It has been long rumored that NASCAR, absent since Forza Motorsport 4 on the 360, would be making it’s return. And last month it came in a big way. But also a very odd way. Alongside a full compliment of cars, and a new track, you get a story mode not unlike the Porsche expansion. And if you can guess from the image above, Turn 10 let things get weird with the NASCAR expansion and the game is all the better for it.
First, before we get to how the cars and new additions to the UI feel, let’s tackle the amazing premise that is given along with this DLC. Sure, you race on an oval at first and learn how to tackle pack racing. Take on the three ovals in the game, move onto some American road courses, and then buckle up, because you’re going across the world.
That’s right, the caveat of this DLC is a What If scenario often spoke about in drunken tones in bars all over the US. What would happen if you ran a NASCAR machine against some of the most high-tech racing vehicles from Europe and beyond. It’s here that realism seems to be thrown out the window. Of course you still have the lovely Forza Tech engine which is simulating everything the same, but it all feels just a tad more arcade-y with the big V8 beasts. The cars are appropriately floaty and powerful, hard to control on road courses, but at home on an oval.
You throw the big float monster with say, GT3 cars, or Indy cars, and it starts to make sense. Forza has never been a game about oval racing, but NASCAR is about the most popular spectator event in the US. Forza is the leading next-gen racing game. There had to be a way to marry them, and I feel like this is the best possible result. The amount of times I was giggling as I barged another machine off the road, or got a perfect draft, or just had something smile worthy happen was astounding.
This is the casual Friday of racing games. NASCAR isn’t about suits and ties and champagne. It’s about going fast and having a good time. Bringing that attitude to the usually uptight Forza Motorsports franchise is a gift. This expansion is about having a good time with the anachronistic beasts we love. I had a ton of fun with this expansion, and if you are a regular Forza player, I think you will too.
[Disclaimer: Microsoft was nice enough to give me a code for the expansion. You can grab it on the Xbox Live Marketplace for a cool twenty bucks.]