansion has the potential to actually live up to its bold claims. Case in point: the fact that there are reportedly seven rallies made up of multiple stages means that the DLC could potentially have more rallies than the entirety of DiRT 3, which only had four locations. Ironic, then, that an open world racer could soon have more rallies than a series that's devoted to off-road races and rallies.