* Awarded 'Best Racing Game' 2009, 'Xbox 360 GOTY' 2009
Forza Motorport 3 ambitiously expands on its ultimate racing series with its third release, and like they say... the third times a charm. Forza Motorsport 3 is a game for anyone who loves the competitive spirit of racing. Jump in the passenger seat as we twist and turn around the new Forza Motorsport 3.
The first thing you will likely notice about Forza Motorsport 3 is its streamlined presentation and the clean-cut graphics. Forza Motorsport 3 isn’t a flashy type of racing game, but it has the graphical horsepower under the hood. The focus in Forza is on the racing, the customization, and the community, exactly what a racing game should be about. Turn 10 has not disappointed its long time fans as the Forza Motorsport series keeps getting better and better with every new addition. Forza 3 is everything the last two games are and more. If you have been a fan of Forza in the past, then you need this game, it is that simple. Not only has the amount of cars and detail in the graphics been upped, the gameplay is more refined, challenging and accessible then ever, all rolled into one. Forza 3 is one of those games you will keep coming back to over the years, leaving each session with a smile.
The first race you’ll take part in you will have the pleasure of being in the drivers’ seat of an Audi R8 (the one on the cover of the box). In this default race you will zip around the track with all the driving assists turned on while you follow the racing line around each bend. This is a good introduction to how Forza plays, and if you found the initial race too easy (which it is) then you can start to peel away the extra driving assists to find your perfect balance.
The driving assists in Forza are helpful, but not always needed (depending on your skill level.) Before every race the assists can adjusted as you feel necessary. This is helpful when you are not as comfortable at the high speeds, or on certain types of tracks. Controlling a Fiat is not the same as controlling a Lamborghini, so don’t feel ashamed if you have to turn on a few helpers when strapped into the seat of a Lamborghini Murcielago. Learning to how to handle such beasts without the help of assists will give you more credits at the end of a race. As assists are toggled on-and-off you can see the end score results of driving with or without them. Picking between stability control or anti-lock breaks might be an easy choice for some. However when you get into the damage control, and remove the racing line completely, you're in for quite a different ride. Having all these options opens the gamplay up for all levels of players by giving them full control how hard they want to struggle for the gold.
Your Career starts here
From there, you jump get to jump into the career mode which has been switched up from last year. The career mode starts you off like many other racing games at the bottom, a low classed car, limited funs and a limited amount of races you can choose from. From there you the goal is to earn credits by winning races and expand your garage of cars while you enjoy the pure pleasure of racing. The career mode is moved into seasons in with the main focus being a world championship races that take place ever few weeks, and during the downtime you can enter into different tournament races and expand your skill level, reaping the rewards of your successful races. Playing though the career is a lot of fun and season-to-season you’ll get to map outthe races you want to compete in, giving a sense of freedom. If you don’t have the patience, or don’t feeling like sitting through a season, you can simply start up any event and go at it.
Building up credits is important to buying new vehicles and completing all the races in the game. If your need a little more umph quickly then you can hit up the auction house. The auction house is an online store where users can sell and buy other users cars, this includes modified rides too. However more than purchasing cars you can also bid on or sell your custom tuning setups, paint jobs, and vinyl designs. This instantly makes the auction house a place where you will want to visit often. Searching through the amount of content and list of cars before the games public release was richly full of content and this will only expand as sales rise. There is already a good number of entrepreneurs hitting up the house with their own production lines, and to think this is pre-release. Now, if you invest a lot of money in creating content for the game you can be rewarded for your hard work.
Feeling Lucky? Try the Auction House
Since the online marketplace is an auction house you will have to bid on the item, or purchase it for a buy out price. Much like EBay the ones who refresh the screen and watch an auction will win. Forza fortunately helps you out by sending notifications when your bid has been beat, and then you can simply open up the tab and rebid. If you're not into playing it cool in the auction game, you can also grab a soda and watch it intensely. Credits are spent when you bid which avoids gamers trying to buy everything up without having the cash. The auction house benefits everyone who plays Forza, from the one who wants the look without spending the time or the crafty graphics majors who wants to earn some in-store credits. The auction house is a great way to get into the game quickly, get a few wins under the belt and see what is available.
Furthering the online experience is the racing, a strong-point of the series. Online Forza is as good as last years run, simple to get into and lots of fun. Hours can simply fade away when you get with a good troop of racers and the gamers who simply want to mess around and drive backwards on the track will be met once again with the ghost! Online you can participate in normal, elimination, tag, drift, and team-based races. The game is extremely customizable online and all the power is yours when you host a game. Fans of online racing games this is your holy grail. Now if we could only get the people to stop playing bumper cars.
Racing online in Forza is remarkable, defiantly the crown jewel, however you can’t always find a group of gamers who play by the rules. This is what makes the offline races so competitive with A.I. opponents that can give you a good run on the track. The A.I. makes Forza feel realistic and you’ll often be cursing the skill of an A.I. controlled racer as he blocks you from passing or takes a leap on the car you where aiming for. On the easy difficulty the A.I. isn’t too aggressive, but when its stepped up you’ll notice the different in your first race. Overtaking, following the proper lines and even making the odd mistake all helps the offline races feel as good as online, which is a rare change. It’s easy to be glued to your seat while playing Forza 3, crank up that sound and feel the pressure as the A.I. nips at your heels--- then you will likely notice how easily you can get dragged into the competitive nature of racing. Forza is a great gaming experience and the refined A.I. helps it alone. Not all races are going to be nail-bitters, but the majority are.
Rewind? In Forza!
New to Forza is a little tipster that can help ensure you making onto the podium. This is the new rewind feature that seems to be in every racing game nowadays. Rewinding in game races can be done as much as you want with the touch of a button. Hitting this button will rewind the game in-real time along with giving you multiple spots to choose from continuing. Racing purists are going to scold this inclusion to “their sim-racer”, but the thing is, you don’t have to use it if you don’t want to. I’m not a huge fan of this trend personally, but it seems like it’s a feature that is here to say. One thankful thing that Turn 10 has included are detailed leaderboards that every function that has been used in a race, including the rewind function. Gamers who use this function (and admit I have) can’t score ahead of someone who didn’t use it, even if you match their time. The leaderboards are great way to tell how skilled you are in the Forza world, even before you jump into the multiplayer.
Technically speaking Forza Motorsport 3 is as solid as they come. The real-world tracks and cars are done with expert precision and don’t budge when racing in speeds over 200mph. Even online the game holds true to the graphical quality delivering a solid gaming experience on and offline. The cars look awesome and the created liveries are spot on. The in-car details really look great and now with your little Forza gloves on you will likely be checking out the beauty of the game, if you can spare that extra second.
The sound is right behind the visuals and provides a good soundtrack (30+ songs) that will likely be drown out by the awesome roar of your engine. Forza sounds remarkable turned up loud and can’t be beat. The sound and visuals in Forza Motorsport 3 are good, however in comparison to last years; it’s not such a huge leap. This isn’t a negative point to the game because it performs so well, but its not overly impressive when put up head-to-head.
Turn 10 Studios has been working hard in the shop since its last release of Forza, and it shows. Forza Motorsport 3 is a racing fans type of game that is also accessible to the causal racer. Filled with hundreds of cars, a wonderful career mode and excellent online integrations, you can’t go wrong by picking up Forza Motorsport 3. It’s hard to imagine Forza being any better. If you have ever been interested in the racing genre of gaming you owe to yourself to go out and get behind the wheel of this exceptional racer.
Reviewed by Downtown Jimmy | 08.28.09
- Still improving, Best Forza yet
- Rock solid framerate with solid graphics
- It is a pleasure to hear you! Forza sounds great
- Great controls, easy to learn with adjustable levels of difficulty
- A.I. gives you a good run at the track
- Multiplayer and online community is exceptional
- Auction house is addictive and extends the shelf life
- 400 cars to purchase with more coming via DLC
- Love-it or Hate-it, you can now rewind
- Starting in last place is a bummer
- No cure for all the bumper bangers you meet online
Similar Games: Forza Motorsport 2 (9.0) | Forza Motorsport 4 (9.5)