So Turn 10 is back and coming off the success of Forza Motorsport 2 to try and continue that with this third installment in the Forza franchise. Offering a racing simulation this is definitely a racing game for the fans of racing, whether it be of the virtual kind or the real-life variety. Forza was the first racing game I played on the Xbox way back with the first game, so this franchise holds a special place with me.
As usual you can choose what assists you want to have turned on or off depending on your skill and driving level. Turning off all the assists such as, anti-lock brakes, traction/stability control, will offer a good challenge and give the true simulation experience. If that’s not your thing you can keep all the assists on making it much easier. For me I land somewhere in the middle with assists that are kept on. A new feature that was added to this installment is the “rewind feature”. If you go off course, come into a corner too hard or crash into other opponents you can use that feature to go back and correct your mistakes. This can come in real handy if you’re towards the end of a race and you have a lead, make a mistake only to lose that lead and the race. This is a game that can appeal to the hardcore racing fans with its simulation qualities and while still enticing to the casual racing fan, which is a feat in of itself.
Some of the tracks you’ll be racing on throughout the game are some of the same from Forza 2, but there are a decent amount of new tracks added this time around. This offers up a little more variety when it comes to the races so you won’t get bored so fast from doing the same tracks over and over again. As expected with a Forza Motorsport game, there are plenty of cars to choose from that you’re sure to find one you like and deem as your favorite. There are some repeat cars from the last game, but there are plenty of new ones as well to give you more options with what you want to drive. Drag racing also makes a return to the franchise, which hasn’t been seen since the first Forza. You can also do some drifting at any time by hitting the left D-pad button while in a race and each time you drift around a corner you’ll accrue points from a successful drift. Drifting in no way adds anything to the game or is a separate mode, but it’s fun to mess around with.
Graphically this game is amazing, especially when compared to today’s standards. Everything from the cars, the tracks and even the weather in the background look beautiful in 60 frames per seconds. I’d be hard pressed to find any problems with the graphics that this game has. The attention to detail has been taken into account and everything from the mountains of Camino Viejo de Montserrat to the tropical location of the Amalfi Coast look very well put together. Even racing in cockpit view is a treat as the inside of the cars look very detailed as well. Something as simple as the main menu even looks great and if you leave your controller down for a few seconds while in the menu, camera angles change around your car to give you some cool cinematic moments.
On the sound side of things, it couldn’t be any better. For the first time in a Forza game you can now listen to music during a race. I didn’t care for the music that was included for in-race, so I just muted it and listened to the sweet sound of the cars, or to change it up listened to my own music outside of the game. The audio in-game though is as good as it’s ever been, with the roar of the engine that sound great with the volume turned up on a surround sound system. One nice touch to note is that each car has it’s each unique sound, so if you’re listening close enough you can hear what car might be creeping up on you. The sound effects during the races sound awesome, and anything from the small sound of wind to the loud crunch of metal on metal crashes is a pleasant sound to the ears.
Overall, Forza Motorsport 3 is an excellent game and still holds up really well today. It’s a game that you can lose yourself in for hours at a time and that is a true testament to how good a game is for me. It’s a racing game that makes a simulation accessible to the hardcore racing fan all the way to the casual racing fan. Graphics, audio and gameplay are all top-notch and mesh together to make a great package of a racing game and one that you should give a go if you like racing games.
- Graphics and sound effects are top-notch
- Plenty of cars to choose from
- Can make you feel like you’re driving a real car
- In-game music is not that great
- Career mode can get tedious towards the end