Forza 3 is a racing game that was released in 2009 and is the third installment of the Forza Motorsport game series. It is essentially Microsoft's answer to Grand Turismo and tries to compete with it on certain aspects.
Gameplay - 7/10
The game play is basically like your normal everyday racing car game, drive around, gain cash and upgrade your car. One of the annoying things I disliked about the game is the Season Play and events listing. I understand that they wanted to allow you the chance to race as much as possible in every class available, but after spending so much time playing it and realizing it's been almost a month since you started, the opinion is similar to someone who has recently broken their addiction to 'World of Warcraft', in other words "what was the point of all that?".
The car customization is a delight, the ability to change the performance of the vehicle as well its colour. It is often pleasurable turning a car that looks considerably ugly into something slightly more attractive. However the feature of customizable vehicles in this game is also a negative factor when involving the multiplayer component of the game and physical customization's are often limited, so its nothing compared to a game like Need for Speed: Underground. The storefront is a marvellous feature that allows you to purchase a great amount of decorations and tune setups for the various vehicles in your collection. On an added note, the first car you receive is a 'Lexus Eclipse' racing car. In the first two weeks of playing, I was spammed with emails stating that the car was regarded as missing content which is rather annoying because you think "Ooh I've won something" when in reality all your getting is the same email stating "You have been gifted missing content".
Multiplayer is also messy, with many of the Xbox Live games involving players that have upgraded their cars to a class XXX and leaving very little excitement or diversity for cars in leagues such as for example 'S' or 'R3'. Instead you have people trying to get the better XXX car, which can really deter you from wanting to play online. However it is often fun when you turn on destructibility mode, and turn a simple harmless 20 lap speed run into a demolition derby.
Presentation & Sound - 6/10
My primary criticism for the visual of the game is the scenery of the various maps that you race on. I felt that most of the visuals had that 'Dead or Alive' sort of feeling to it, and in certain sections of some maps, it is clearly seen that the scenery, is 2D. The one exception I felt was the Japanese mountain course. The scenery on this one level I felt was slightly based on the Japanese Anime series 'Initial D', but it was wonderful to see the work that had been done, in order to give it that mountainous feeling. The car visuals of the game are also beautifully done, with the interior very reminiscent of their real life counterparts, in particular the 'Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX'. However in some of the cars, I felt it was a small cut and paste job with combinations of different interiors. My final point regarding visuals is the lighting effect in the game. On most maps the sun is fairly high in the sky, and reflects like it normally would on a real car which is a delight that they have bothered to work that out correctly. All in all visuals are not too bad, but I would have preferred if they were to work a little more on the background in order to make it look like a bit more realistic and spectacular, however in a racing game I know this is often a point that is not often a priority or even a necessity when you're driving at approximately 160 - 200 km/h on average.
Next is the soundtrack of the game. I have never ever been bored when listening to music, but this games soundtrack makes me want to cry. Hearing the same tracks basically every single race can be quite annoying. In addition to that I felt that some of the tracks were really not racing type songs. In addition that the main menu song drives you insane, it's like one of those painful main tunes you hear from an 80's movie, constantly playing and designed to stick in your head but all it does is drive you insane.
Car engines often vary, and they are usually supposedly reflected on the sounds that their real life counterparts emit. Unfortunately once you get into the upgrading process, a lot of the engines will begin to sound the same, regardless of what manufacturer you go with. However this could also be caused from a huge amount of time playing it.
All in all the game isn’t too bad if you play it in small doses, and is often fun when you have a friend over and race them. The large variety of cars to choose from is a huge bonus, and customizing them is fun but like I said, it is limited in some areas. The racetracks are entertaining but do look like something from an older generation of graphics. Online multiplayer is an absolute nightmare with most of the racing taking place in just one category. It is not a game that I recommend playing for hours on end; otherwise you will possibly lose your sanity to the annoying soundtrack that accompanies the game.
This game deserves a 7.5/10
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