Forza Motorsport 3 is the latest title in the Forza series and it definitely looks like the third time is the charm. Forza 3 is a tremendous racing title. Turn 10 Studios has done an amazing job this time around and there is very little that one can complain about. All of the car models look really nice and all of the cars are available to race right from the beginning. You can immediately go into “Free Play” and pick whatever car you want to see how it handles. You can pick whatever you want from the over 400 cars in this game from the 2006 599 GTB Fiorano Ferrari to the 2009 Ford Fiesta Zetecs to the 2008 Range Rover Supercharged. “Free Play” is where you can choose a “Quick Race”, a “Hot Lap” or a split screen race. Once you are done fooling around here you can go into the main menu where a whole host of options awaits you. You can go to your season here, check out your cars, buy some new ones or go to the auction house.
The Auction House is an online service where you can bid on cars that you like or sell cars that you have customized. Think of it as Forza’s version of eBay. You can break down your search by price, category, country, car level, car class, make, model, year ,drive type, engine position, power or design. There is even an achievement for “sniper” bidding where you outbid someone at the last possible moment. After you place a bid you can watch your auction under the “My Auctions” tab to see how you are doing. As soon as you are outbid it will tell you and you will need to make another bid if you still want to try and get the car. If you have a favorite creator you can also visit their storefront to see what it is they selling and if there is anything there that interests you. The storefront is basically your portal into sharing files with the Forza community. In addition to buying items from your favorite creators you can also buy general things such as tuning setups, designs and vinyl groups. This is also where you would browse photos and replays along with going to your own storefront.
The upgrade process in Forza 3 is also really well done. If you are the type of person that doesn’t know a whole lot about cars then upgrading and tweaking your cars in these simulations can be a little daunting. However, Turn 10 made a nice little feature called “Quick Upgrade”. This will automatically suggest which upgrades you can afford based on your credit balance and will then apply the upgrades to your car if you choose to do so. For the more hardcore there is still the car tuning where you can adjust tire pressure, gear ratios, suspension settings and things of that nature. It should keep you busy for a while if you are a gearhead who loves to mess with cars. Of course there are more than mechanical upgrades and customizations that you can perform on your car. You can customize paint jobs, apply decals and so much more. You can customize to your heart’s delight and ensure that you truly have a one of a kind car.
Now this is all well and good but it really wouldn’t matter all that much if the core of the game, the racing, wasn’t any good. Fortunately the racing in this game is phenomenal. The career mode in Forza 3 is a series of seasons with each one being longer than the last. I have to admit that I was pretty surprised with how quickly I got through “Year 1”, however, that is just setting you up for some pretty long seasons down the road. There is a championship race every other weekend during your seasons and in between those races you will get to pick which event you want to participate in. You will be given three different options to choose from which will be dependent on a variety of factors. In this sense the career mode is pretty dynamic and no one should have the same exact season. As you complete races you will gain experience points as well as credits so that you can buy upgrades for your existing cars or brand new cars entirely. As you progress people will start to take notice and reward you by gifting you cars. It is a nice reward system that will, theoretically, keep people playing so they can test out their new set of wheels.
If you turn off all of the assists and just drive “naturally” then you will really see the difference in handling between all of the different makes and models. Even if you are brand new to these types of racing titles you are encouraged to turn off some of the assists. There is a nice “rewind” button that you can press during your race so if you took a turn to fast or you spun out then you can simply “rewind” and try that section again. If you are the type of racer who just wants to lean on the gas for the entire race you can turn auto-braking on and your car will automatically brake for you when necessary so that you can make that upcoming turn. It takes a bit of the challenge out of the equation, however, casual racing fans should really enjoy this feature. With that being said you will also earn a bit more in your career if you have the various assists turned off.You will be given a visual indication of the handling when you are selecting your car so you will know what to expect. You’ll see whether a car has four wheel drive, uses the front or back wheels to turn and various things of that nature.
The multiplayer in this game is another thing that Turn 10 nailed. There are so many customizable options that it might take you a while just to set everything up how you want. You can control the assists, how the game is set up, which track you will race on, the ratio between human and A.I. players, the environment and much, much more. It really boggles the mind at the amount of things that you have control over. You can, of course, invite your friends into a Live party as well and have a great time racing against them or create a team and race against others. The races that I participated in were incredibly smooth and went off without a hitch. There are so many things you can do in this game that I am sure that I am forgetting some features. Overall Forza 3 is one of the best simulation racers that I have ever played. It is really well done and a shining example of how future titles in this genre need to step it up a notch. If you are a racing fan at all be sure to pick up this game. If you are not sure be sure to download the free demo and try it out for yourself. With the numerous customizable options allowing both casual and hardcore players to enjoy this title you won’t be disappointed.
Originally posted on Totally Gaming Network