Monday, June 30, 2014

Right game, wrong time

Between gatherings over the weekend and the beer imbibed between I played literally nothing over the weekend. When things finally calmed down I was just too tired to bother. Perhaps if there was something that I had a desire to play I would have, but Grid Autosport is just not holding my interest. Racing games in general benefit more, and more quickly, from a generation jump than other types of games. Take an existing franchise and just throw better graphics and a smoother frame rate at it and voila, it is better than everything that came before it. See Forza 5 as an example.

If there was nothing wrong with it Grid Autosport would still have the distinct disadvantage of running on a system that I am trying to break ties with. It looks okay, but that doesn't cut it when 1080p at 60 FPS is sitting on the shelf. If I ignore the prettier alternative the game fairs better but it still has a giant wart on its nose that has nothing to do with the platform it runs on: it's boring.

Forza Horizon worked so well for two reasons: open world racing and a tiny thread of a story that pulled the player along from race to race. Suddenly I wasn't just a car running around a track but an upstart racer taking on the evil, egotistical leaders. Rebel without a cause, all that bullshit. Horizon was not the only game to do this, in fact previous Grid games have done it, but in Autosport it is unconvincing and just falls flat. There is nothing to look forward to but the next race, and when the next race is always exactly the same as the last race I get bored very quickly.

The first several races should all be punchy, short affairs that are easy and quickly over. Autosport is never easy, which I can get over, but right from the start races are overly long and you always race twice on the same track in succession. It gets worse when, after qualifying on the poll and wining the first race, the game drops you to the very back of the field for the second. Maybe this is how racing actually works but it just isn't much fun.

Pickings are a bit thing at the moment and I am not sure if I want to invest in either Transistor or Valiant Hearts so Autosport will get played, begrudgingly. It is summer (in some places, not the midwest) and that means the doldrums are approaching. I need to fill my time with everything that I can.

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