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An awesome race sim to compete with GT5,
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This review is from: Forza Motorsport 3 (Xbox 360) (Video Game)This is an awesome racing game..
The first Forza on the 360 was a great game, mainly due to the sublime physics engine and car handling. What was missing was a bit of charisma in the visuals, something to bring it to life like the amazing GT series did on the Playstation consoles....especially with GT5 looming up in the wing-mirrors.
The upgrade is fantastic. Cars look amazing, you get a real buzz when right up behind an opponent, with a big BMW badge or something right there in front of you. Detail to wheels and bodywork is excellent, and lighting effects reflecting off paintwork very convincing. There are a fantastic variety of cars, including old classics like a 1970s BMW.
Tracks also look streets ahead of Forza 2, being vibrant and colourful, yet realistic. There's a nice blend of circuits, with some stunning scenery in the road-based ones. Overall they don't quite match the imaginative magic of the GT series' tracks (Trial Mountain etc. were simply amazing) but they are a fine attempt nonetheless.
A great feature of this game is that you can pick up and play without a frustrating learning curve, by tailoring the driving assists, and using the braking line feature. The latter illuminates yellow / red on the road and is great if you don't have too much time for gaming and learning the tracks. It removes all the frustration in one clever swoop - brilliant.
AI is variable though in general good. If you try to overtake from way back, launching into a space dangerously, you'll often come unstuck, whereas a methodical, sensible pass will be more effective. However, opponents will sometimes mash into you for no good reason, even when you make a fair overtake on the inside line; this can be annoying.
Car handling is outstanding, with a superb sense of realism. Some cars will let you wrestle them around the track applying power recklessly, whereas some will spin or oversteer if you try to accelerate whilst cornering. It's very satisfying to drive the latter type, and get the hang of braking in a straight line, cornering, then getting back on the power. You can also realistically induce oversteer and drift, for example using braking and weight transfer going into corners (or, by not braking for example, then drifting in).
The framerate is marvellous, fast and smooth at all times, which makes the experience realistic with a great sense of speed. There is an in-car view, which is fun, and the usual views. As usual with these types of games, it can be confusing to decipher exactly what the bumper and bonnet cams are for, as some will give you a decent driver's eye-level view whilst others are fractionally too high or low for this purpose, though not always noticeable unless tailgating someone.
Adding to the fun is how well this works with a decent wheel and pedals; I'm using a Logitech system and it feels perfect.
Overall this is a masterfully crafted race sim which has clearly had huge amounts of time and effort spent on it and is highly recommended!