Revving things up in the Forza 3 Demo

If you look down the road, down that grey slab of tarmac, you’ll see a marvel of modern gaming on the horizon. In just a few short weeks, Forza 3 will be upon on us, in its full engine revving, petrol guzzling glory. For now, those gear-headed Xbox LIVE gold members will have to make do with the recently release demo, a mouth watering sampling of what the full game has in store for fans of automotive exotica.

The Forza 3 demo has a single track and five cars to race on it. The player has to opportunity to prove their driving skills in the cockpit of the Audi R8, Ferrari California, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X, Mini John Cooper Works and the race prepared Porsche Flying Lizard 911 GT3-RSR. This rubber burning engineering can be raced around the game’s fictional Camino Viejo de Montserrat Circuit, a track set in the rural mountains of Spain, with narrow lanes and tight twisty corners. The player will need all his skills to make the passes and get to stand on the podium at the finish.

As the race loads, the game spouts information of Turn 10’s achievements acquired in Forza 3. One of these is about the physics engine, now running at 360 hz and perhaps more importantly to many die-hard racing fans, the screen updates at a rock-solid 60 fps.

New to Forza 3 is the cockpit view, as a vantage point when racing it works very well. Coddled in the carbon clad cockpit of the R8 you can almost smell the petrol fumes. The modelling of this metal magnificence is stunningly recreated; getting behind the wheel of such sports cars is the vocation of the millionaires, this is as close as most people are going to step, so it’s impressive to see such attention to detail. Much car love has Turn 10 lavished on Forza 3.

The cars handle well with the Xbox 360 pad, feeling solid and sure footed on the straights, and stomach churningly flighty over Camino Viejo’s crest towards the start / finish stretch. With a wheel attached to your ironing board (everyone does this don’t they?) things bring on ever more realism, with force-feedback adding to the speed sensation.

With the skill levels turned up, the AI puts up fearsome competition, jostling for position with the player and other racers. Charging hard at the corners, where the best passes are made, makes for some adrenaline filled moments, leaving the player with some moist and sweaty palms, and that’s before you flip the car onto its roof. In Forza 3, damage has been taken a step further allowing for cars to turn upside down, if you’re a particularly haphazard driver.

The final game promises more than four hundred cars and over one hundred tracks, including the return of the much missed Point-to-Point racing. If this demo proves anything, it’s that Forza 3 will be even more impressive than Forza 2. I for one cannot wait.

Marty Greenwell

Marty has been gaming since the heady years of the ZX-81 and still owns most of the gaming systems purchased since those days, including the Atari 2600, ZX Spectrum, SNES, Jaguar, Dreamcast and GameCube. Being a collection junkie (or more accurately, hoarder), he buys more games than he can possibly play, far too many of which are still sealed in their packaging. Marty favours RPGs and Driving games when it comes to genres, and is possibly a little bit too addicted to Disgaea. When not gaming he’s out frightening OAPs on his motorcycle, clad in black leather.

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