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    Forza Motorsport 3

    Game » consists of 9 releases. Released Oct 27, 2009

    Turn 10's third installment in the Forza series. Forza Motorsport 3 offers 100 tracks and 400 cars with full customization, as well as video editing and uploading.

    axellion's Forza Motorsport 3 (Xbox 360) review

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    • 1 out of 1 Giant Bomb users found it helpful.
    • axellion has written a total of 22 reviews. The last one was for LIMBO

    Zen and the Art of Simulation Racing

    Forza motorsport 3 does nothing extraordinary, there is nothing special about it. The visuals have improved, but not in any spectacular way, the car models are impressive, yet they seemed to be perfect last time around. Vehicle selection is vast and varied, it is however only slightly larger than last time. What Turn 10 as done with Forza 3 is not reinvent the wheel, but perfect it, there is nowhere to go from here. The driving simulator has been completed, this is it. I cannot even think how it can be topped; only more can be added. Forza 3 is the sum of its parts, the extraordinary result of everything being polished and intricately fitting together.

    In essence Turn 10 has perfected the simulation racer; every aspect is complete and thriving. The normally daunting smorgasbord of events has been compressed into a much friendlier calendar based format. Championship races for the current class are raced on weekends with smaller more focused events played during the weeks between the more intense long-lasting competitions.

    This new format does a great deal to help the fatigue factor of other serious racers; especially when the sprints become 20 to 30 minutes long, and the competitors more aggressive. The non-championship events are focused more on individual manufactures or regions and come in great variety, from all Mazda, to the classic muscle cars of America.

    Driving physics are very impressive; each and every car feels wholly unique and responds in completely diverse ways. I raced with the force feedback driving wheel and was suitably wowed by the different sensations of each car, they all controlled superbly and very realistically, the more powerful rear wheel beasts were accurately demanding to wield, bumps and differing track conditions all produced great feedback with both in the cars slipping grip and my attempts to rein in the wheels angry movements. One of the few times that a videogame physically exhausted me, after finishing some of the late games lengthy challenging races my feet ached, my arms were sore and I was left almost breathless.

    I entered a sort of Zen state during races, becoming connected with my car and with the track, the competition blurred, focusing utterly on the next turn, not a split-second of my attention could sway, the exhilaration, the intensity of traversing the impressive courses at mad speeds was extremely powerful. The world faded away and I was one with the car, I was not judging braking distances, or fending off passing competitors, I was the car; it was no longer a machine but an extension of me.

    A rewind feature has thankfully been added to the mix, allowing me to relive my slight under steer and prevent a catastrophic crash. It can seem like cheating at first, with no restrictions put on its frequency of use, but it became an indispensable tool, rather than being forced to run a perfect race every time, I could simply retry a particularly difficult corner, or attempt to block an aggressive move by the competition.

    The great paint shop from Forza 2 returns, being improved and expanded into an even more impressive design and painting tool. I lack the necessary artistic talent to grasp its full potential but it is very easy to toss on a few racing strips or flames and a custom decal. The auction house is where its true power is shown.

    From selling whole cars, to custom paint jobs, and even tuning presets, the in game auction house is filled with possibility. A great many talented people have put many an hour into their work and there are some impressive pieces on display, and for sale. It does take a bit of hunting to find the diamonds hidden in fields of mediocrity, but they are there waiting to be found.

    Car models are fantastically detailed, particularly pleasing in the replay mode; these magnificent amalgamations of steel and plastic rush through beautifully rendered Italian villages passed jagged mountain passes and across world famous landmarks of racing, reflecting and shimmering in the sunlight, and in my case scratching and brushing their way past rivals. The damage model is very impressive, after a race my once work of art is usually reduced to a gray mess of dented paint and bashed fenders. The damage effects performance greatly and can be quite challenging under the more punishing difficulties.  My only fault with the visuals is the rather closeness of the cockpit camera, the field of view is a bit narrow, so close to the windscreen that it cuts off side mirrors and places the greater detail of the impressively rendered interiors out of scene.

    Very approachable for a serious racing game, Forza 3 has many options for the new comer; a range of driving assists from traction control all the way to auto braking are present. While opting of auto braking may be completely counterintuitive, the racing line and more specifically the braking indicators are pure genius. Have the braking guide laid on the track gives the less than expertly talented racers the ability to compete and succeed.

    The later seasons, and the final three championships in particular did begin to weigh on me a bit, the races became much longer, the competition more brutal, and the cars deviated from production models to more specifically manufactured racing cars. While the impressive power and performance of these vehicles is certainly fun to employ, they lack the upgradability and the coolness of pushing a street car to its limits present in earlier events.

    This is not really fault of Forza 3 but of the racing genre in general. The final events became a bit too much like work, as the races continued to extend into games of patience and composure as much as epic racing duels. After completing the final championship my enthusiasm for continuing to play was somewhat lessen, I felt as if I had done enough and that a good rest from speed was in order.

    The real question is; where do we go from here? What can a Forza 4 possibly add to the simulation racing genre? And where does the long awaited Gran Turismo 5 stand in this battle? Surely GT5 will add more, more cars more tracks more realism, but beyond numbers what possibly new can be brought to the table. Turn 10 has so beautifully crafted this racer that I can think of nothing left to improve; beyond slight expansions this game is basically perfect.

    Forza Motorsport 3 is king, the coronation may now proceed, it is a pure racing experience, the controls are dead on, the visuals remarkable realistic, the physics impressive, the calendar based event schedule flows nicely, and the customization options are immensely powerful. Gran Turismo 5 has a serious hill to climb, it will certainly attempt more realism and simulation, but can it capture the unadulterated racing of Forza 3? Only time will tell until then there is no better racing game currently available than Forza 3.

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