Forza Motorsport 3 (Xbox 360)

Review: Forza Motorsport 3


Driving Simulator

Only an asshole gets killed over a car.



Stuart Rich

Whenever a game sequel is released it will inevitably be compared to its predecessor.  So, the first question most people will be asking is  is this a whole new game or just an updated version? Well, when it comes to driving games, it’s difficult to come up with anything totally new so essentially it is an updated version of FM2 but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Out of the box the first thing you will notice is that you get two discs. Okay, no problem.  Just install them to the hard drive so I won’t have to swap them over. Now don’t expect any help from the instruction booklet with this or anything else for that matter. Whereas the instruction booklet for FM2 was thirty pages long and helped you with every aspect of the game – from racing to tuning – the booklet for FM3 is unusually thin and is mainly taken up with details of all the car licenses they have received, it’s as though the developers assume you have already played FM2 and therefore know what you are doing.

Pointless fucking not real Forza promo shots. I HATE THEM.

Back to the disc install, make sure you install Disc 1 and then start the game. You will then be prompted once the game starts to install Disc 2. If like me you install both discs first you will have to uninstall disc 2. Again there is no mention of how to do this in the instruction booklet and game forums are littered with questions from gamers on how to install disc 2.

On to the game and this latest installment has got awesome, smooth and flowing graphics, running at 60 FPS, with stunning tracks and amazing scenery.  I’ve  got to take my hat off to Turn10 for listening to what the fans had to say and included some huge, complex tracks that require some serious skill and tuning prowess to own.

Most people will start with the excellent Career Mode which is huge. There are 220 events compared to FM2’s 100, so there is plenty to keep you occupied and it’s a definite improvement over the last game, with the added bonus of season play which maps out certain races over a season and culminates in a World Championship race at the end. In addition to season play you can also race other events and this is the real bread and butter of the game and all of the game’s achievements, which come very quickly, can be obtained in single player mode.

So pointless that I'm not even going to crop and centre the picture properly. HA!

When you want a break from driving you can tune your cars, setting up tyre pressure, lateral G’s, gearbox etc.  You can also buy upgrades, make movies, take pictures, view leader boards and paint your cars. The new Storefront is a great feature that allows you to buy & sell setups & custom paint jobs to/from other gamers.. There is also a ‘Quick Tune’ setting which lets you choose what class you want your car to be and buys all the upgrades necessary to max it out for that particular class which can save time but does dumb down the skill in upgrading and tuning your cars which is a classic example of a developer bowing down to modern gamers who want the biggest kicks instantly.



Secondary Review

I really like the Forza series.  Even though I can’t drive and I know next to nothing about cars. It’s kind of like the gaming equivalent of Top Gear.

Turn 10 in my opinion made a wise move by making the game more accessible to people who don’t live and breathe motosports.

It appears that Turn 10 have improved the gameplay but at the slight expense of the realism which Forza is known for.

With that said there is a ton of content and, thanks to the community, there will be more free content by the day. What I especially like is how much brighter everything is compared to the last game. The tracks and much more interesting to look at and entertaining to race and there are tons of cars in this game without there being to many clones.

Gran Turismo has a steep mountain to climb if it wants to be king of the racing hill because right now Forza 3 in my humble opinion is the best ‘simulator’ racing game out on the market because there is so much to see and do and I just can’t keep my hands of that awesome decal editor.  Top stuff!

Secondary Score: 7/10

Some people may disagree but I prefer to work my way to the top and show my car off with pride because I worked so hard to get it and with Forza’s customisation options it would have been even more special!

Online is where I had most fun with Forza 2 but unfortunately the developers have managed to cock this up as you cannot search for a custom race with a certain class car anymore unless you start a private room and invite people which is ridiculous. There are rumors of patch being released soon to rectify this but if there isn’t this will seriously reduce the game life of this game. So if you have no friends playing this game, you have to jump in to a quick match which BTW does not allow you to race anything lower than R3 cars, so no point really in painting your cars as no one will see them.

Also, as mentioned previously, there are no online specific achievements. You can still earn money in online races which go towards your experience points but there aren’t any achievements for winning races or earning a million credits as there were previously in FM2.

Overall, the game has improved presentation but has dumbed down gameplay.  The game is a lot easier for the casual community and will probably be a bigger commercial success because of that. With all the racing assists on and the AI set to easy my blind cat, and maybe even my wife, could still get all golds in all events.

If they patch the online problems then I would score this 8 but as it is I can only give it a 7.

Rating: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ 7/10

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