Forza, at its core, is a game I will probably never fully appreciate. There are depths to Forza 2 that I’m not willing to plumb. Even though I can control the air pressure in my tires and tweak my suspension system in a hundred different ways, I probably never will. The level of customization available is staggering. You want options to customize the look of your car, make it a one-of-a-kind? You’ve got hundreds of layers to work with. Hundreds. I, for one, am not that comitted. Luckily, other people are, and I can still appreciate what can be done with this game.
As it’s been said before, Forza 2 is not really a game. It is a driving simulation. You can’t put the pedal to the medal and hope the guard-rails keep you on the path. They don’t. They twist you in ways you didn’t think would happen. You just can’t fly around the track, using the brakes occasionally. This is not that kind of game. Once I accepted that fact and got the hang of racing without flooring it the whole race, things got very enjoyable. In fact, I’m getting pretty good at it. Not “jump to the top of the Xbox Live Leaderboards” good, but “change the difficulty from Easy to Medium” good. They’re baby steps.
Forza 2 is also about amassing as many cars as you can. The rewards of winning races are usually in the form of a new vehicle for your garage or new relationships with car manufacturers. This works on two levels. The drive to collect ’em all is something that’s hardwired in a gamer’s brain. It’s an irrestible force. It also serves to drive the game along, as you continue to earn new cars, new tracks and races become available to you.
Of course, you don’t abandon the cars in your garage, as they are able to earn “levels” in the same manner you as the driver earns “levels.” Again, another game mechanic gamers crave. Now you can do it two different ways. It’s very addicting. Add in all the customization and upgrades you can buy, and you’ve got a full plate. There’s also the ability to post your souped up cars on the Xbox Live Auction as well as gifting cars to your buds on Live. If you can collect something, you can sell and trade it as well. Quite a tidy package.
Overall, I really don’t have any major issues with FM2. I haven’t jumped online yet to try that mode out. It’s daunting. I don’t want to be embarassed, which is the inevitable end result of my racing endeavors online. I’m sure the multiplayer modes are fun, but I’m honestly okay with playing the game by myself. So far, so good.