Fortune Island is the first expansion for the hugely successful Forza Horizon 4 which launched in October and quickly claimed the title of being the best game in the series, winning awards all around the world. The new location is a rugged terrain filled with dangerous cliff edges, muddy waters and switchback roads as far as the eye can see. We jumped in with moderate expectations as per the past few Horizon expansions, and this time came out somewhat impressed.
Starting in a sleepy seaside town of Westwick, players are quickly introduced to everything that is new in the expansion. There are ten treasure chests to be hunted down, and each one is revealed to you via a cryptic message and photo as you work your way through the ten stages of the Fortune Island career. You’re tasked with deciphering a riddle, figuring out which vehicle you need to use on which PR stunt to then be given a rough location of where the chest is. Each of the ten chests contains $1,000,000 in credits and some of them reward you with some very late model vehicles too, making them very worthwhile to hunt down.
There are plenty of new races and PR stunts to partake in, including the all new Trailblazer PR stunt, which is a point to point off-road timed challenge where you must trailblaze your way to the finish line as quickly as possible. It’s a great new PR stunt and hopefully it’s included in future Forza Horizon content as it paves way for new paths on the map while adding a chaotic element as you negotiate your way through environmental features.
There’s a great variety of environmental features throughout Fortune Island, including the longest paved switchback section of road ever – something Forza fans have been requesting for a long time. The road, which is also a steady hill climb, is featured in a drift PR stunt as well as several of the races throughout the Fortune Island career and is quite fun to scale in different vehicles. Players will also find plenty of ruins, with Viking themed shipwrecks scattered across the shores, as well as some small islands to explore in the south.
The day/night cycle gives you the chance to experience the Aurora Borealis in all its glory, and night racing is no easy feat here, with barely any straight roads to cruise down. In fact, this new map has plenty of tight and narrow corners, and racers will find it tough to stick to the course. Luckily that handy rewind feature is never too far away, and we found ourselves using it a fair bit in this expansion.
Drift Club 2.0 offers an all new story with more emotes, vehicles and items to unlock as you go. With all the winding roads of Fortune Island drifting of course becomes an essential part of the gameplay, and drifting fans will enjoy what Playground Games have done with Drift Club this time around. There’s an achievement for getting enough stars in Drift Club 2.0, and Fortune Island actually adds 500 achievement points overall, so not only is there plenty of fortunes to be gained in the expansion, you can also give a nice little boost to your Gamerscore. Although the added story is nice, unfortunately there are no more businesses or houses to acquire on the new island, though you can set the new festival location as your home.
The new photo mode improvements in the Fortune Island update will have you snapping some amazing shots around the island and back on the homeland of Great Britain. With more freedom of movement and new focus and sampling options, taking that perfect cliff-face shot with lightning in the background is now easier than ever. Speaking of lightning, the new thunderous effects will make you jump if you’ve got the volume turned up, and the weather is generally a lot more hectic than in the base game. We couldn’t figure out if the vehicles were harder to control due to the weather or simply because most of Fortune Island is off-road, but either way this expansion is the opposite of a nice Sunday drive.
Fortune Island offers players something new to the Forza Horizon series while keeping with the theme of Great Britain. It’s a fictional island that has no bridge to the main land and is accessible from a beach in the south east corner of the main map which completely threw off our projections of its probable real-world location. With the treasure finding mini-games, Drift Club 2.0, new events and PR stunts including the fun new Trailblazer, and all the new items and vehicles, Fortune Island is a great addition to the base game and may help you buy that last castle you’ve been holding off on, as well as a couple of expensive cars. Expect about ten hours of solid gameplay, with more offered through seasonal events, online racing and Forzathon.
Rocket Chainsaw reviewed Forza Horizon 4 at launch, giving it 4 stars. Our coverage of Fortune Island began with its reveal at the Microsoft X018 conference, and we also had a prediction about the new map’s location which turned out to be somewhat correct. For more on the Forza franchise, head to the official website.
- A great new location for the series - They aren’t joking about fortune.
- The map could have been a bit bigger - No houses or businesses on the island.