Blog / The wheels on the bus

What keeps you playing a racing game?

For other genres it’s an easy sell. You’re playing the campaign to see new locations, fight new enemies, reveal the secrets of the plot and experience new combat scenarios. Platformers also have the same appeal.

Forza Motorsport 5 is different. Every event is unlocked from the start. You can drive any car provided you have the money (either in-game or - barf - real cash). All the parts for upgrading your car are available. Paint your car any color or apply any decal. The only thing you get from racing is more money.

Simulation racing games are an odd beast. They’re more like fighting games or multiplayer shooters, where it doesn’t make sense to lock off characters or levels until the player has accomplished feat X or Y. In Forza, driving the cars themselves is the reward.

Yet I can’t help but want a little more game in my game. Make me work for new parts. Put the outrageous color schemes behind certain races. I’ll never dip my car in copper but I’d like to see a prize at the end of a race other than a dollar sign. Don’t lock out the decal system, but attaching a price tag to those designs gave people incentive to make them and earn the money to buy them.

You could do even crazier things. There’s a photo mode, right? Let us unlock larger memory cards for our virtual camera so we can take more pictures. Upgrade the camera’s features over time. Burnout Paradise had a great system where you had to wreck new cars before you could own them. Why not let us try to overtake a new car in order to earn it?

I know Forza doesn’t want to be Need for Speed, but surely some more encouragement can be arranged.