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Review: Storm Island

by onFebruary 1, 2015
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Back in December last year, Playground Games unleashed its first DLC for Forza Horizon 2 with real content – other than the usual drops of new cars – called Storm Island. The latter, as its name suggests, is located on an island based the Aeolian Islands of Sicily, and offers races in a hostile climate. Priced at $20, or $10 for those who own the Forza Horizon 2 VIP Pass, I got myself this DLC hoping it brings enough fuel to the game’s engine (I do love myself some puns). So let’s see what lies beneath the storm.

Welcome to the Isola Della Tempesta, an Island based on the Aeolian Islands of Sicily

Welcome to the Isola Della Tempesta, an Island based on the Aeolian Islands of Sicily

Contrary to popular belief, it is not always nice and bright in the Mediterranean sea. If we were to look at our real life events, The Mediterranean coast of France and Italy has undergone large and heavy periods of rain as well as impressive storms in the past years. So there’s no wonder that the first DLC for Forza Horizon 2 is played, in part, in a pouring rain environment, with high intensity off-road vehicles.

I set off to the port of Nice, and catch the first boat to the Isola Della Tempesta (Storm Island in Italian), an Island with harsh terrain and  steep roads made especially for all-terrain vehicles. The game system is similar to Forza Horizon 2’s core, except that the number of championships are called Tiers. They consist of 4 events, each containing several races, and end with a Gauntlet event. This last race is played at night under Mediterranean tropical cyclone setting, making it very difficult to distinguish the road ahead with poor visibility

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But the game adds more than a stormy setting, with a full changeable weather, rotating from a bright sun to fog, passing by torrential rain. The visuals are beautifully reproduced with the rain effect, dirt patch on the road, and trees changing direction depending on the wind flow on the island, topped by one of the best weather sound effects I’ve heard in a game. All this affect the different types of driving surfaces (bitumen, earth, stones), affecting the conduct of our vehicles, make this hilly island a pleasantly beautiful challenge for races.

With its abundant amount of new content, this DLC is a must have for owners of Forza Horizon 2

But with all these tough environmental changes, I was worried to take my Million dollar ride on these new roads. To fix this, Storm Islands introduce some new tuning settings to turn your cars into all terrain beasts, with better suspensions, rally tyres and more. Each is visible in the garage in menu tabs with the DLC name, which once installed on any vehicle, will secure your safety on the island.

If you were to sum up Storm Island DLC in one image, this would be the perfect pick

If you were to sum up Storm Island DLC in one image, this would be the perfect pick

Aside from the championships, like the main game, there are multiple tests and bucket challenges offered, ranging from solo and co-op modes, like the usual panels to be smashed around the map to get discounts for improvement in the garage, a hidden car barn and 50 routes to discover. But the downside of this DLC is the size of the card, as you’ll realize that these 50 roads (in comparison to 315 in the main game) are quickly discovered by taking a short tour of the island. This also results in as quickly racing to appear to move in the same place. Not that this is very serious when it comes to the championship races, as even if you recognize a portion of the circuit, each instance feel a little different.

Multiplayer works the same way as it is on the main land, with the same selection and championship settings, as well as some co-op challenges. With its abundant amount of new content, this DLC is a must have for owners of Forza Horizon 2, as we wait for more from the Forza team. Also if you have the time, read our review of the original content, Forza Horizon 2.

Forza Horizon 2 Storm Island DLC was reviewed using an Xbox One copy of the game purchased by the reviewer. The original game is also available on Xbox 360, without any DLC support. We don’t discuss review scores with publishers or developers prior to the review being published.

 

What we liked

• Climatic variations
• Visual beauty of the storm races
• The number of hours set in advance
• So much to do as usual

What is not fun

• Settings are too simple
• The Island is too small
• Price is a little high for the content

Editor Rating
 
Concept
9.3

 
Graphics
9.8

 
Sound
9.5

 
Playability
9.0

 
Entertainment
9.5

 
Replay Value
8.5

Final Score
9.3


Our final verdict
 

Although most of us are not fans of DLCs, especially when we finished the game, sometimes some additional content really bring more value. Forza Horizon 2 Storm Island is one of those, despite being overpriced. Virtual drivers will get lots of additional hours of gameplay in an environment graphically well made, with a changing climate pleasing to the eye. Between solo and multiplayer races, there really is plenty to do.

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