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Forza Motorsport 3 review

Gassed up and ready to take on Gran Turismo

Each and every difficulty preset reveals an entirely new game. So while I eventually became most comfortable playing on “Hard,” there are still two more degrees of difficulty to tackle after that! New vehicle classes you unlock through Season Play present the same inviting progression. You don’t have to be a car nut to notice the variances in the handling. Each car is distinct and the way you’ll eventually gravitate towards one or the other is not unlike selecting your preferred Street Fighter character. And right when the experience becomes too comfortable, you move on to a new class to master.

Did we mention that Forza 3 is big? Well, Forza 3 is huge. The game comes with a second disc filled with 100 more cars and 29 new tracks. That’s nice. However, it requires a 2GB install. Those without HDs are screwed, those of us with 20GB 360s and Xbox Live connections are kinda short on space. (I had to delete Shadow Complex, dammit!) Turn 10 describes it as giving you a year’s worth of DLC for free, which is fair, but the no other 360 game has ever asked for that sort of digital real estate on Day One. AND when they do, there’s usually a decrease in load times… herein lies Forza 3’s biggest drawback. Have a look at my game stats:

Above: WAAAAHH! BOO HOO! GamesRadar didn’t complete a game 100% before they reviewed it

Feel free to run off to any message board you want to complain about our unethical review practices. All we ask is that you finish Forza 3 before you do so. The game is massive, the type meant to be played for years. Our piddly completion percentage up there represents well over thirty hours of game play, but here’s how Forza breaks it down:

17 hours?! We know we played more than that… What the stats don’t show is how long you’ll spend in loading screens:

The average load time between starting a race to actually spinning your wheels is well over a minute every time. Based on the number of races alone, I spent over THREE HOURS waiting for races to start… and that doesn’t even account for the billion or so other load times you’ll encounter everywhere else. To its credit, waiting a minute for fifteen minutes of racing bliss doesn’t seem like that big a deal in small doses, but in the scope of an entire career one could lose WEEKS climbing to the top of online leaderboards and 100% completion. As disheartening as that may be, it doesn’t detract from the overall experience, especially when you consider all the options Forza provides.

Yep, whether you’re fine tuning the parts or cosmetically styling your whip to a ridiculous degree of specificity, you can lose days in the menus. Oh, did you know they had customizable paint jobs?

How customizable, you ask? Very! Let’s fan the fanboy flames shall we?

Above: Click to the next page to see these two automotive titans battle it out!

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With a huge collection of cars, years worth of playability, some of the deepest driving around, and real inroads to casual acceptance, Forza 3 is one of the best games in its field and in general.

PlatformXbox 360
US censor ratingEveryone
UK censor rating3+
Release date27 October 2009 (US), 23 October 2009 (UK)