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Forza Motorsport 2 - impressions

Forza Motorsport 2 is not as hardcore as it seems. The punishing ultra realism and mind-boggling attention to detail may appeal directly to hobbyists and elitists, but the developers are actually designing their game to be accessible to everyone. Car lovers, game lovers, experts, beginners - Forza Motorsport 2 wants to bring them all together.

Automobile fanatics will have plenty to play with, regardless of whether they're gamers or not. The number of vehicles accurately recreated in the sequel passes the 300 mark and includes everything from Western-influenced muscle cars to Eastern-built drifters to something you could pick up this weekend at your local dealership. As in the original, each model should drive incredibly close to its real-life source. If you don't think its handling is close enough, however, you'll be able to tinker with 50% more upgrades than you could in the first Forza Motorsport. And for those who simply love the look of cars, the outside of the vehicles can be customized with 4000 layers of decals and then painstakingly photographed in the improved studio mode.

Those steeped in car culture will also appreciate the way the tracks have been translated. We were shown only one - the Sebring International Raceway in Florida. While the graphic representation was nothing spectacular - after all, the location is pretty much just generic blue sky and generic green grass - the other important aspects were dead-on. For example, the distinctive ridged bumps of Sebring's concrete terrain were not only visible, they could be heard and felt as well. They'll affect your driving and, eventually, your suspension.

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