Forza Horizon 3 has given an avid video game racer a chance to drive alongside a good friend who died suddenly, and very young.
Writing in the Xbox One subreddit, gamer Spartansneverdie wrote that though his friend Drew died about a year ago, his driveatar still is with him in Forza Horizon 3, which launched on Tuesday. "I immediately pull up behind him and challenge him to a race," he wrote.
"It was pretty surreal," he said. "It was like I was playing with him again on Xbox. It was bittersweet, but another reason to love this game."
The Forza Drivatar feature was introduced in 2013's Forza Motorsport 5; it populates a user's game with avatars of friends who also play. The avatar is built on that user's performance history, driving style and other data. It's available across the spectrum of Forza titles.
Other redditors poured in their condolences and support, with one reminding Spartansneverdie how to get his friend to drive with him wherever he goes. "Next time, get near him and horn," wrote emirarkman. "He'll jump in your convoy and follow you."
Another redditor advised him that if he joins a car club, he will start seeing more of the club's members in Forza Horizon 3's world than drivers from his friends list. So keep that in mind if you have a friend's driveatar you hope to see again in this game.
For more about Foriza Horizon 3, see our review. We scored the latest entry in the action-racing series an 8.5, saying "this free-roaming car simulation offers a valuable playbox."