Short on cash? Looking for a cheap gaming fix to get you through til payday? Saving for something special but don’t want your gaming addiction to suffer? Player 2 has you covered with a look at some of the best Free-to-play games available. Welcome to Zero Dollar Heroes.
Zero Dollar Heroes – Forza Motorsport 6: Apex
In what appears to be a combination of testing the PC waters and promoting the Xbox brand Microsoft has released a free-to-play version of Forza Motorsport 6 on home computers. Subtitled Apex, this release is quite generous with its free content and gives players a good taste of the classic Forza experience.
The game is structured differently to traditional Forza games in that it simply follows a linear path through various different events as opposed to allowing players to choose events that suit their favourite cars. This, however, is a blessing in disguise for people that aren’t as deep into racing games as traditional Forza fans. It gives players a good taste of a wide range of cars very quickly, letting people dive right in without spending hours earning the right to drive in a supercar. There are events focused on hot hatches, classic muscle cars, affordable heroes and souped-up supercars all within the first hour of gameplay.
Progression is based on meeting objectives in races. These objectives range from the obvious (such as finishing first) to the difficult (completing a race without touching another car) to the obscure (knocking down a certain amount of witches hats during the race). These objectives, along with clean and fast driving earn points. These points, in turn, earn medals which allow players to unlock new cars and events. There are a healthy amount of cars and events to participate in as well, obviously nothing compared to the full game, but for the price there is a lot to love. With 15 main events, a free play mode and special events that change on a regular basis there is easily 4-5 hours of solid gameplay without redoing races.
As for the microtransactions, well they are very minimal. They can be used to unlock cars and events early and that’s about it. Considering most cars can be earned quite easily these transactions seem to be in place to grab those super hard to get rare cars like the Bugatti Veyron. There are no aggressive requests for money and no intrusive paywalls. In all, it is a very fair free-to-play system.
One thing I have yet to mention is the gameplay. Well as far as driving engines go Forza is, as it always has been, right up in the top of the pack. With multiple assists, difficulties and options Forza prides itself on being able to cater to hardcore racing fans as well as people that just want to go super-fast in a flash car and Apex is no different. The cars all drive in suitably different manners which ensures players get a unique experience in each of the available vehicles and the replication of real world tracks is second to none. Add to this one of the best dynamic weather systems in racing and this is a complete package for all levels of driving game fans. The game also includes full wheel support for those of you with killer racing setups.
Forza Horizon 6: Apex may simply be a glorified demo for the Forza series but it is one hell of a demo. Plenty of cars, plenty of tracks and plenty of fun to be had for the measly price of zero. It is the rough equivalent of the old Grand Turismo: Prologue games in terms of size and structure and you don’t have to spend a single cent to play. It does require a fairly hefty PC to run at top settings but if your rig can handle it and you have 19gig free on your HDD there really is no reason not download this high-quality racer.