Forza Motorsport 3

Forza Motorsport 3 Review for Xbox 360

On: Xbox 360

Racing sequel from Turn 10.

Review Verdict Read Review
10Out of 10
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Best racing game ever?
Best racing game ever?

Best racing game ever?

What would make the ultimate racing game? It's hard to put a finger on the exact ingredients that would blend in such a way to blow away the competition, and even trickier to put into words that special something that just makes the best racing games feel right. You'd definitely need a deep career mode, loads of officially licensed cars, a wide selection of real and fictional tracks, a driving model that can be tweaked to be suitable for just about everyone, gorgeous presentation, top class online functionality and best in class customisation features. Forza Motorsport 3 has all this. It is without a doubt one of the most complete games I've played in years. It delivers a sublime racing experience and has that special something. Developer Turn 10 has finally produced the game it no doubt envisaged all those years ago when it set out to create the best console racing sim on the market.

There's a whole heap of content hidden behind the slick title screen, but what really matters is the feel of rubber on tarmac, the physical weight of your car and the competitive nature of the racing. All the features in the world would mean nothing if the 400+ selection of cars didn't drive well, if the physics engine was a relic of another era, or if the opponents tootled around the circuits as if on a casual Sunday morning trip to the garden centre. This is where Forza 3 excels. Cars feel connected to the road surface, driving feels smooth and responsive, tyres grip the track just the right amount, your back end will slide out exactly when you know it should, and on the harder difficulty settings you know you're in a proper race and not a glorified procession lap. You're not in a real car, but Forza 3 is an incredibly tactile experience, with the game giving a sense of driving that is completely unmatched in the genre.

So what exactly is hidden behind that title screen? Season Play is the core game mode, giving you a series of seasons to race through, each comprised of a calendar of race events that are tailored to your garage of cars. Weekdays are free for you to pick an event from a small selection, with each usually made up of multiple stages set over different tracks. These events play out over a few weeks, with the weekends reserved for World Championship events. Graded F-A, these need to be completed before the more prestigious and lucrative S and R series are unlocked, with the final R1 event requiring you to race in a mammoth 13 races. Thankfully Turn 10 has jumped on the rewind bandwagon, so even if you mess up on that final corner in the 13th race, hit the back button and you'll instantly go back in time. Using it constantly can feel like cheating, but as a way to avoid frustration it's a superb addition to the game.

Throughout each season you'll earn credits for performances in single races and overall placement in events, which can be used to buy new cars or upgrade your existing motors. Upgrading can be as complex or as simple as you like, with petrolheads able to pick and choose the parts and tune more settings than I'm able to comprehend. For many, though, the auto upgrading options will be more suitable, with the game maxing out your car for use in the class of event you're entering - assuming your bank balance is up to it. There are rewards for staying loyal to a certain car, and it's incredibly easy to become attached, so thankfully it's easy to upgrade and downgrade between classes if you need to.

The selection of tracks and cars is great

The selection of tracks and cars is great

Car and Driver XP is levelled up as you might level up a character in a RPG. Podium position will grant you a set number of credits, a number which is added to by racing at harder difficulties (something that is customisable through a set of options including racing assists and car damage) and deducted from for any serious car damage. As well as going into your overall purse for use in car showrooms and upgrade stores, these points are added to your car and driver XP. Your driver level is persistent throughout, no matter what you're driving, and you're gifted new cars for each new level you achieve, whereas car level is specific to each vehicle. You're rewarded here too, with discounts on upgrades, so it pays to stick with a car you like where possible.

The end result is a career mode that is hugely satisfying and one that never feels like it's forcing you to do something you're not interested in. At each new stage you've usually got the option to race in an event that uses an existing car, an event that will let you experience new tracks or an event that requires a new car. The choice is always yours, and the game's subtle hand-holding means you're never going to be overwhelmed by options or confused as to what to do next. Set to the easiest difficulty I'd imagine anyone could manage to place on the podium, with the game more or less only asking you to steer. For a game as deep as Forza 3, the wealth of options to tailor the experience to your tastes and skill level is incredible. It does truly feel like a racing game for anyone with an interest in cars. You can even compete against friends using their own difficulty settings, so a pro could compete against someone who is playing racing games for the first time - something that few games can offer.

Microsoft and Turn 10 have claimed that Forza 3 features over 100 tracks, which sounds incredible, but the reality isn't quite so impressive. There are 22 track locations included, although each of these offers numerous track layouts. It's still plenty to keep you entertained, with most of the variations differing substantially from one another. The classic racing circuits such as Le Mans Circuit de la Sarthe, Suzuka, Silverstone, Nurburgring and Laguna Seca are great to drive, but my favourites are the stunning streets of Fujimi Kaido in Japan, Camino Viejo de Montserrat in Spain and Rally di Positano in Italy. With cars from manufacturers including Aston Martin, Audi, Bentley, BMW, Bugatti, Dodge, Ferrari, Ford, Honda, Jaguar, Lotus, McLaren, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Porsche, Subaru, and loads more, Forza 3 seems to have it all.

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User Comments

Karlius's Avatar


I'm loving my thumbs down for stating facts. How can anyone actually compare the models of the PSP and 360? It's like comparing rock to diamond! Or a PC to a Mainframe.
Posted 11:46 on 09 October 2009
Mr_Ninjutsu's Avatar

Mr_Ninjutsu@ CheekyLee

Your right cheeky, hate the people who defend Sony to their dying day. Ignorance at it's most blatant.
Posted 08:13 on 09 October 2009
Rolo18's Avatar


Cheeky, you left out #3:

3) Xbox fanboys are in denial of xbox inferiority.
Posted 00:29 on 09 October 2009
CheekyLee's Avatar


This thread tells us two things.

1.) Review scores should be ditched. The review itself tells you everything you could possibly need to know, and the score is nothing more than a marketing tool.

2.) Sony droids are the biggest idiots on the internet.
Posted 23:44 on 08 October 2009
El-Dev's Avatar


Turn 10 probably want to sell cars as DLC as well so will hold a few back.

The only thing putting me off this game is the whole "Pimp My Ride" stuff, hate all that cack. Leave it to NFS for that.
Posted 22:58 on 08 October 2009
Karlius's Avatar


And my response was it doesn't as the same models are reproduced and counted as different cars! Plus as i stated somewhere else the models are not what they seem their tiny in comparison and not holding the same level of mathematical/graphical detail.
Posted 21:21 on 08 October 2009
Mr_Ninjutsu's Avatar

Mr_Ninjutsu@ Karlius

That's completely not what i meant. I meant how can something as inferior as the PSP hold up to over double the amount of cars than the 360?! 830 cars to be exact.
Posted 20:55 on 08 October 2009
Karlius's Avatar


Ninjutsu theres what 850 cars on PSP?

How many are actually the same car with a diff letter/slightly diff bumper

Mostly all theres around 3-5 cars that are exactly same model! Bit of a cheat!
Posted 20:51 on 08 October 2009
dazzadavie's Avatar

dazzadavie@ Wido

Couldn't agree with you more Wido. Its a great review and I know how alot will be down to personal opinion. You can never buy a game based on one review score. I love racing sims and I found the handling in Forza 3 (demo)to be very good for a sim. If I could I would add this to my very small games list.
Of course this is my opinion and if your opinion is not the same then well done for being human :thumbup:
Posted 20:37 on 08 October 2009
Wido's Avatar


People still question a 'reviewer' scoring ;) Each reviewer have different tastes. I don't know how you can agrue against somebody else's opinion about the game on which he obviously likes.

I find it quite annoying to be honest that people still do it. If your going to question about the 'score' then don't bother.

Great review Tom! :) Looks like its going to be my first 360 game this year than last year...
Posted 20:13 on 08 October 2009
Stegosaurus-Guy-II's Avatar


I don't want to join in the console war but...

A 10/10 game on does not mean the game is perfect, it simply means that the game does things its genre has never seen before, that gamers have never seen before and that we here have never seen before. It does them so superbly that the game will be etched into the annals of videogame history as a shining example of interactive entertainment; a masterpiece in every sense of the word.

...a racing game with things we've never seen before in it? Doubt it...

Edit: Lol, I just read a bit of the review.

Forza 3 doesn't do anything that's never been done before,
Posted 19:56 on 08 October 2009
Mr_Ninjutsu's Avatar

Mr_Ninjutsu@ thompo555

I can at anytime tbh, seeing all i need to do is bring my elite down connect it to internet via ethernet then create a new account so i can actually play online then download....wait by this time it's pointless. Because i will be bored from having to create a new user again, which means having to create a Mii which is annoying in its self.
Posted 19:56 on 08 October 2009
thompo555's Avatar

thompo555@ Mr_Ninjutsu

yeh spose - but have you played it to see?
Posted 19:47 on 08 October 2009
Mr_Ninjutsu's Avatar

Mr_Ninjutsu@ thompo555

Well it would be trully 'owned' if the handling is more realistic than Forza 3. xD
Posted 19:43 on 08 October 2009
thompo555's Avatar

thompo555@ Mr_Ninjutsu

Yeh Forza owned by a psp version of GT lol
Posted 19:36 on 08 October 2009

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Forza Motorsport 3
Out of 10
Forza Motorsport 3
  • Looks superb
  • Community features are excellent
  • Handling feels great
  • Highly customisable
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 23/10/2009
Platform: Xbox 360
Developer: Turn 10
Publisher: Microsoft
Genre: Racing
No. Players: 1-8
Rating: PEGI 3+
Site Rank: 105 7
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