Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Forza Motor Sport 3 Demo

The Forza Motor Sport 3 demo is out on the Xbox Live Marketplace, you should probably go grab it now.

For me Forza Motor Sport 2 had 3 main problems:

1) Too linear and repetitive single player
2) Bland racing environments
3) No weather effects

While the demo does not include any single player out of race experience, previews have talked about a race calendar, so number 1 looks like it should be fixed.

The demo definitely does show improved racing environments! Obviously they picked the most stunning track, but it really is impressive. I don't think I have ever seen such a graphical step up in a sequel that is on the same generation. However, I have seen no mention of weather anywhere, so I am guessing that is still missing.

The big new feature is the rewind feature. At first, I was over the moon and impressed at such a bold decision for a realistic racing sim. However, as there is no limitation and no (visible) penalty for using it, it encourages perfectionism.

In Forza, it is very easy to mess up, a slight misjudgement can ruin your car and lose the race. Before, this meant a restart, which was incredibly frustrating. With such a high chance of failure, one might expect minimal punishment, so the rewind is a step in the right direction.

However, part of the fun is fighting back. With the rewind system, I can see players (me) using it more and more frequently for less and less serious crashes. This will slowly eat away at my sense of satisfaction and even race excitement. If it was limited per race, then you could avoid the frustration of a slight mistake causing ruin without meaning that every lap will be perfect.

Overall, it was pretty good. There was only a limited selection of cars, one track and no multiplayer, so you don't get a huge feel for the game. The interior views do nothing for me. I find it claustrophobic (I think you need a massive TV for it to be really good) and much prefer driving in the out-of-car view, so for me that was a waste of money. Hopefully the matchmaking will be more sophisticated, as I remember trying to get a game in FM 2 to be a pain. All in all, it was pretty much what I was expecting, if you are in to racing games, I am guessing that this game is going to fill you need for cars and provide an enjoyable racing experience. Expect a review some time around Christmas (hopefully before).

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