Forza Motorsport 3

October 8, 2009 by Jeff Barker  
Filed under Reviews, Xbox 360

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Overview

Title: Forza Motorsport 3

Release Date: October 22nd – October 27th 2009

Developer/Publisher: Turn 10/Microsoft Game Studios

Genre: Racing

Platform[s]: Xbox 360

Storyline

Forza Motorsport needs no introduction. Microsoft’s flagship racing simulation has been the Xbox answer to Gran Turismo since the first installment hit the original console back in 2005. Boasting a large number of licensed cars and realistic damage modeling, Turn 10 honed the experience in it’s first 360 outing with Forza 2, offering an increased number of vehicles, more impressive physics and the much loved customization section where petrol heads could tune their vehicles to within an inch of their lives, and artists could create amazing paint jobs and sell them to the Xbox Live community. Now, with Forza Motorsport 3 they have created perhaps the definitive current-gen driving experience, hoping to attract everyone from six year olds to seasoned petrol heads and realize their vision of “Car Lovers into Gamers, and Gamers into Car Lovers”.

Gameplay

At first glance, Forza Motorsport 3’s gameplay has most of the same features as most other racers out there, until you delve beneath the surface and dig up one of the deepest and most rewarding console racing experiences known to man. Starting with the assists, newcomers and seasoned pros alike can tailor the gameplay to suit their ability. From the standard Green Line that guides you around each track to the assisted braking system, you can tweak the experience to suit your driving style, turning options on and off as you see fit. Turn 10 actively encourage you to switch these assists off by rewarding you more points when you finish a race (which I bet you cannot get in video poker online). Completing a race earns you Experience Points, leveling you up and raising your rep, unlocking further races, discounts on bigger and better parts for your chosen beast(s) and more cars for you to buy, trade, paint and tune.

Spread over two discs, there are well over 400 cars for you to choose from – the 1984 Golf GTI nestles lovingly next to the Bugatti Veryon, alongside classics like the Ferrari Dino 246 GT and the 1961 R-Type Jaguar. Each and every one of them drives differently, affected by your upgrade options and how you wish to tune each vehicle. Tuning options range from tyre pressure to how much down force is applied to bumpers and tails – and again, you can either tweak them to within an inch of their life or leave them well alone, with neither decision costing you any ounce of enjoyment. Upgrades come in over 75 forms, from engine mods to cosmetic adjustments (such as bodykits and the like) and you can choose to install these manually or let the computer optimize your vehicle for you before you start a new race. Again, depending on your level of interest in how the car performs, you can bring metadata up on screen that shows you how each facet of your vehicle is holding up during a race – tyre temperature and telemetry is all there, should you wish to view it, and if a particular car feature isn’t doing it’s job you can go back and tune it until it does (or gets worse, depending on your level of understanding of these sorts of things).

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Racing is a joy, as improved opponent AI now reacts completely differently to any other racer out there (read our Dan Greenawalt interview for a further insight) – meaning that the other drivers on the road don’t stick to the race line and jostle like bumper cars, the aggressive drivers now actively try and shut you down if you get all up in their grill (so to speak) while timid drivers will back right off and avoid you like the plague. Added to this is the rewind feature – something seen recently in DiRT2 – where, if you hit a corner too fast and stack it, you can rewind the action back and cruise smoothly around the corner without so much as an ounce of drift. However, should you wish to use the feature to ram your AI opponents more than once in the same place, they will only let you get away with it once or twice, before swerving out of your way on the 3rd rewind/ramming attempt.

The game will also automatically configure depending on the vehicles you have in your garage, meaning that as you buy, sell and earn cars you will have new races offered up to you. So should you prefer your American muscle cars to your German five-door hatchbacks, the game will feel tailored to suit your needs, and it’s little features like this that show Turn 10 has not only paid attention to the Forza community’s feedback, but are looking to raise the bar on the racing games in general.

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Online and the Forza community has always played a big part in the franchise (with particularly talented members now hired onto the Turn 10 staff), and Forza 3 is no different, with improved Multiplayer options where you can tailor a race to whatever petrol-based fetish you require and the all new storefront and auction house firmly in place for online trading when the game launches.

Graphics

Forza 3 is gorgeous. Each of the 200 tracks have been lovingly crafted and, in most cases, recreated to the exact specification of their real-life counterpart. With over 60 gigs of data collected on each (including road surface changes, camber imperfections etc), the pit lanes, trees, billboards and viewing areas are all exactly where they should be. The cars themselves have been lovingly recreated, with cockpit view available in all of them (where even your rev counter and speedometer look and react differently) – as well as realistic damage modeling, with scrapes and dents appearing as and when you nudge an opponent or tyre wall. Some of the vistas in the tracks are so beautiful that, on first play through, we ended up crashing on more than one occasion after being distracted by their beauty.

Tyre deformation is a big part of this new installment, as not only can you see your tyres bending in response to the different terrain you dive on (which, if you have a large screen television set, looks amazing) it also affects your driving.

The only graphical downside are the spectators, as seems to be the case with sports that attract hundreds of different people in real life, developers never really seem to be able to nail the diversity of a crowd of people watching a race, reacting differently, for most of them appear to look the same, and have the same “waving arms in the air at random points” animations. This is a very minor quibble however, and 99.9% of the time we guarantee you won’t notice.

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Sound

According to Dan Greenawalt, Turn 10 tried to realistically sample as many of the cars as they could – giving the game an overall feel of authenticity and adding to the experience of actually driving these vehicles – and for those they couldn’t, they consulted with as many companies as possible to tweak sounds they already had to ensure they got as close as possible, and it shows. Each car sounds unique and as you’d expect it to, and skids and crashes all sound suitably chunky. There are a few in-game licensed tracks to help get the adrenaline pumping during a race, with Pendulum proving a particular favourite in the VGR/Xboxer360 clubhouse.

Overall Score and Replayability

Forza Motorsport 3 is a triumph. Turn 10 have taken one of the best racing sims out there and given it a fresh lick of paint and sheen that most gamers didn’t think would be possible, but not only that, they’ve managed to craft a game that can be as arcade or as simulation as you want it, without ever compromising on quality and enjoyment. The features we’ve spoken about in this review don’t even come close to scraping the surface of what’s available in game, and we guarantee you’ll have a hell of a lot fun finding them all out just like your journey for the ever sought best online casino bonus. We simply urge you to rush out and purchase it as soon as you can, because you will find not better racer on Microsoft’s grey box. Win.

Forza 3 Demo now live

September 24, 2009 by Ivan Cronyn  
Filed under News, Xbox

Forza 3

The Forza Motorsport 3 demo is available right now from Xbox Live Marketplace. The demo features five cars (Audi R8, Ferrari California, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X GSR etc) and one track (Camino Viejo).

Click to add the Forza Motorsport 3 demo to your download queue (Gold members only)

In recent news from the Tokyo Game Show, Turn 10 have revealed that a large number of Japanese cars are to be featured in the game, including the 2003 Honda S2000, Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec, and Toyota Supra 2.0 GT Twin Turbo.

Another 250gb “Super Elite” Announced

September 17, 2009 by Rob Callery  
Filed under News, Xbox

Forza 3

Microsoft have announced another 250gb Xbox 360, nicknamed the “super elite” console this time to coincide with the launch of Forza Motorsport 3.

Forza Motorsport 3 Super Elite will be released on October 23 and comes with a standard edition of the game, the 250GB HDD, headset and two controllers, and retail for £249 in the UK.

No images off the console have been revealed, but it is logical to speculate that the console will be themed around forza 3 the same ways the Modern Warfare 2 console, that was announced yesterday is.

Forza Motorsport 3 is gold

September 11, 2009 by Ivan Cronyn  
Filed under News, Xbox

Forza 3

Forza Motorsport 3 has gone gold, according to sources at Microsoft and Turn 10. This means that the game is finished, ready to be burned onto disks and sent out to the shops. The eagerly-awaited console racing game launches in Europe on October 23 and in North America on October 27.

Thankfully, you won’t have to wait that long for a taste, as a demo will be on the Xbox Live Marketplace on September 24. The demo will feature the Camino Viejo circuit and five cars:

  • 2007 Porsche #80 Flying Lizard 911 GT3-RSR
  • 2010 Audi R8 5.2 FSI quattro
  • 2009 Ferrari California
  • 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X GSR
  • 2009 Mini John Cooper Works

The demo will also include official leaderboards.

Forza 3’s epic scope, scale and proportion.

September 4, 2009 by Victoria Wilkins  
Filed under News, Xbox

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So with Forza 3 racing into stores in October, Turn 10 spokesman Steve Beinner was quick to share some of the main features of the third instalment of the racing series at Gamescom this year. After wincing at my own abysmal attempts at playing Daytona in my R8 we were on the receiving end of some Forza 3 perks.

Some of the main announcements include a ‘rewind’ feature which enables both hardcore and new gamers alike to rewind their game play. So, if you have ever, like me completed 29 out of 30 laps perfectly, and then on the last corner you find a Ford Focus comes out of nowhere and shunts you into the shameful sanded outskirts, don’t worry! Your solution to shame is here. Just click a button and watch your game play rewind and then you should consider changing your driving path.

Another cool feature is the “one finger” racing for those who don’t gel to well with racing games and the massive multiplayer online which is planned to be even bigger than Forza 2. The only downside is that due to Forza 3’s huge graphics and engine step up, designs made in Forza 2 will not be able to be transferred.

Also, if your a graphic nerd like me, your thirst will be quenched by Forza’s 60fps graphics with 4x Texture and did I mention that 360hz graphics engine which makes the game refresh every 0.8ft? I think it’s safe to say that Forza 3 will be epic. Yes, even more epic than the microwave room on MGS4. I rest my case.