Playground Games / Turn 10 Studios
Xbox Game Studios
Xbox One, Windows 10 PC

Forza Horizon 4 LEGO Speed Champions Expansion

review by 
Alan Walsh
June 18, 2019
Playground Games / Turn 10 Studios
Xbox Game Studios

Forza Horizon 4 LEGO Speed Champions Expansion

review by 
Alan Walsh
June 18, 2019

Everything is Awesome!

Welcome to LEGO Valley. A place where you can live out your wildest childhood dreams in the ultimate playground of pure delightful fun. In LEGO Speed Champions, the second post-release expansion for Forza Horizon 4, there’s an entire new world of awesomeness to discover. One that’s full of smashable LEGO bricks, new race events and a Master Builder’s House that needs to be constructed. I never thought that I’d be driving the McLaren Senna in a Forza LEGO world someday, let alone one made of bricks, but Playground Games has done just that.

Forza Horizon 4 LEGO Speed Champions is the biggest, wildest and most ambitious expansion yet in the history of the franchise. For a series with much critical acclaim and well-deserved accolades, its truly incredible how Forza developers Turn 10 Studios and Playground Games continue to raise the bar time and time again, especially after the excellent Hot Wheels release for Forza Horizon 3.

But LEGO Speed Champions crushes it – delivering some of the most fun I’ve ever had with this franchise. There’s a real sense of happiness from driving these adorable LEGO cars, they have me beaming with delight as I smash through hundreds of bricks across the distinct and joyful environments to be discovered in LEGO Valley.

Welcome to LEGO Valley

From the city of Brickchester and its nearby airport situated by country lanes to a desert with a UFO crash site and a dinosaur dig site, there’s plenty to see in this LEGO-themed landscape. The biggest highlight for me is undoubtedly the Falcon Speedway, which is the first racetrack to ever make its way into Forza Horizon. This is a fantastic location to host car meets and hone your driving ability. The track can be enjoyed in multiple configurations, all of which can be played as official Festival Races, and there’s even a pit-stop lane and an accompanying drag strip. It’s all of course LEGO themed, with smashable tire walls placed around the circuit, but it’s just so freaking awesome to finally have a racetrack accessible from the open world. It’s a great place to meetup with friends and it’s often surreal to see how many drivers come here in Horizon Life to throw down lap times or drift along the bends of the course.

LEGO fans will also cherish the Super Mega Awesome Adventure Stunt Park. Whether you want to drift with style, get some epic airtime or just smash through piles of leftover LEGO bricks, there’s plenty to keep you occupied in this Gymkhana-style stunt park. I love jumping through all the skate ramps using any car of my choosing, but nothing can beat the satisfaction from bashing through all the bricks, vehicles and structures using the Unimog truck. It’s a feeling I have a lot when playing the LEGO Speed Champions expansion. The noise of those LEGO bricks smashing apart is so fulfilling, it becomes addictive. I love it and I struggle to stop myself from doing it. There’s a great deal of contentment to be had from this.

Another thing that brings me much gleeful joy is the authenticity of Brickchester. This LEGO take on the acquaint walled city of Chester in Britain is a pure dream for fans of LEGO’s legendary bricks. It’s like the ultimate LEGO playset brought to life! The city feels miniaturised as you drive through it, with plenty of small buildings and roads crammed into this compact urban environment. But it’s cute to observe and I love its LEGO orientated architecture. What’s also nice is the LEGO characters that can be found all over Brickchester. They’re adorable and it really immerses you into this LEGO world. It’s one of the coolest locations in the expansion that makes me feel like a child. Or maybe it’s the fact that I also have Radio Awesome blasting those catchy lyrics on a constant repeated basis. I can’t stop singing along to it! The fact Playground Games gave “Everything is Awesome” its own dedicated radio station is brilliant.

Forza Horizon 4 admittedly lacked a proper airport for drag racing fun, but LEGO Valley rectifies this by introducing a proper, modern airport in the style of LEGO. It’s small for sure, but it’s excellent. Modern-style LEGO jetliners will also spawn in around the airfield and these can even be pushed around using your vehicle. I do wish they would taxi along the runway, take off – as seen in the epic intro race, or even land back down on them plastic airstrip. It’s a small nuance that would’ve immersed me even further into this world.

Destroyable LEGO biplanes can also be found inside of hangers at the airport, as well as the stunt park, along with a helicopter on a helipad. In fact, the game actively encourages you to break these miniaturized vehicles as you progress through the LEGO Brick Challenge. Smashing things is fun and the LEGO Valley has more breakable items than any Horizon experience before it! Beaches are now commonplace in Forza open worlds with their serenity and composure, but the pirate cove in LEGO Valley is begging to be ruffled. From shipwrecks full of booty and barrels to coffee stands and sandcastles, it’s all at your disposal to rummage through.

Outside of the dominant locations discussed, the LEGO Valley still has plenty of roads to drive on, cross country shortcuts to take and epic new speed ramps to blitz through. These are another new addition to the expansion and can be found in both freeroam and race events – providing your car with a nitrous-style boost when taking a jump. Whilst insanely cool, I do wish that they could be manually placed down in the Route Creator, along with all the other awesome props featured in this expansion.

Seasons (Still!) Change Everything

Like the mainland and Fortune Island, weekly seasonal changes will see the world of LEGO Valley adapt to the current climate. Summer sees the locale covered in greenery and vegetation, whilst Autumn sees the trees, naturally made of LEGO, tinted in browns and oranges. Snow covers the landscape in Winter as Spring brings a refreshed flora into the LEGO Valley. Regardless of which season you’re playing in, there’s so much colour and vibrancy to be enjoyed in this world and it’s really brought to life across all four seasons with their various weather conditions.

This is even more true when playing in 4K HDR, as the game appears so striking and the colours just pop. It looks glorious. The lighting is accurately perfected and allows the world to truly come to life. I’d also argue that the seasonal changes make an even bigger impact in LEGO Valley than in the game’s other locales due the coloured bricks having to change and acclimate to the time of the year. Whoever thought that a colour variation on plastic LEGO trees could be so enjoyable to witness? But with so much LEGO foliage to break through, it’ll be tough to miss, especially with malleable flowers placed all over the valley.

The blend between LEGO and the real-world in Forza Horizon 4 is fantastic. Whether I’m driving across the forest or desert, into the airport or city, it’s always so enjoyable to see the fusion of reality and plastic bricks. LEGO Valley has proper cars and LEGO vehicles, both natural and plastic trees, as well as environments and structures inspired by the real world and those of LEGO. These are all elegantly highlighted by the Beauty Spots scattered across the valley, which showcase overall prettiness of this unique landscape.

Although, in some instances, you’ll often find areas within the map where there’s almost little to no LEGO to be found, which can feel a little peculiar, but a quick stroll along the road is certain to bring some of those iconic plastic bricks back onto your screen. Be it the UFO and malleable dinosaur props in the desert to the incredible amount of LEGO shrubbery found throughout the valley. Oh, and there’s even LEGO cows and pigs that hop along the road in a cute animated fashion, too. They’re adorable, so do take care and try not to run them over – it doesn’t matter if they’re toys!

Building Your Own LEGO Master’s House

All of this comes together in the LEGO Brick Challenge campaign mode, which provides the player with several tasks to accomplish from winning races to performing stunts – compiled into one big checklist of sorts. Completing these challenges will earn you bricks, and each are associated to various activities within the game, including festival races, discovering various locations, collecting items, performing vehicular skills, smashing into bricks and beating PR Stunts. Speaking of those, the excellent Trailblazer Gates from Fortune Island are back, but now they’re significantly longer and make better use of the map. Going cross-country and taking advantage of those new speed boost ramps is essential in completing these. Some challenges, however, are a little on the tedious side, especially those which require you to smash into a set number of obscure objects only present in certain parts of the map.

Furthermore, there’s a range of new collectibles to find in addition to the standard Influence Boards, which consist of the mysterious, but unique Alien Plants and Alien Energy Cells. The latter only appear during the night, whilst the former grows in the rain. But the abnormalities don’t end there as LEGO ghosts also spawn at a sandy gravel trail by your home. They’ll be as white as snow during the day but illuminate in green from dusk to dawn, but no one is too sure of what it is they want exactly. Don’t worry, they won’t bite you! Anyways, earning bricks allows you to build, upgrade and complete your LEGO Master Builder’s House. This is by far the coolest and most unique property in Forza Horizon 4 and seeing it come to life as you progress through the LEGO Brick Challenge is just splendid. It’s like an exotic dream home, but all made of LEGO.

It begins with the actual house itself. You expand it with a garage, additional floors and bedrooms, as well as a lake and cabin at the back. Then it truly comes to life with a soccer field, a LEGO plane, a yacht, and more. Surrounding your home is the Horizon Festival itself, and it’s also full of LEGO twists, including a Ferris wheel, a roller-coaster and a mechanical tyrannosaurus-rex! Once finished, your LEGO Master Builder’s House becomes the ultimate playground one would dream of calling a home, but as you build it, new events and challenges become unlocked, so there’s always a reason to keep earning bricks. Unfortunately, most of the stuff built is for cosmetic purposes only, which means the beloved Car Soccer mode isn’t back, nor can you fly the plane or use the yacht. They’re purely ornamental objects for your house, but in a way, it does feel like a missed opportunity. The aircraft, at least, perfectly fits into the LEGO Valley and it would’ve been a fantastic chance for developer Playground Games to introduce new forms of transportation into the game. Forza Horizon 4 is also in need of some fresh game modes, and a Car Soccer comeback would’ve been a great way to fill this void.

Another missed opportunity comes in the number of vehicles featured in this expansion. You’ll start off with a 1967 Mini Cooper S Rally before building the Ferrari F40 Competizione and the McLaren Senna as you progress through the LEGO Brick Challenge. Whilst it’s fun and rewarding to build these cars, no other vehicles are included in the expansion, except for the Barn Find, which you can’t drive yet. It promises to be another LEGO vehicle, but it won’t be accessible until a future content update. But there’s plenty more LEGO Speed Champions cars out there that would make fantastic additions to Forza Horizon 4, and hopefully more are added in the future via Festival Playlist, but it’s certainly disappointing that more LEGO cars weren’t included initially, especially since previous expansions typically include a total of 10 new cars.

Regardless, the LEGO Speed Champions cars are awesome. They look incredible, featuring full Forzavista level of detail. I’ve never seen higher quality bricks in my life before! They glisten under the sunlight and have a reflective nature to them. The quality of these models is truly staggering, and it continues to show how Forza is the best in the business when it comes to the finer details. What’s more is that these cars use the same accessible handling model as their real-world counterparts, which means they feature the robust physics engine Forza fans know and love. The engine audio is also on-point too, and bricks will often fall from the bumpers of these cars in a collision, though I do wish these cars could receive further damage considering they’re made of LEGO bricks.

Playground Games has also made special showcase races featuring the LEGO vehicles taking on their real-world counterparts, and if you win, you’ll take home the actual car to go alongside your LEGO collectible. Pretty awesome, eh? There’s also a new Horizon Story called “Hype Tour” that sees you putting these cars through their paces in a series of unique challenges. Overall, these LEGO Speed Champions vehicles are insanely fun and cool to drive and can even be used outside of LEGO Valley, in both the mainland and Fortune Island. LEGO Speed Champions also includes its own Goliath Circuit that spans the entire map location. It’s a shorter course than others, clocking in at around 3 minutes, but beating it will see you become a hero of LEGO Speed Champions!

The Ultimate LEGO Speed Champions Fantasy

Forza Horizon 4 delivers the ultimate LEGO Speed Champions fantasy in its latest expansion. Sure, they were some missed opportunities, but considering this is an expansion for an already truly fantastic game, there’s truly no major downsides to be found in playing it. Achievement hunters also benefit too, as the expansion includes 30 fresh Xbox Live Achievements worth 500 Gamerscore for both Xbox One and Windows 10 PC.

Whether you’re a diehard Forza fan looking for a chilled, relaxed racing experience or a newcomer to the franchise who wants an open-world full of LEGO goodness, this is an expansion that has been made for everyone. It’s fun and accessible to players of all skill levels, even more so than Hot Wheels, and considering how varied and distinct the LEGO Valley is, combined with its vast number of events and challenges to complete, this expansion is an absolute must have for everyone.

Typically, I’d return to the mainland after finishing the latest expansion and return periodically thereafter, but for LEGO Speed Champions, it’s going to be a different story. In fact, I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to leave LEGO Valley. It’s some of the best map design the franchise has ever had. It’s playful, energetic and brilliant. Plus, the Falcon Speedway is so addictively fun, not to mention all the brick-smashing I like to get up to at the Super Mega Awesome Adventure Stunt Park. There will always be a reason for me to head back for some LEGO fun, even if it’s to just be amused by the cute facial expressions on the LEGO character inside my vehicle as they speed through the valley.  

Forza Horizon 4 LEGO Speed Champions is Playground Games’ best expansion yet for its open-world racing game series. This is a testament to the team’s ambition and their overall talents in the genre. It’s available for $19.99 and is included at no cost for those who own the Forza Horizon 4 Ultimate Edition, the Expansions Bundle or the Ultimate Add-Ons Bundle. Xbox Game Pass members also benefit from a 10% discount upon purchasing the expansion. So, what are you waiting for? Your childhood fantasies can be finally lived out in-style at the LEGO Valley!

9
Awesome
Everything is awesome in Forza Horizon 4 LEGO Speed Champions. Fun and accessible to all, Playground Games has once again outdone themselves by crafting the ultimate LEGO playset and the greatest expansion in Forza history.
Alan Walsh

Alan is the co-founder and co-owner of FullThrottle Media. As someone who enjoys spending all his free time playing video games, he delivers the latest in news stories, reviews, and feature articles to the website, as well as videos on his YouTube channel and livestreams over on Mixer.