Forza Motorsport 3 - game review

Author: Przemysław Zamęcki
Date: 2009-10-26 08:31:00
The review was based on the X360 version.

Over 400 cars, 22 tracks divided into at least a hundred episodes, a career offering well over 200 events and a huge community centered around the previous installment of the series. Forza Motorsport 3 has been guaranteed since tearing the foil from the box. Added to this is a new graphic engine, a view from behind the steering wheel and finally the possibility of rolling over. So it would seem that we will be dealing with an excellent car, even a role model. And this is true to a large extent, but - as President Ochódzki used to say - the pros cannot overshadow the cons. Hence, when I read the ohh and achy of numerous reviewers melting over the perfection and nobility of the new production of Turn 10 Studios, I think that they probably forgot a bit about the maxim mentioned above.

Forza Motorsport 2 has set the bar very high for other console races. High enough that virtually no one would want to compete with her. The game has set standards for an excellent driving model and all functions related to the accumulation of so-called around it community. However, it seems that for many people she had one, but a very serious drawback. It was virtually inaccessible to players who did not want to spend many hours learning to enter the next corner. And this significantly narrowed the audience. Therefore, options have appeared in Forza Motorsport 3, thanks to which the subjugation of a 500-horse monster is a piece of cake. In addition to the standard option of enabling options for easier driving, such as traction control, vehicle stability, ABS and the line indicating the correct driving path, you can also choose automatic braking before each corner or the option that before the premiere probably caused the greatest controversy among orthodox fans of the series. It is about the possibility of almost unlimited time shifting. Let's assume that we fell on one of the corners and we lose a good position in the stake. Normally we would have to start the race all over again. But not in Forza Motorsport 3. Just press one button and we will rewind the time by a few seconds. Huge facilitation and end of unnecessary stress. I am able to bet that many players will love this option. And in a way rightly so, although according to the president's sentence, behind this undoubtedly a big plus is the first minus.

Using the option of undoing the time is voluntary and almost unlimited. It can't be turned off in the menu and unfortunately you can't forget about it. Earlier, I met with translations that it is a great thing, because you can imagine how we drive in the first place for one hundred laps, and on the first hundred laps we leave the route just before the finish. And here lies the catch, because the game does not allow you to turn back time for a few turns before the finish or when opponents are approaching the end of the race. So the argument seems partly burnt. But if not before the end of the race, then maybe at the beginning? Yes, to try to put the stake on the front for good morning. The human psyche works in such a way that if something is done out of ordinary convenience, then there is no strength not to use it for the second and third time, and again. All the race's dramaturgy loses, and if you use the option to turn back time when entering every other corner, the sense of racing is completely lost. Fortunately, this number no longer passes in multiplayer mode, where this option is turned off. However, this option could also be used in single player mode or at least some numerical limit.

Turn 10 Studios accustomed us to a great driving model and this has not changed. You can safely venture to say that each of the available cars runs slightly differently. Cars modeled on the previous edition were divided into several categories in terms of their performance index, in other words - the developed power and speed on the track. However, unlike the "two" in FM3 there is a new, the weakest car class - F, as well as popular SUVs. Of course, driving a completely different Abarth esseesse than Toyota Yaris or Audi R8 and Lamborghini Murcielago. You can now drift a bit easier than before. Following the Gran Turismo pattern, there is even a special counter that counts points for the length of the slip.

The cars on the track behave almost identically to those in FM2 , and the biggest difference was in the behavior of the artificial intelligence of the other drivers. And it is absolutely excellent. Only that in order to be able to properly appreciate it, you must immediately select the highest level of opponent skill. While playing on the lowest, other drivers behave almost identical to the Gran Turismo series , riding in a string one by one. Passing them and entering the finish line first is actually a mere formality. Slightly more interesting is getting one eye higher, and two eyes coming in first place is a real challenge. Other drivers begin to combine, take advantage of our every mistake, squeezing or blocking us in corners or using the wind tunnel created behind our car. At the same time, they are much more aggressive than in FM2 , although they are still far from the level presented in Need for Speed Shift . Not everyone manages to fit in the corners, so from time to time we see the delinquents sweeping the shoulders. The high quality of SI is also convinced by the fact that if we turn back time and include a part of the route again, we have a guarantee that the rest of the drivers will go a little different each time. Each of the rivals has a different psyche and from time to time, when loading a location, when various automotive curiosities appear on the screen, we can learn a bit about it. The perfect picture is spoiled by the pattern found in most races, according to which two rivals ahead are always doing better than the rest.

Manu looks nice. It is neatly designed and, above all, it is easy to understand where it should be. From here we have access to our own profile, in which we store tuning configurations, previously created graphic elements, replays, photos taken and an absolute novelty in the series - recorded videos. What's more, access to some elements of our profile has every player who wants to look at him. Of course, we can also peek at the works of others.

Forza Motorsport also became famous for the possibilities of the editor, allowing almost any shape of our car with graphics made with the help of various elements, arranged in successive layers. In FM3 the editor has been slightly improved, and in addition there is an option that allows you to create graphics on a flat screen instead of directly on the car body. How incredibly easy this issue is, every fan of these modifications knows. Graphics made in this way or even the whole car can be put up for auction and nothing has changed here. Car trade draws incredibly, although to buy the best thing you need not only huge patience, but also a lot of money. Of course, the virtual one, made in races.

Before we get to the most important issue, i.e. cars, it is worth looking at the possibilities of their tuning. There are several new options in the parts store, and now we can, for example, mount wheels of different size or rim width to the same car. More modifications translate into their impact on the performance index of each car. However, in FM3, due to the increase in their number, their unit impact has slightly decreased. Of course, after tuning we can use the dynamometer, thanks to which we will find out whether the changes have had the intended effect.

It would seem that for a layman all these spells of mary in the form of camshafts, springs, turbochargers or spark plugs will be completely incomprehensible. And this is probably the case, because the authors, meeting the expectations of Sunday players, have provided the option of quick tuning. Without unnecessary rummaging in parts, we simply choose what class the modified car is to represent, and the system itself selects everything you need. It works very decently and I must admit that I have used this opportunity many times myself.

3D graphics have also put a lot of work into the menu's design. Three-dimensional car models are very effective and the quality does not differ in any way, and maybe even in individual cases they surpass what we can see in Gran Turismo 5 Prologue. Unfortunately, already during the races themselves, except for the camera rollovers presenting the car, the model is replaced with a less detailed one. The visual setting is the most controversial and at the same time by far the weakest side of the new Fora. The animation flashes in full 60 frames (during replays it drops to 30), which is associated with the necessity of several concessions. The level of detail effect is too pronounced, which means we can see exactly how the distance from other vehicles the grid of their models jumps to a more simplified form.

Although the cars themselves look a little better than in FM2, here too there were some compromises. Cars are visually damaged, but not as much as before. The sheet metal creases, the varnish wipes, but with the candle look for falling parts of the body. Nay. Due to the implementation of the cockpit view, all FM3 vehicles are equipped with armored, shatterproof windshield. Why in a relationship? Because the cockpit view does not provide any cracks. In addition, there were no effects on the car window, no light reflections, no spots. All this looks like an ordinary hole cut out in a car. Add to that the average reproduction of the dashboard details and the angular mirrors ... in fact, it can be said that it looks quite poor. Praise is due to what we see in the mirrors, because in this case it was decided not to simplify the rear view and thus we have beautifully reflecting details.

You can also complain about the best shaders used to reproduce car paint during the race, which again makes them seem a little plastic. In replays, all this looks much better. Speaking of repetitions, after this misery, which was served in the "two", the new Forzie placed much more emphasis on this element, so if someone likes to observe the behavior of cars on the route, you will be delighted.

Choosing the view from behind a moving car, we get appropriately tinted windows to not be able to see what is inside. The roadsides do not look good, although it must be admitted that they are now full of much more details. Unfortunately, someone there probably exaggerated with the HDR effect, which, for example, on such routes as Road Atlanta or Sebring, going against the sun, you have the impression of swimming in milk. So the graphics look better than in Forzie 2 , but it's still not what probably many fans of the series have been waiting for.

As for the tracks available straight from the box, we will probably find most or even all of those that were in the previous installment of the game. To this you can add a few new ones, among which the well-known from the demos Camino Viejo and the very interesting Circuit of Catalunya stand out. There were also more locations located in some exotic place, such as the seaside Rally di Positano, and the extremely winding, well-known from the first part, well-proven in the Fujimi Kaido drift returned. Satisfied with the number of available options will be fans of racing against live opponents, although it somewhat saddens the possibility of competing in a maximum of 8 people. Of course you can also play in split screen. In the case of sound, there is absolutely nothing to attach to. The roar of the V8 is simply crushing, and the noise made by the turbocharger is second to none. As for the musical setting, I would be inclined to say that it is not as thrilling as in the second part. However, fans of electronic sounds should like it.

Thanks to several new options, the Turn 10 Studios team managed to make a game that literally everyone will enjoy playing. However, as a whole, although you can talk about the sensational quality of some of the elements that make up the game, it is not a real revolution. I mean mainly the visual side, but also the lack of more new locations or a shallow gameplay. FM3 fills two DVDs and to enjoy all its contents, you need to have a hard disk in the console on which to install one of the discs. From the point of view of someone who only uses a memory card, this is a very serious minus. When asked if Forza Motorsport 3 are the prettiest races available on consoles, I definitely answer: no. When asked whether Forza Motorsport 3 is currently the best racing simulator available on consoles, I can safely say that for now: yes. But will it remain that way after the premiere of Gran Turismo 5? Hard to say. The humble body of two mothers sucks and it would be good if we had another reason to be happy next March.

Przemek "g40st" Zamęcki

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