I have been and still am a fan of racing games, I enjoy playing them from time to time. Starting with Gran Turismo 1 and Need for Speed Underground 2 and recently playing Forza Motorsport 5. Arcade racing games were always a favorite for me of the likes of Midnight club, Juiced and Need for Speed.
There is no doubt how improved they got by the years, from Aesthetic to gameplay and the depth of simulation and the tweaking you’re able to achieve in the simulation side of these games. However, there is one thing that I feel missing or not doing it for me, and this is the cars. I no more feel attached to the cars, let me explain.
For my example I will use Need for Speed Underground 2, I have put few hours in it before writing this article just to make sure that this is the case. You choose your starter car among three available options. The car’s performance is low and going through the races you will feel the need for speed, so you will start using your hard earned money on parts to improve the performance, you’ll spare some money to make the car look good and special to you, and if you’re similar to me you’ll be stuck with that car for many races to the point that you feel it is your own and you have earned the rights to make it the way it is. After many races, the opponents will start to get tougher and you’ll need to update soon or you will be out of the competition sooner that you think. Next step will be looking for affordable next tier cars to start with again, and the cycle continues. With more and more time spend with each car, your arsenal will be customized to your own preference and by the end of the game you will have a car from every tier.
Compare it now to Forza motorsport 5, I would like to compare it to Forza 6 but I have only spent time with the demo. It’s an amazing game, the smallest tweaks you can make in the car that change the way it drive drastically from Tires pressure to Camber and Caster. The tracks are different and each with its own challenge. Anyway I will not in any way shape or form compare the gameplay, it has been 10 years between them, one is arcade and the other is as simulation can get with the technology we have at hand. But I will compare the car aspect of it. And of course all of this is in my opinion.
Forza 5 starts you with a good amount of Credits that you can use to buy many cars from the beginning. You will start your first series and you are already able to upgrade the performance of your car, and with each series you finish you will have thousands of credits and with each Driver level you get Tens of thousands of credits and from here you are free to get the cars you want in the series you want. And as mentioned earlier upgrading your cars will not be any issue whatsoever. The agency of having a car is lost in my opinion maybe that is what being a race driver feels like since you will get the car to race in and will not be your own. On the positive side, you will be able to try many cars and each with their different driving style which is probably why the Forza games are like this which very nice.
However, after saying that I would agree that my article is not flawless, I have not tried that many racing games lately to understand this fully. But I wanted to share what I felt after playing Forza 6 demo which will award you with spins after each driver level, which can get you a Bugatti or a million credits from the start.
In anticipation of the Need for Speed reboot, I hope the game economy is more balanced and back to the roots of the series. I want to race many races before being able to buy my next car, and want to feel the ownership of my cars.