Snow in December? That’s as mad as a kangaroo’s meat-axe, mate.
Microsoft and developer Playground Games are bringing winter weather to their excellent Forza Horizon 3 racing game for Xbox One and Windows 10 today. The Blizzard Mountain expansion introduces more than 50 new events in an all-new rocky terrain. Among the races, challenges, and hidden cars (all features that are in the base FH3), Playground is also debuting the Hill Climb, Descent, and Blizzard race events. These modes are ideal for many of the rally-race vehicles and 4-wheel trucks that were already in Horizon, but this add-on is of course bringing in some additional classics and modern supercars to get the job done.
Blizzard Mountain is $20. This is an example of the downloadable-content business model that enables companies like Microsoft to increase their average revenue per user by offering up extra pieces of the game for more money. Of course, if you already own the $35 season pass, then you’ll get Blizzard Mountain at no additional charge. Strangely, if you own the $100 Ultimate Edition version of the game, you only get a $10 discount on the expansion. Since publishers have not raised the price on $60 blockbuster games in more than 10 years, DLC and special editions are a big way that companies are enabling their biggest fans to spend more to act as a de facto price hike. In recent years, the DLC model has begun to lose favor to a business strategy where most add-on content is free but players can spend as much as they want on loot boxes that often contain cosmetic items (see Overwatch, Halo 5: Guardians, and Titanfall 2).
As you might expect, given the Blizzard Mountain name, the expansion is all about elevation and frozen precipitation. In a mode like Hill Climb, that means navigating icy paths to get to the peak before anyone else. Descent will have you slipping and sliding down the face of the mountain and likely taking huge jumps into snowbanks.
To ensure you survive those extreme motorsports, Lancia, Ford, and Nissan have your back with these vehicles:
- 2016 Ford Gymkhana 9 Focus RS RX
- 1966 Ford F-100 Flareside Abatti Racing Trophy Truck
- 1975 Lancia Stratos HF Group 4
- 1985 Lancia Delta S4 Group B
- 2016 Nissan Titan Warrior Concept
- 2016 RJ Anderson #37 Polaris RZR-Rockstar Energy Pro 2 Truck
- 2016 Subaru #199 WRX STI VT15r Rally Car
So grab the keys, put some snow tires on your car (that’s an actual option in this game), and hide some Foster’s in a snow bank at the bottom of the hill for when you get back down. Because this looks like an excellent expansion for one of the best games of the year.