Forza Motorsport 3 – Review

Forza Motorsport 3 seems to be a copy of a copy of a copy of racing games at first, but such a statement couldn’t be more wrong. This game is  audio-visual ecstasy from start to finish as this piece of fine art showcases cars in all of their virtual glory so well that you might even reach towards the screen to touch them. Okay, perhaps it is not that realistic, but the presentation and visual style as they have constructed this game on is excellent in every way.

Some say that once you’ve seen a racing game, you’ve seen them all. However, as the experience is enhanced as time passes, there is no reason to not play them. The current trend is the dashboard view, showing the inside of the car and the dynamics of the driving as you soldier on across the racetrack. The first major title to feature this successfully is GRiD, and Need for Speed: Shift followed suit. They are good racing games with their own characteristics and strengths. However, they still have yet to trounce the giant that is Gran Turismo 5. While it is an earlier release, GT5 is part of a franchise that has dominated console racing games in terms of offering a realistic racing experience. It seems that it has now been dethroned.

While you can say that the current racing games are equally good, it is the visual appeal and consistency of Forza Motorsport 3 that sets it apart at first glance. A very clean interface combined with a contemporary design is thanks to whoever were the graphic designers who worked on this game. They understood the importance of highlighting the important details while eliminating unnecessary ones little by little. Their typography and use of colors are spot on in today’s visual trends in graphic design — minimalistic, yet detailed at the same time.

However, this game is not just for show. The gameplay itself is spotless in that the controls are responsive, the graphics are sharp, the visual composition is crisp, the audio is realistic, the flow is smooth, and the experience is compelling. Perhaps they are the same with the other games, but details do count. Forza Motorsport 3 has more cars, more options for customization, more in-game items and equipment, and more challenging racetracks. Also, the multiplayer is way better than the others in that there are more features and modes that you can play with. However, the AI does tend to get a bit lazy at times and there is a bug in career mode that lets you get good cars earlier than expected. Well, these flaws do little to diminish the quality of this title. Perhaps they give it some character.

This game is the sum of all the good points of all the recent racing games that follow the renewed aim for realism. No longer are these games sporting storylines and storming through city streets like they were not supposed to ala The Fast and the Furious. The battlefield is once again the racetrack and the only premise is to win first place. Motorsport is once again represented as the king of sport where second place is the first of the losers. It really is better when motorsport is represented correctly and legally since racing is no mere child’s play.

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