OK, “scariest” might be an overstatement, but it certainly did get my adrenaline rushing faster than any other gaming experience in my life.
The rad thing about all of this is that it had nothing to do with a shooter, or anything gamers traditionally view as exciting. In fact, quite a few of the hardcore would even go as far as to say that the games in this genre are tedious derivative pieces of human fecal matter. I obviously disagree. They’re just misunderstood!
I’m speaking of sim racers, of course. And to be even more precise, this feeling of extraordinary, bat-shit insane excitement came exclusively from the frightening Nürburgring Nordschleife (AKA the Ring) race track in Forza 2.
It was always a challenging road for me, but after time I had tuned my BMW M3 and had acquired enough experience on it to become competitive online. The car is still a work in progress, and for now I’ve decided to drop the standard M3 as my preferred Nürburgring car for the M3-GTR model.
It truly is the simulation that gives me a pulsating erection whenever I race on this road. Out of all the sim racers I‘ve played, none do as good of a job nailing the feel of all four tires meeting the pavement. I can just sit there zoning out like many of you do with your hundred-plus hour long RPGs. Some like grinding, and others like me enjoy tweaking cars and learning tracks.
If you clicked on that link and read up a bit on Nürburgring (I assume you didn’t, random person), you’d know how intense this road is for any newcomers. It’s narrow, long (13 miles - 147 corners), it was boycotted by F1 racers, and is responsible for the deaths of hundreds.
I had always wanted to run a race on Nürburgring online that was over two laps long. After a week of nagging I had finally gotten people to agree on a date. We decided on a four lap A-Class race. It was set up with damage turned on and fuel and tire wear set on simulation. We had a total of eight players in the lobby and were ready to go.
Now, try to envision a race that has already gone on for around twenty-eight minutes. I had just passed the long stretch in the track and I was going onward with my next lap. The closest vehicles were two cars up front, and one car behind me that was relentlessly breathing down my neck. I couldn’t shake him off. Any miniscule error could have cost me my position and quite possibly the race, so I was a bit on edge.
More than halfway through the lap one of the cars in front of me began to attempt an overtake. He tried taking the lead on the inside of a curve that really shouldn‘t have been much of a problem. His foot was unfortunately a bit too heavy on the throttle. The Corvette he was using ran into a bit of oversteer. The back went out and his car slammed into the lead, sending both of them into an uncontrollable spin.
The curve we were on had a bit of an incline. They were going down it while we were going up. I didn’t see the crash until it was too late for me to stop. The car behind me would have probably slammed into me since it was much heavier, anyway.
I had to maneuver around the two spinning cars. There was a split second for me to react while it rained spoilers, bumpers, and rear-view mirrors. Fortunately, both me and the guy behind me made it through with him yelling, “that‘ll make your butt hole pucker!” as we left the crash.
The race so far had been very taxing. There were a superfluous number close calls, but they were never intentional. It was very fortunate to have such good sportsmanship in a race like this. No one attempted to run anyone off the road purposely, and no one ragequit even though it was a known fact that they’d come near last place, or probably not even finish at all.
Since that race I have never played anything that has been as exciting. And don’t get confused. It wasn’t that specific accident that made the entire thing special. It was the fact that it was multiplayer, it was the track, it was the close-calls, and me actually finishing the damn thing.