I'm the type of gamer who, if you lure me in right, will play just about everything. Shooters, (first person or third) RPGs, survival horror, MMOs, pretty much anything. I do however have a long standing anti-racing and anti-sports game "rule". If you hand me a copy of Madden, expect it to go to some charitable cause… that saying it's lucky enough to not receive some sort of bodily harm. They just aren't my type of game, and I generally find myself bored. I would rather watch my favorite football team, then pretend I'm in it. The last racing game I recall playing is Mario Kart for the Wii, and before that for the N64. Just not my style.
So why was it that I went to GameStop two days ago and found myself instantly with a copy of Forza Motorsport 3 in my hand?
I could say the trailer for Forza Horizons drew me in. I'd be lying if I said it didn't feature some beautiful cinematics as well as good music and beastly cars. But no, that wasn't it.
Maybe it's my very real passion for cars. They're not number one on my list, but top five for sure. The purr of a well tuned engine, the g-force of taking a sharp curve a bit too fast, a driver who knows what he/she has under the hood… the whole environment surrounding the motor culture is fantastic. No, that can't be it; Forza is a simulator and I've at least ridden in a handful of these cars. Hmm.
Honestly, I think the summer drought drove me to it; pun intended. For months I've been seeking a game that can fulfill my want for something new to pull me out of this no-game spell we have every year. With Darksiders 2 and Borderlands 2 only weeks away no game has been satisfying. Everything I play seems sub-par, or overdone, or boring. Sad, considering I've even attempted replaying some of my favorites. Nothing did it for me. I went to GameStop, and got online. I pondered over games for all systems for hours, and from every genre. Nothing screamed to me, not even the few I thought might do it and carried home.
Then there was Forza. It's funny because like I said, nothing usually pulls me into racing games. But suddenly the mindless fun of racing sexy cars around a track sounded like the best idea ever. I still haven't broken on the sports track; Tiger Wood's Pro Golf whatever will just never do it for me. Forza though…
So I picked it up, and there it went, into my XBox. The announcers voice, though slightly annoying, drew my attention and in I went. I beat the entire first season without blinking, and only quit because I had other things that had to get done. Maybe it won't last, maybe I blew through that first season simply because it was finally something different in a long spell of same-ness. Either way, I find myself more and more inclined to go back and pick up my controller for another hour of mindless racing.
I have two main points to this article. One, Forza 3 is fantastic. I'm loving the graphics; the cars and tracks look sleek and well put together. The achievements are easy to get, and pop up so often you feel more accomplished from actually winning a race; always a plus compared to the normal satisfaction you get from achievements. Maybe they're too frequent? Nahh. The feel is slightly realistic, I definitely expected an Alfa Romero to handle better than a Fiat, and I wasn't disappointed. More important however was reason two. I feel like the reason Forza was so much more satisfying was because I stepped out of my comfort zone. A game genre I don't normally venture into got me to game more consistently than most lately, and I didn't hate a second of it. What I'm trying to say is this; sometimes, it doesn't hurt to get out there and try something new. Maybe, if you're feeling the same lack of satisfaction I was, maybe it's because you've been far too stuck in your old gaming habits. Break out, try something new, and maybe you'll find your own Forza 3.