The launch of the Xbox One is nearly upon us, which wouldn’t be particularly interesting to racing gamers if it weren’t for one very important game: Forza Motorsport 5. To make the last few days of waiting easier, I’ve come up with a few ways to keep your gearhead brain occupied. After all, if you’re anything like me, you’ve already worn holes in the floor with endless amounts of impatient pacing.
Step 1: Play the old games.
You know what makes a shiny new next-gen video game look even fancier? Having just played its predecessor. Take this final handful of days to take one last spin in FM4 or Forza Horizon. Say goodbye to that special, favorite car that you spent hours tuning and modifying to be just right. Give that lap record you’ve been trying to break one more shot. Wrap up that single-player event you never got around to, or challenge your biggest rival to a grudge match. Chances are you won’t play the old games again any time soon, so send them out with a bang.
Step 2: Apologize in advance to friends and family.
Let’s be realistic here. Not all of your loved ones share your passion for virtual driving. Considering the only people you’re going to talk to for the next few days will be on Xbox Live, you’re probably going to be ignoring a pretty big percentage of your acquaintances. Warning them in advance may not spare you from their wrath, but you’ll at least be able to say “I told you so” when they’re somehow still surprised that you haven’t called them back all week.
“These ARE my friends, Mom! Jeez!”
Step 3: Stock up on provisions.
You’ve been here before. You know the drill. You spend twelve hours playing a new Forza game, then discover to your horror that you’re out of things to eat and drink. You get in your real-world car and are pulled over five minutes later for trying to take the racing line through a four-way intersection. The police aren’t interested in your explanation that cutting across the sidewalk/apex is the fastest way to make a left turn. Save yourself the embarrassment of mixing up Forza and real life by making sure you don’t need to leave the house halfway through a marathon session.
Step 4: Practice your fake engine noises.
The developers at Turn 10 have spent untold time and money making sure that every car in the game sounds like its real-world counterpart, but that won’t stop you from adding your own sound effects. Make sure your vroom-vrooms can adjust in pitch to match different engine displacements, and that your squealing tire shrieks aren’t the same for braking and drifting. After all, if you can’t pretend to sound like the imaginary car you’re driving, what’s the point of even playing?
Give me your best diesel-electric hybrid noise. See? You’re not ready.
Step 5: Get some sleep.
When was the last time you willingly gave up consciousness during the first night with a new game? Chances are you’ll wake up the next day, surrounded by empty soda cans and snack food wrappers, wondering what time it is and when exactly you passed out. Your virtual McLaren will still be buried in the tire wall that it smashed into when your body finally shut itself down. Before that happens, make sure you’ve slept well in the previous few days. Otherwise, it’s going to be a tough weekend.
Got all that? Good. Now you can go back to walking an endless circle around your living room while trying to decide what legendary car and track to take on first. Rest easy, friend, because you’re ready to binge on some proper next-gen simulated racing.
Pit Box One is written by Paul Jensen. You can follow his thoughts on video games and motor racing on Twitter.