Lately most of my online racing has been in private lobbies with people that have up to 4000 races under their belts. They're very capable racers in every sense of the word. The veteran of the group likes to leave catchup on and we've had a bit of a discussion about this. I personally didn't like it, I thought it was too much of a handicap for the lead player while he insisted that it makes for boring races.
So we tested his theory and as much as I hate to admit it he's absolutely correct.
Yes it does suck to get to the front of the pack with a nice lead only to see it diminish in front of you every second. However it's also keeps the races exciting because you've almost always got a battle going on at the front of the pack and it certainly is enjoyable to know when you're taken out at the start of a race you still have a chance of catching up.
I'm going to list some pro's and con's with having catchup turned on.
- you lose the lead very easily.
- It's difficult for those in the back because their vehicles are so much faster.
- It does make for some thrilling races more often.
- You're race isn't over when the noob takes you out at the beginning of the race.
- Your car is much easier to handle when you're in the lead cause it's slower.
Ultimately, I think catchup is starting to grow on me. I really hated it at first but once we turned it off, races turned into marathons where you'd basically be racing on your own the entire time. On top of that you have to devise strategies to counter catchup, this has led me to become the shortcut expert in our little group of friends. Finding shortcuts in races has actually completely changed the way races are raced for us as a result. I've learned a LOT about how to race in the last mile to the finish too.
I still win about as often as I did before with catchup off too but the races are more entertaining and that's really what you want from the game, for it to be entertaining. If I could change anything about the catchup feature I would create a way to adjust how strong the catchup feature works and perhaps I'd tone it down a little bit. Otherwise though it's a feature I think isn't as appreciated as it should be. How many white knuckle finishes have you had in race? Chances are the majority were with catchup on. Some will find when they lose frustrating and some will just pat the winner on the back and move on. There's always another race.