“All I want is a nice skirt, some pat­terned leg­gings or even just a tee”

Shun­ning su­per­cars for shop­ping trips in FORZA HORI­ZON 4.

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They’re a gen­er­ous lot, my em­ploy­ers in Forza Hori­zon 4.

Bonuses I have been given over my time in the game in­clude buck­ets of praise ev­ery time I make other road users fear for their lives, an ac­tual house in ex­change for a mi­nor favour and pretty much an en­tire garage full of cars. Ac­tu­ally, scratch that: it’s more like a car deal­er­ship. I’ve got every­thing from retro bangers that Si­mon from The In­be­tween­ers would turn his nose up at, through to an ex­pen­sive su­per­car that spits fire from its ex­haust in a fash­ion that makes me sus­pect it’ll fail its next MOT. Still, I’m not sat­is­fied.

The rea­son? My out­fit. While it was easy to make my Dri­vatar look at least vaguely like the real me (I’ve got a very generic hair­style, I ad­mit) and to get my dis­con­cert­ingly chirpy sat­nav/AI chum to call me by my ac­tual name, get­ting away from the de­fault out­fit has been more has­sle than get­ting off the M25 in rush hour. Jeans and a promo tee? That just ain’t my style. First, if you’re mak­ing me use my chest as a walk­ing bill­board for your rac­ing fes­ti­val, you’d bet­ter be pay­ing me for the priv­i­lege.

Se­cond, dresses, skirts and leg­gings are where it’s at: sci­en­tific re­search (car­ried out by me) has demon­strated that elas­ti­cated waist­bands al­low for at least 57% greater con­sump­tion of chicken nuggets by vol­ume. In short, this kit has got to go.

threads not treads

As a re­sult, I be­come bor­der­line ob­sessed with the game’s Wheel­spin me­chanic, which grants you a turn on the wheel of for­tune af­ter cer­tain achieve­ments. Prizes in­clude hefty sums of cred­its, new emotes, horns for your cars, ac­tual ve­hi­cles and new threads. I rack up spins thick and fast, be­cause (brag alert!) I’m not ter­ri­ble at this game, as the AI likes to primly re­mind me as it nudges me to up the dif­fi­culty. The prob­lem is, all I bloody win is cars. So many cars. How do you think I laid my mitts on a Pa­gani Zonda C? I sure as heck didn’t pay 2.1 mil­lion cred­its for it.

I hate to sound un­grate­ful, but new rides are wasted on me: I’m con­tent with the first Bent­ley I won, now tricked out with an ob­nox­iously large spoiler, a holo­graphic pur­ple paintjob and a gold bon­net. Sub­tle it’s not, but it’s cer­tainly easy to find in a car park. All I re­ally want is a nice skirt, some pat­terned leg­gings or even just a tee with­out some go­daw­ful gar­ish logo on the front.

In my bid to look like I’ve man­aged to make even the briefest of pit­stops in Pri­mark, I end up har­ing back and forth across the British coun­try­side like a 17-year-old who’s just got their li­cence, agree­ing to any and ev­ery deathrace, dumb stunt and dan­ger­ous show-off feat go­ing. The cu­mu­la­tive amount of road tax I’m pay­ing sky­rock­ets. And then, one glo­ri­ous win­ter day, the tex­tile gods smile be­at­if­i­cally down upon me, and I’m gifted… a blue checked shirt. Yep, the clichéd, much-ridiculed uni­form of the games jour­nal­ist. I guess it’s a start, at least.

then, one glo­ri­ous win­ter day, the tex­tile gods smile be­at­if­i­cally down on me

Let me guess… an­other car? You shouldn’t have. No, re­ally.

Ex­pe­ri­enced the ul­ti­mate first-world prob­lem: too many cars.TetrisEf­fect Emma D av i e s THIS MONTH ALSO PLAYED

Some­times, you’ve just got to take what you can get.

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