Review by horror_spooky

"Built Forza Tough"

All three of the big three have their own exclusive racing franchise that seems to show up on every system they put out. With Sony, it's Gran Turismo. Nintendo, of course, has the quirky and groundbreaking Mario Kart franchise. And Microsoft has tried their hand at a couple of racing franchises that they debuted on their first game system the Xbox, with Project Gotham Racing and Forza Motorsport. Fast forward to the Xbox 360, and Forza Motorsport has become Microsoft's flagship racing game, with Forza Motorsport 3 being hyped as one of the best games in the series.

Forza Motorsport 3 features the same basic gameplay as its predecessors. Players race in a variety of events with a variety of cars, are able to purchase new vehicles and customize the ones they have, earn money, and play online. All of the expected features remain intact. What's different about Forza Motorsport 3 is its rewind system. When you crash or veer off the road, you can rewind to try to correct your mistake. It's an interesting gameplay mechanic for a racing game, but since it doesn't make its way into the multiplayer aspects of the game, it feels kind of pointless.

Another aspect of Forza Motorsport 3 that helps set it apart is the RPG mechanics in the game. Every single thing you do in Forza Motorsport 3 will give you XP. As you earn XP, you level up, which opens the doors for more cars, events, etc. Call of Duty 4 hit the nail on the head when it added RPG elements to the FPS formula, and Forza Motorsport 3 shows that a similar mechanic in racing games works just as well.

Cars in the game look amazing, and the sky looks like the real sky. What's disappointing visually about the game is that there's not much to look at; the tracks are uninspired, boring, and sort of plain. Even during multi-car races, there doesn't seem to be much going on at any given time. It's a shame because I know the developers are capable of creating a truly beautiful game judging by how great the rest of the game looks. It wouldn't be bad to inject personality into the franchise instead of having it function as a straight racing simulator.

If Forza Motorsport 3 is truly the best that the series has to offer, then the rest of the series must be pretty bad. It's not that Forza Motorsport 3 is a bad game, but it just feels unremarkable, and in the end, I can recognize and appreciate the work that went into it, but I feel like it is bested greatly by its competition. In the end, Forza Motorsport 3 is, by default, the best racing exclusive available on the Xbox 360.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 06/27/12

Game Release: Forza Motorsport 3 (US, 10/27/09)

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