Friday, September 25, 2009

Forza Motorsport 3 - Raw Demo Impressions

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Finished downloading Forza 3 at 1:45AM. Finished playing the demo at around 2:40AM.

Unbelievable, completely lives up to the hype; everything they've said about this game is true. I'm shocked at how much fun it was to play for a 'simulator'!

The other day I was trying out Need for Speed Shift, which, at the end of the day, really reminded me of Grid/PGR. This one....this is an animal all its own, it just FEELS so different in terms of driving model, and that's what seems to make it special. The 60FPS really does help enhance the 'feel' of the driving, and the way the cars move and behave is like no other driving game I've ever played before. Perhaps Forza 2 is the only game that comes close. I'm surprised they were able to even surpass that!

When I first bought my PS3 one of the games I purchased with high hopes was Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, which had those dazzling cutscenes playing back on most websites. When I played that game I was completely disappointed; I had played Forza 2 a year or so earlier and Gran Turismo 5P just had something off about it. The cars felt extremely slow, for one thing....and hitting objects/other cars just gives you this odd 'bounce' effect. Surprisingly even 'lesser'/non-simulation racing games like PGR and Grid did collisions better than GT5P ever did. I was really trying to give GT5P a chance, considering it cost so much for a paid 'demo'; but after only 3 days I went back to Greenhills and sold it to the shop beside Datablitz in Virra Mall (the one which buys used games). There was just something so slow about that game. Maybe it was the soundtrack or the presentation...maybe it was the fact that I didn't have a Dualshock controller, I'm not sure. But based on what I've read from other GT 'fanatics' my expectations were pretty high, and they just weren't met at all.

The reason I'm mentioning the sensation of speed in GT5P so much is because I can't help but remember it when I was playing Forza 3. Even on the lower class cars, you have this feeling of fast movement. While GT5P also had 60FPS something about that game just wasn't done right in terms of presenting that sensation. Again, it's quite a subjective thing and perhaps results may vary between players (and maybe it's because I didn't have a dual shock controller, I really don't know) but the feeling of 'speed' is really enhanced in Forza 3, it's one of the things that really stands out the first time you play the demo.

The environment in the game is also incredible, I might add. It is very distracting, in a good way. It looks like someone on the Turn 10 team played a lot of Sega Rally/Daytona USA because seeing the scenery is definitely entertaining, and not boring at all. Your own car is eye candy, the other cars are eye candy, the scenery is eye's just really pleasant to look at.

One last thing....there is a ridiculously HIGH number of replay cameras in this game. I think the developers really wanted the players to make interesting youtube videos out of their own race replays. The default 'race replay' camera that plays back your race has really incredible draw distance; this time you can really appreciate the battle that takes place between different cars. Forza 3 continues the fine tradition set by Forza 2 where the cars don't all line up on the racing line, thereby looking convincingly lifelike and not driving like robots. I even saw one AI make a cornering error which caused it to spin out, adding some randomness to the gameplay. And no, unlike Grid, the accidents that happen between AI's aren't 'scripted events', meaning they don't happen in every race. I only had an AI spinout take place exactly once while testing out the cars.

So there, it's 2:46 in the morning and I badly need to get back to sleep. That. was. awesome.

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