My love of racing games can be traced back to one game: The very first Test Drive. I had that game on my Commodore 64, and I was kind of obsessed with it. How could I not be? It just oozed style. Choose a car, and take it out on mountain roads, swerving left and right to avoid traffic and of course, to outrun the cops. However, the gameplay wasn’t what kept me coming to that game. No, what I really liked was the car select screen. After choosing a model, your character would lower the window, put on his glasses, show off his badass 8-bit hair, and drive off. And that music theme was just plain cool. You only had five cars to choose from: A Lamborghini Countach, a Ferrari Testarossa, the Lotus Esprit, the Chevrolet Corvette, or, the Porsche 911 Turbo. Therefore it’s no surprise that today, almost 30 years later, I have a particular interest in each of those five models. What you loved as a kid tends to stay with you, after all. And man, that haircut!
But, out of all those cars, I feel like there is something unique about the 911. While all of the other models ended up being discontinued and replaced by newer ones, such as the Countach being replaced by the Diablo, or the Testarossa by the 550 Maranello, the 911 endured. Hell, in many ways it barely evolved. The current 911 shape is similar to it’s 1980’s ancestor, and is nearly identical to what it used to be in the late 90’s. To be fair, the same thing can be said about the Corvette. Maybe it’s because I’m Canadian, but Corvettes never felt nearly as exotic as the other models on that list. I saw quite a few of them growing up, and they are cheap enough that I could see myself owning one, eventually. But the 911 Turbo? No chance. There is something about these Porsche models; once they’re introduced, they barely change shape over the years. Some might say that it makes them boring, I tend to think that it gives the brand a certain ‘purity’, or a sense of ‘being’.
Thus, you better believe that when I see Porsches in racing games, I drive the heck out of them. I feel like my entire racing game experience revolves around Ferraris, Lambos, and Porsches. And although the first two brands tend to be in every racing game out there, Porsches are, well, a bit more rare. And that is due to an exclusivity agreement that the company signed with Electronic Arts. If someone else than EA wants Porsches in their games, they have to sign a deal with them to be allowed to do so. No need to say that a lot of studios balk at that and the fees that most likely come with having to make such a deal, and just don’t include the brand in their titles.
But not Turn 10. For the past few Forza games, with the exception of Motorsport 5 and Horizon 1, Porsche cars were not included in the games at launch but have been featured as DLC later down the road. Usually those DLCs are simple car packs, but this time Turn 10 went above and beyond; they’ve released a full fledged expansion. Which is highly appreciated, since I’m no big fan of car packs. You’ve bought a $60 game that already includes 400 cars, do you really need to shell out $10 a pop for a few more cars? I do have to admit to being a bit of an hypocrite here, as I bought the Porsche car pack for Horizon 2, and also the Porsche and Lamborghini packs for 2010’s Need for Speed Hot Pursuit. So I suppose that I’m no different than anybody else; I complain, but if the DLC is targetting my specific interests, I’ll still buy it.
However, I digress. This is solid content from Turn 10. The expansion comes with a new campaign, that takes you from Porsche’s early days to the present and beyond. It is divided into three sections: The Origin, The Evolution, and The Future, each of these being accompanied by a nice video, talking about the evolution of the brand. They are further subdivided into other categories, with the exception of The Origin, which only has one. Each of those subcategories has a collection of car specific 2 or 3 race events. Thus, the campaign makes you use most of, if not all, of the 21 cars included in the expansion. And each of those events is accompanied by a short clip detailing some of Porsche’s history. I was very impressed by it, as it feels more intimate and personal than the main game’s campaign. The whole thing is very reminiscent of EA’s classic Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed, released in 2000. The expansion also comes with 10 new Showcase events, including one endurance race. It also has one brand new track: Virginia International Raceway. Of course, you can take all of those cars online, and you can use all of the new cars retroactively in the main Forza 6 campaign.
In all, I definitely believe that the expansion is worth the $20 asking price, especially if you love Porsches. And even if you don’t, when this eventually goes on sale, then it’ll be worth the price, no question. Happy racing!