A Seat At The Table



  • Do racing games deserve a seat at the table? I've continually got the sense that when it comes to GOTY season racing games more than any other genre is left out of the discussion or at least ends up on the side without being taken seriously enough to win. I get that the unpopularity of racing games contributes to their lack of notice during GOTYs but should that change? I feel Playground Games should've been on the radar at least twice already with FORZA Horizons 3 and 4 because both of them are huge, vast, varied and incredibly good. I know racing games get repetitive and just because they're big doesn't qualify them as GOTY worthy, but its fascinating just how the FORZA Horizon series has managed to surprise me and to be honest surprises should be a true quality when it comes to a GOTY.



  • F-Zero does....if they actually bothered making another one..........



  • @jdincinerator I imagine it's because as polished and expansive as they can be, they are very rarely groundbreaking or revolutionary in any way, and those are the qualities that play a big part in determining a GOTY.

    Breath of the Wild revolutionized the open-world concept, a God of War or Last of Us have memorable, affecting stories, etc. Not saying that's fair, but it seems to be what the people voting value the most.

    Luckily for Forza, this year there hasn't been a single game at the level of Breath of the Wild or God of War (not talking review scores, just in terms of uniqueness and global appeal), so if there was ever a chance for a racing game to win GOTY, it's now!



  • FH since the third installment is delivering absolute masterpieces, no doubt they deserve to be in any GOTY conversation.

    People, me included, like their stories and maybe that's why they're not part of the conversation, but then again if Hearthstone can win a GOTY maybe it's something else.

    Repetition in a game like FH I don't think it's a valid justification. I felt more burned on Spiderman due to repetition than in FH. FH3 and FH4 not only I played them for tens of hours but I also come back to them frequently until the next installment is out.

    Maybe the justification is just that it's not a popular genre and that means that apart from the reviewer there's not that many people in the publications playing them. And also, maybe, it's possible than someone not familiar with the racing genre when trying out a game like FH doesn't have an immediate connection with the game and quickly dismisses it. I have a friend that only plays 3rd person games and once I tried to get her to drive a Zonda in Forza and she just kept spinning. She loves cars and even some racing sports but she was unable to enjoy it, the same way she's unable to enjoy anything that isn't a blockbuster 3rd person title.

    Not expecting it to get GOTYs, certainty not an EzA GOTY for sure. Most probably not even my GOTY, but it absolutely deserves a sit at the table.



  • As someone who likes racing games but moved away from the genre what are some of the stand out racing games from the last (or this) generation? Is Forza Horizon good for somebody who doesn't like Forza Motorsport so much (or any sim really)?



  • @neocweeny Forza Horizon is an open world arcade racer with seamless online integration. From solo to online activities you have a lot of different stuff to do. Really great world/track design and technically is close to flawless. Very different from a closed circuit simulator. Cant recommend it enough.



  • @neocweeny I haven't played many racing games in recent years, but I did enjoy these: Forza Horizon 3 and 4, art of rally, Slipstream, Need for Speed: Heat.



  • @neocweeny

    I personally think Forza Motorsport has weird physics and absolutely terrible online play, but I love Forza Horizon 4 and probably will love 5. The floaty physics work in its favour.


    To answer OP, I think racing games should be in the discussion. And they are massively popular with GT being a best seller at the end of every PlayStation lifecycle.

    I think the problem is less about what the games are doing or not doing but more about the publications not having their full staff play them. Which is a shame because I’d argue the learning curve to satisfaction and fun payoff is exactly like a fighting game. It isn’t like fighting games win GOTYs either, but usually more people at a publication play them. I’d also argue you can learn a racing game faster too.

    I also don’t think GOTY should be evaluated on its innovation but more on whether it’s the best and most fun game of the year. Innovation can play a factor but that shouldn’t be the only qualifier.

    And racing games do make pretty monumental changes. A coworker once said something about racing games not having any further to go and I feel like he’s just misinformed. At the time, GT Sport pushed the physics of these casual sim games the furthest they’ve gone and we can go further: better tire wear, track conditions affect racing more, time of day affecting performance, altitude, weight of the car affecting performance. So much can be done in physics to make the argument that X-racing game innovated as much as Y-other game in a non-racing genre.



  • @axel I personally don't think any game can be truly "revolutionary" as the hyperbole in that word is exceedingly hard to live up to.

    Breath of the Wild isn't revolutionary, it just makes the most of what an open-world is meant to be with freedom and choice at its core. God of War did change the face of Kratos and it is a superb game, same with The Last of Us-but both of them are as successful as they are because of fantastic writing, voice acting, visuals, design and storytelling-but I'll be blunt here, The Last of Us and God of War are very mainstream and successful because of other influences. Sure they've made a huge impact on videogames but I think Hollywood has been the idolized inspiration for their work. Breath of the Wild is at least crafted with flourishes that vastly improve the videogame open-world.

    As for FORZA Horizon and the racing game genre, ok it's very tough to break the mold when all there seems to be is racing whilst ogling at pretty scenery, but the painstaking details and new discoveries do make FORZA something exciting every time and it's not an emotionally challenging game. You could say God of War and The Last of Us hit the same kind of stride when it comes trying to appeal to players emotionally, but FORZA's strengths lie in the bountiful freedoms it affords players as well as the joy of car culture and sense of place. I feel FORZA lost its place at the table in 2016 when Horizon 3 came out and again when Horizon 4 came out. I fret Horizon 5 will be left out again, especially when we consider that Metroid: Dread is likely to scoop those GOTY honors this year.



  • Sports games can be lumped in too.

    @JDINCINERATOR If we replace "revolutionary" with "they don't change enough year-over-year", does that help? I think "revolutionary" is what it would actually take for a racing or sports game to be considered an all-time great because, really, each new successful IP in the genres is usually just a refinement of what others have done before. So, I guess until they make a 2-man Olympic skeleton simulator with a flesh light peripheral, these games will just come and go.



  • @e_zed_eh_intern

    Not to get spoilery, but Skate in 2007 winning E3 Awards, yet, few GOTY awards seemed perplexing to me. I feel like it's on the same level of innovation as Portal.

    Same goes for Madden 2005's defense AI and playbook. On a sheer AI-level, that game was revolutionary but then add on the great graphics and animation, I feel like that game should be considered an all time classic.

    NHL 2008 added the thumbstick controls and NHL 2009 perfected it into a new game with the brand new Be-A-Pro mode which every other video game copied. In both modes and controls, that game was on another level.

    So I absolutely think sports games get snubbed in the discussion. Personally, some of my all time favourite games are sports games and I've fallen out of love with them recently, but historically, sports games push the boundaries of video games and don't get enough love from the publications.



  • I remember in the late 90s to mid 00s sport games and racing games were considered goty candidates. As well as fighting games.

    At some point critics started looking differently at games. Looking more at the "art" aspect.





  • Talking about having a seat at the table, I wonder if FH5 will be reviewed by EzA before the end of 2021.



  • It’s ok, I don’t think it deserves to win



  • @phbz Blood has apparently written a "doozy" of a script for the FORZA Horizon 5 review so it should be released soon.



  • @phbz

    Sounds like a great person. 🤩



  • I think The Eliminator should be renamed 'Royale With Chase'.