Forza Motorsport 3 Hands-on ImpressionsBy Paul Semel - Posted Jun 02, 2009
The original Forza Motorsport was voted “Best Racing Game” by many magazines and websites when it came out in 2005, and its sequel, Forza Motorsport 2, not only got the same accolades when it was released two years later, but it is the best reviewed racing game of the current generation. So when the developers at Turn 10 boasted that Forza Motorsport 3 — which is slated to be published by Microsoft for the 360 this October — would be, and this is a quote, “the defining racing game of this generation,” it’s not a boast you dismiss easily.
But while we’re not sure that the game will indeed redefine racing games, we were still rather impressed with the short demo and hands-on time we got with the game at a Microsoft event the company held just hours after unveiling the game at their E3 press conference.
As you’d expect from this racing sim series, the game will boast tons of cars (including, as we got to test drive, numerous high-end European sports cars) on cool tracks around the world, some of which have been in previous Forza games, and some of which the Turn 10 guys have built themselves just for this new drive. These not only include closed street tracks like the mountainside drive in Montserrat, but some race tracks in arenas as well.
But the kicker this time out is that they’re trying to make a game playable by everyone, from casual drivers and kids to serious gear jockeys and hardcore racing game fans. This, they say, will be accomplished by letting gamers pick not only how hard the game will or won’t be, but in what way the difficulty will be increased or decreased. One of these is in the automatic braking. Turn it on, and you can just hold down the game and steer without worrying that you’re taking a turn too fast, since the car will brake automatically. Want more of a challenge? Turn the automatic brakes off and the deceleration will be up to you.
This game, like its predecessors, also has a line of arrows that appear on the tracks, which tell you the best path to take, and when you should brake, step off the gas, or gun it. And, again, this can be turned on or off, depending on how much help you want.
Still, we’re not sure if this makes this all that “definitive.” After all, to be truly definitive, you’d have to include arcade controls as well as the sim-style ones (and no, using the auto brakes don’t make this feel arcadey in the slightest). You’d also have to include off-road racing as well as on-road, power-ups and the option to not include them, combative modes, some futuristic vehicles, and an optional story featuring some beautiful ladies, a cheesy plot, and some cops who stop chasing you way too easily. And while we don’t know for sure, we doubt all of these things will be in Forza Motorsport 3.
What will be in there, or so it seems, are all the elements of a really good racing sim. The definitive racing sim? Hmmm…maybe. We’ll know more this October.