Monday, October 8, 2018

Even the Mona Lisa gets old eventually

800 miles into Forza Horizon 4 and I have settled on what is missing, or rather, what has been added that I do not care about: multiplayer content that is integrated into the single player content. At about five minutes to every hours there is a pop up inviting you to a live event. 'Press X to set route!' it chides. I do not do so because I am loath to play with other people but the question remains: what exactly am I missing?

Forza Horizon 4 has a great deal in common with Destiny. There is single player content, and much of it is very good, but it all serves as the preamble to the multiplayer focused end game. This is how many games are now and as much as I enjoy tilting at windmills I am going to waste no further effort fighting against it. I will play what is for me and leave the rest to others.

That being said, I did come across a very sneaky bit of DLC bait and switch in the game. Alongside the standard events there are seasonal ones that are available for around a week. It is fall right now and there are four or five races that will be around until Winter hits in a few days. I am just about done with the basic races so I tried to give one of them a shot. It was a race around Edinburgh, which is cool, but it required a specific car. No problem, I have the credits.

That car is only available as paid DLC, in a pack, that costs $10.

Remember the NPC that advertised a DLC quest in Dragon Age? Yeah, that shit again. Bad form.

Hermit like complaints aside Forza Horizon 4 is a technical masterpiece. It is, without exaggeration, the best looking racing game I have ever played. The frame rate almost never drops and when it does I am willing to chalk it up to network issues. The always online nature has not bothered me near as much as I thought. True, there are almost always other drivers floating around your map but it is impossible to interact with them without inviting them to a race. Once a race begins you are left alone. This does not mean that I am going to change my mind about the pending troll fest of Fallout 76, mind you, but my panic of a few months ago was ill advised.

Forza Horizon 4 is the best that this kind of game has ever been. This kind of game may be a bit long in the tooth for me but if this is the first open world racing game a person has every played it is going to blow their fucking mind. I wish I could be that innocent again. Instead I have a masterpiece in may hands, know that it is a masterpiece, but cannot be as excited as I hoped because I played its little brother two years ago and this game is just a refinement.

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