Developer: Turn 10
Publisher: Microsoft Games Studios
Also on: N/A (Xbox 360 exclusive)
Console Played on: Xbox 360
Release Date: Friday October 23rd 2009
Age Rating: PEGI 3
Lets get this done now: Forza Motorsport 3 is awesome.
No whining from the PS3 lot about how GT5 is much better then this “shit mockup of Gran Turismo”, because the truth is Forza Motorsport 3 is just downright awesome in its own right. Will Gran Turismo 5 set the world on fire when it (most likely now) will be released by Christmas? Probably. But first comes FM3, and it is a heck of a game to play.
During my hands on time with the game at an Xbox media event in Dublin this week, I didn’t use a controller. Instead, what I did use was a steering wheel and pedals with the game to give it a proper test drive (shit pun intended).
In the build I played, there were 20 cars available including Ferrari’s and the game’s trademark car, the Audi R8 V10, as well as three original circuits, two of which were seen at E3 in demo form.
It handles very nicely and authentically with wheel and pedals like it should. It just feels right to play around with, a lot better than a controller would have been if I had tried the game with one at the very least.
Be early on the brakes and you’ll suffer for it by being overtaken by other cars, as shown on the track aids. Brake too late and car will meet wall, with a possible side-order of rollover.
Of course, depending if you want to, tweaking things like ABS, traction and stability, you could possibly give it a feel of an Arcade racing game, like Project Gotham Racing or GRiD. Go for a proper sim option and it will be a proper racing car arguably.
So what about the damage system for the game? Some racing games, including Gran Turismo 5, with supercars like Ferrari’s and Lamborghini’s arent allowed to have a damage system for them kind of supercars because of the car company not wanting their cars to look bad with damage.
In Forza 3, it’s different. I managed to drive an Audi R8 V10 and a Ferrari in my time with demo, and managed to heavily damage both. How bad? Lets just say that when you crash in the game with a massive supercar, it wont stay the same. And this aint no window crack damage too.
Full. on. damage. Oh, and cars do roll over. It wasnt a trick you merely seen at E3, they do roll over if you have a heavy crash. I must admit that I didnt roll once during my playthrough of the game, but I did manage to catch a fellow journalist at the event who did roll a car in his playtime with the demo. And it looked good, adding serious another notch of authenticity to the game
Forza Motorsport 3 will also contain point-to-point racing. While it was in the original for the Xbox a couple of years ago, the sequel two years ago didn’t. However, FM3 will have the mode implemented again, so for any fans who were craving it for FM2 but didnt get their fix, you will get it with FM3.
FM3 isn’t trying to be a proper racing sim anymore unlike it’s past two counterparts. It just wants to be a nice good wholesome racing game at heart, glamorous if you like. It doesn’t have the feel of most sim racing games, but yet, it still feels good to have that somewhat.
However, it still has them penalties like a sim racer will most likely have. Run wide? Damage? penalty. Run into another car? You guessed it, penalty. In-case you forget how penalties work in Forza or you’re going to be a newbie with FM3, Forza 3′s penalties will see time shaved off for doing all of the above. The amount of time that gets shaved for the penalties will be displayable to you on screen as you play.
Forza 3 looks stunning to look at. It really does look amazing. It runs at a perfectly smooth 60fps, but does get cut to 30fps when in the exterior of a car, added for the first time in a Forza game. Even at 30fps, the on-board camera for the game gives the car a lovely look to it, one I haven’t seen since I played Test Drive Unlimited since I bought my Xbox 360 back in December 2006.
Overall: It’s not much to say on a game that really does deserve more to be said on, but the truth is doesn’t really need explaining. Forza Motorsport 3 is just simply awesome. Great to play and great to look at.
Will this be the GT beater? Get back to us before October 23rd, and we’ll most likely say then if it has a chance or not. For now, if you’re a racing game fan and have a 360. but dont have the official steering wheel and pedals from Microsoft for the 360, I seriously advise you go out and buy one now.
You’ll need for what Turn 10 are calling “the definitive racing game”. By this evidence, they may not be far off.
Forza Motorsport 3 is out on October 23rd in Europe and October 27th in the US, exclusive to the Xbox 360. Our hands on came at an Xbox 360 media event in Dublin. For all the news and other things from the event, click here.