gameplay 90 / story 1 / graphics 80 / sound 80
Forza Motorsport 3 is a truly amazing racer that provides a ton of content, but not too much content. The honest truth is this game literally goes head to head with Gran Turismo 5 on the Playstation 3, and both games have their own advantages and disadvantages that sort of balance each other out. On one hand, Forza has the better looking scenery outside the car, but GT5 has the better looking cars. Forza has more unique tracks with a ton of partial courses and mirror/reverse courses, while GT5 has night, rain and off-road driving.
So what separates this racer from its competition? One small detail that Poliphony would have you believe is a flaw is actually a strength with Forza. You don’t have very many useless vehicles here. The first few hours, if not days in GT games are spent driving cars you could simply go to a dealership and test drive. Forza weeded out many of the non-essential cars leaving just a few starter vehicles, and only a few races between you and that fancy Porsche or Ferrari you’ve had your eyes on. Another advantage has to be Microsoft’s Xbox Live community. Like it or not, Microsoft has built an amazing online community of gamers and ways to connect with them. Turn 10 took full advantage of this, not only giving out free cars as gifts over Xbox Live, but also through their Auction House and storefronts. Sell custom setups, cars, and paint jobs over Xbox Live for in game credits and getting one of every car can be easy as cake!
However, the game is not perfect. Really what game is? Forza 3 seems to be somewhat of a retread. Yes, its a great game, but while a lot of great technology went into this game, it doesn’t show up in a way that’s easy to see. When it comes to driving games, no one has better driving physics than Turn 10. However the cars still look a bit cartoonish, the engine notes are not quite as on the mark as another Microsoft gem, Project Gotham Racing, and the online matchmaking system feels like it took a step back. On top of that Many of the tracks are courses we’ve raced on many many times over. The first time you challenge ‘the ring’ its an amazing experience, but we’ve been racing that track since Forza 1 and Project Gotham Racing 2. I honestly felt the game should have had more tracks, and am always disappointed they do not release even more tracks after release as DLC.
Final Word: Forza Motorsport 3 is kind of like a stepping stone game while we wait for Forza 4 to come and wow! us, but its a much more complete game than GT5 Prologue was. Forza 3 also has one of the largest racing communities out there, is very well supported, and should still be considered a top 3 racer among all consoles. I would recommend this game to any car nut or race fan who owns an Xbox 360.
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