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Forza Motorsport 3 review




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  • Forza Motorsport 3 (Racing Game - Xbox 360)


Our Score:


Platform: Xbox 360

If you read my review of Forza Motorsport 2 you'll know that I found it quite disappointing on a number of levels. With that in mind, I was trying not to get my hopes up this time around, but I needn't have worried. I'm not conceited enough to imagine that the guys at Turn 10 read my review of Forza 2 and set out to address all my issues, but they may as well have. Not only is Forza Motorsport 3 infinitely better than its predecessor, but I'd go as far as saying that it's the best driving game I've ever played!

I know that I've let the cat out of the bag early on this one, but much as I'd like you to finish reading this review, my advice would be to open a new window, navigate to your favourite online retailer, order Forza Motorsport 3 and then come back when you're done. Okay, now that you've got that out of the way, let's carry on.

I accused Turn 10 of trying to appeal to casual gamers with Forza 2, creating a model that was simply too easy for seasoned driving fanatics, but this time around it's crystal clear that the target gamers have petrol running through their veins. I can promise you this, because I played Forza 3 until 4:30am the first day that I got it, and I haven't had the energy or inclination to play a game through the night for a very long time.

So what's so good about Forza 3? It would be easy for me to say everything, glib as that may sound, and although I wouldn't be lying, let's break it down a bit. First up, the driving dynamics are so close to perfect that it's spooky. Take the 997 generation Porsche 911 for example - a car that feels like few others, especially on the limit - but despite its near unique nature, Turn 10 has managed to capture all its strengths and idiosyncrasies to perfection.

That's not just conjecture on my part either, having subjected my own 911 to copious amounts of abuse on the track over the summer. In Forza 3 a 911 rewards smooth driver inputs, and requires commitment through the bends, just like the real car. Having the engine out over the rear axle gives you incredible traction out of bends, but if you nail the throttle too early you'll find yourself facing the wrong way in no time. Master the way a 911 handles though, and you'll understand why many consider it to be the seminal sports car and the benchmark by which others are judged.

The 911 wasn't a fluke either, since each and every car that I've driven in Forza 3 feels as close to the real thing as you can possibly get in a video game. I was very happy to be presented with a 2009 Ford Focus RS as a gift early on, since I took delivery of one of these a few weeks ago, so again had a good point of reference. And yet again Turn 10 has completely nailed it. The Focus RS pumps 301bhp through its front wheels, which in theory shouldn't work, but it does, thanks to some great engineering on Ford's part. Not only is the Focus RS fast in a straight line, but the Quaife automatic torque biasing differential will drag you around a bend like the car is on rails. However, if you're a bit overenthusiastic with your throttle inputs, you'll encounter the car's propensity to oversteer, all of which is recreated perfectly in Forza 3!


October 21, 2009, 5:47 am

"While PlayStation 3 devotees wait patiently for Gran Turismo 5 to finally appear, Microsoft has stolen the ball with Forza Motorsport 3. With sublime handling, beautiful modelling, a compelling career mode, and more polish than a crate of Mr Sheen, Forza Motorsport 3 is an object lesson in game design and presentation. Put simply, the best driving game ever!"

this comment makes you like a complete 360 fanboy, this website has become a joke, hungry for hits. FM3 is very good game but its way far from being the best driving game ever.


October 21, 2009, 5:49 am

It might just be me, but the environments look bland.


October 21, 2009, 7:11 am

Are those all in-game shots? Some of the rendering looks too good to be true...


October 21, 2009, 11:18 am

... and a pc version will be released when? =)

prag fest

October 21, 2009, 11:56 am

Had my first online sesh with some chums last night. It's pure class.


October 21, 2009, 12:13 pm

I'm struggling to see how this can be a 10/10 when there are manifest problems with the AI and damage system. Still, the review is a significant improvement over the horrendous review of Forza 2 (the complaints about the Focus ST being a low point for TRs more generally).


October 21, 2009, 1:05 pm

"Still, the review is a significant improvement over the horrendous review of Forza 2 (the complaints about the Focus ST being a low point for TRs more generally)."

Are you for real?! And I thought I could get away from the wee girls over on IGNs forums! What is it about computer games/consoles/reviews that gets so many hot under the collar!



October 21, 2009, 1:13 pm

My thoughts for this can be summed up in one word....


Energizer Bunny

October 21, 2009, 1:33 pm

I'm glad you liked it so much Riyad, but unless I'm misunderstanding you a lot of the improvements you're claiming in Forza 3 were already in Forza 2. For example, the situation wherein upgrading your car too fast would push you into the next class was present in no.2. I recall spending plenty of time balancing my upgrades so I didn't push into an A class.


October 21, 2009, 1:49 pm

10/10 != perfection

if it were no game would ever deserve a 10 or probably even a 9

mike featherstone

October 21, 2009, 3:02 pm

@Ahlan Metacritic lists 5 sites giving it 100/100. Maybe it's the best ever, maybe not but it is a personal opinion and I at least can manage to read it as such. This is the best site on the web for reviews and if you find it a joke then it's your loss.

Energizer Bunny

October 21, 2009, 3:52 pm

Frankly if Forza and GT5 were not tossing the crown of best racing game ever back and forth between one another with each subsequent iteration, I'd be worried. These are the two premier franchises in racing and if you assume incremental improvement each time, then they should be the best ones out there. The likes of Project Gotham and NFS have been steadily improving but they're still a league below these two. Perhaps the next version of GRID will be more serious


October 21, 2009, 4:50 pm

Jones, calm down, only one of us is typing in caps and getting hot under the collar, and it's not me. I've given specific issues with both this and the Forza 2, both of which are, as you observe, are just someone's opinion. If opinion and counter opinion are something you find troubling then you'd best avoid the internet altogether.


October 21, 2009, 5:30 pm

Thanks to the postal strike I got my copy of Forza 3 yesterday. I finally went to bed at 2:30am after saying "this is my last race" at about 1am! I'm a big racing game fan but sadly also one with very little time but for me this game is excellent and much improved over Forza 2. I've played Gran Turismo Prologue and unless they pull something out of the bag with the final release Forza 3 is going to walk all over it. Just before you call me an Xbox/Forza3 fanbois I'm lucky enough to own both an Xbox and a PS3 so consider my opinion quite well balanced.

As for Forza3 being the best racing game ever? No way, it's the 2nd best racing game ever as TOCA2 (the one before Codemasters started the "Race Driver" series) still holds that crown for me. ;)

Nick Upjohn

October 21, 2009, 5:32 pm

wow just got the limited edition version this morning and its a great game. just had a go in a bugatti veyron and a ferrari FXX followed by a DBS


October 21, 2009, 5:47 pm

It is very difficult to compare this game, with an unreleased one (GT5)..i think we should all wait before making any assumptions as the gran turismo series has never failed to dissapoint..


October 21, 2009, 5:50 pm

@Ahlan:this comment makes you like a complete 360 fanboy, this website has become a joke, hungry for hits.

How exactly does this make TR hungry for hits?

Anyway, I bet there is a good chance the OP has both consoles, and has has left school by now.

ps. A free virtual chocolate bar to the one who can spot the PS3 fanboy :)


October 21, 2009, 5:51 pm

For the record I haven't played this game or even read the review for that matter, but I don't see how you can compare this to GT5 when it still isn't due to be released for nearly another year. It may be the best racing game on the market at the moment (though you have had to play every other racing game on the market to come to that conclusion), but I think the comparisons should wait until you have actually played the game you are comparing it to (GT5:P was a fraction of what the final game will be, and was released 18 months ago quite early on in development).

Also, 'best' depends on the type of racing game you prefer and which you find more enjoyable. Some will be much happier in games like GRID, DIRT or NFS: Shift than the more realistic sims like Forza and GT5.


October 21, 2009, 6:16 pm

Marko, don't spit the dummy out please. I'm just fed up with reading about people whinging over the quality of reviews. TR thankfully largely avoids this in non gaming areas. I'm merely pointing out that the sort of reactions to a review as seen in places like IGN, NME and now here (to a limited degree) are verging on pathetic. Sounds more like bitter wannabe journalists who can't get a job more than anything else to be frank.

By all means discuss the game and any reasonable points raised in the review but complaining about its 10/10 score for the reasons written is splitting hairs. GTAIV wasnt devoid of faults, for example, but is still very much a 10/10 game for a number of reasons. I can think of faults in Mario 64 or Zelda 64 too but would still rate them the highest score.

Im just glad TR refrains from using decimels or rating out of 100. Some of the arguments on IGN regarding whether a game should get 9.3 or 9.1 are beyond me.


October 21, 2009, 6:59 pm

Hehehe http://www.dailyhaha.com/_p...


October 21, 2009, 7:18 pm

Good review - as "Energizer Bunny" pointed out in his comments... the car class system was already an integral part of Forza 2.

I blame this small error on Riyad getting too many cool things to look at & review - the excitement is clearly messing with his mind ;-)


October 21, 2009, 7:37 pm

I like how Turn 10 turned 25 blandish tracks into 100 using the rewind feature. Personally I got bored with the 30sec-1min loading times I'm really no petrol head this game bored me to tears.


October 21, 2009, 7:40 pm

Forza 3 looks fantastic, maybe the best rendered car models ever seen on a console, detailed, dynamic colourful scenery with nice textures, whilst still shining through with silky smooth 60 fps frame rate.

And more than any other racer, it has *the right feel* - nice physics that actually let you spin opponent cars realistically (if that's your thing). Even if it's not your thing - there's nothing more jarring than slamming into a car at speed in Gran Tourismo only for it to continue 'on rails' unaffected.

Before anyone flames me - Gran Tourismo is great - but it has ignored a couple of important aspects of racing for far too long - and for me at least, Forza is right at the cutting edge of racing games - perfectly balancing the needs of both casual action-adrenalin junkies and serious sim-pumping petrol-heads alike.

Maybe Sony/Polyphony will pull it back again with GT5 - but they have a tough act to follow with Forza 3 playing such a strong hand here on all kinds of levels.

Andy Vandervell

October 21, 2009, 7:46 pm

@JayC: Lucky you, who did you order from out of interest? If I'm Forza-less this weekend then postal workers best have eyes in the back of their heads!


October 21, 2009, 7:47 pm

Ugh, please best sim racer ever? Don't make me laugh. GTR2 by SimBin still owns that crown. Also please don't compare it to GT5, you haven't played GT5, unless of course you went to TGS or the Tokyo Motor Show.

Also no G25 no buy, until MS allow third party wheels Forza will always be behind GT, the standard MS racing wheel is really awful and bad for serious sim racing gamers.

To people comparing Forza 3 to GT5 Prologue, please don't. Prologue hasn't been updated for nearly a year, while GT5 has been under continuing development, the version I played in Tokyo was pretty good, some tearing and framerate issues, but with the release date still months away I'm sure Kaz will fix them all.

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