Microsoft’s “Forza Motorsport 2” uses real cars and worked with the manufacturers, as well, but for whatever reason, you can wreck these cars just as you would in real life. People talk about the suspension of disbelief in film, and there’s nothing to jolt you out of reality like watching a $200,000 car crash with nary a scratch on it.
Electronic Arts’ “Need for Speed” games have used this same loophole to allow licensed cars to show damage, which also impacts how the car handles. Come May, Xbox 360 owners will be able to drive high-definition vehicles and destroy them without feeling cheater.
Gamers who buy “Forza 2” will be able to take advantage of Xbox Live for more than just online racing and downloading new tracks. The Xbox Live Auction House will allow players to build custom cars and then sell them to other players for in-game credits or trade them for other vehicles. This type of thing can only be done on the always-on broadband new generation consoles.
Of course, games like EA’s “Burnout Revenge” on Xbox 360 and Sega’s “Full Auto 2” on PlayStation 3 get around these issues by crashing non-licensed cars. But there’s something about watching that Ferrari come apart that adds to the thrill of gaming.