• Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast & Furious Launch Trailer: Video

Maybe it’s fate. You never know who you’ll run into at just the right time and place. Say, for instance, you happen to end up in Europe this spring to do a little street racing. What are the odds you’ll happen to meet up with the world’s greatest gang of expatriot street-racing superheroes? “The Avengers with musclecars,” as someone recently called them. What are the odds? A little better than you might think.

A couple of years ago, XBOX’s hometown racing sim Forza began branching out into the world of free-roaming racing games with the “Horizon” spin-off. It was kind of a dangerous gambit for Forza, dipping into the

style “open map” street racing genre; apart from its crazy customization engine, Forza’s long been the “serious” motorsports sim. But good physics only sell so many copies…at some point, you just need some "fast and furious" fun.

The first “Horizon” took place in Colorado, kind of Forza’s take on the Nevada Silver State Classic open road race. The sequel takes place in Europe, as racing sequels are wont to do. Take for example the Fast and Furious series, which starting a few titles back expatriated itself across the pond. And most fans of the series would say that was the best thing that could have happened to it since a certain Charger first showed its front wheels to the sky. Well, the first time. Speaking of which…

Welcome to The Crew.

As part of a promotion for the upcoming (and sure to be epic) seventh F&F, Forza’s offering several of the movie cars as free downloadable content for Horizon 2. Yes, you read that right…FREE. Fans of the Forza series know that’s nigh on a miracle in itself. Traditionally, Forza has been to downloadable content what Porsche is to standard amenities: The air inside is free. Everything else you pay for. God only knows how much F&F’s producers paid to bring you this content for free…but it’s probably still less than carpeting in a 911.

And it’s more than just a few snazzy cars, too.

Oh, don’t get it twisted – the cars are the stars of this limited-time expansion, just as they are in the movies. There are 10 of them in the expansion pack, and they’re far from just cosmetic spoofs. According to the series’ longtime car coordinator Dennis McCarthy, they do drive exactly like the real cars used in the movie. Thank Forza’s legendary physics engine for that.

We know most of them right now: They include an armored Jeep Wrangler, a Maserati, a Subaru Impreza and somewhat poignantly, Paul Walker’s blue 2012 Nissan GT-R. Of course, former automotive stars also make an appearance, including two black Dodges of wide renown, and another oddly lesser-known Mopar: a 1970 Plymouth Road Runner GTX. Past star? Yes, indeed. This is the very same car Vin Diesel drove during his brief end-title cameo for Tokyo Drift. Series fans might call its "return" in FF7 (which chronologically happens before the events in Tokyo Drift) some fascinating foreshadowing.

So, why no Bugatti Veyron, Ferrari 458, McLaren MP4-12C, Viper SRT-10 or any of the other supercars from FF7? What, not even a nod to Paul Walker’s original GT-R from 2 Fast 2 Furious? How about an orange Supra, or a red RX-7? Can we get an EVO VI, at least? Yes, we can…they’re already available in Horizon 2, which is why they’re not included in the FF7 expansion. Sadly, Walker’s original Eclipse GSX is nowhere to be seen.

This is, though: A whole new expanded map with two locations from the film: Nice, and Saint-Martin, France. There, you’ll meet Tej “Ludacris” Parker, who just might induct you into the crew and task you with 16 mission-style races, and two showdown “boss battles.” Don’t be surprised if one of them happens to involve an attack helicopter.

If you’ve got an XBOX and Horizon 2, better sign on with the crew while you can. It’s a limited-time offer, and won’t be free for long. It’s only a matter of time before Forza says (to quote Tej Parker): “Man, I need to start making ya’ll pay to see this sh*t!”

Ja Rule could not be reached for comment.

Richard Rowe
Richard Rowe
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