Forza Motorsport 3 (2009, Driving Simulator) – 7/10 360 exclusive game review

Cast / crew
Game Designer: Dan Greenawalt

Forza Motorsport 3 (2009)

Race online or offline against up to seven opponents in most of the world’s most desirable cars from dozens of car manufacturers on scores of tracks set in twenty-one international locations (including new to the series Amalfi Coast, Benchmark High Speed Ring, Camino Viejo de Montserrat, Sedona Raceway Park, and returning favourite Fujimi Kaido). Customise them mechanically and visually and buy, share or sell tuning setups and designs on the new Forza Storefront.

7/10

Despite suspiciously glowing contemporary reviews and brazenly making eyes at casual gamers (you can complete the game and get a lot of the achievements almost without driving a single lap), FM3 is more hardcore than ever because only they will be able to extract any satisfaction from it. The casual gamer will give up before even a single lap is through thanks to AI that clearly doesn’t obey the same laws of physics you do, the fact that you can’t touch anything other than tarmac, wheels still seem to spin or lock with traction control and anti-lock brakes turned on, and an extremely uninvolving, if fluid, default driving experience. It is instantly dull and even more so in the uncommunicative cockpit view (almost imperceptible head movement). However, if you learn to drive with your assists off and spend time tuning your cars and avoid the cockpit view, you will be rewarded with a very good driving model and reasonable driving experience and you will appreciate the wealth of cars and superb original tracks presented with beautiful, crisp graphics at a marvellous sixty frames-per-second. Once here, it is, as before, bafflingly addictive but, even with that, you’re unlikely to play the game through to it’s 125-hour conclusion. Told you it was hardcore.

Classified 3+ by PEGI. The game is only suitable for persons who have reached the age of 3 or over.

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Forza Motorsport 2 (2007, Racing Game, 360) – 9/10 review

Senior Manager: Alan Hartman
Project Lead: Garrett Young
Lead Designer: Dan Greenawalt

Forza Motorsport 2 (2007)

Race online (requires Xbox Live Gold) or offline in any of over 300 cars on over 45 track variations in 12 locations. Customise your car with parts and paint jobs and race them and / or sell them in the Auction House (requires Xbox Live Gold).

9/10

With a driving experience that is, astonishingly, leagues ahead of the first Forza Motorsport (thanks to silky smooth graphics though they still haven’t delivered traction control, anti-lock brakes or, occasionally, low-speed rear-wheel drive that works) coupled with a huge amount of cars, superb online features and, Forza’s ace-in-the-hole, all-round car customisation mean that Forza Motorsport 2 really has set a decent target for Gran Turismo 5 next year. However, despite the wonderful tinkering, RPG and customisation aspects, the sum of its parts is somehow less than before with the team’s nagging lack of game ambition (car content is not gameplay) and the lack of actual racing (thanks to now-pansy and ill-disguised still-cheating AI) proving to be potentially significant weaknesses. Deduct a point if and for when you race with ABS, TCS, STM and Easy or Medium AI. Really. Deduct another point if you never paint your car or use the Auction House.

Available on Xbox 360. Available on Limited Edition Xbox 360.

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