I’ve been playing a vast amount of Forza 3 on the Xbox recently. I *love* racing games. Always have, all the way back to the Atari 2600’s Night Driver, which had basic graphics, but used the paddle controller, a kind of proto-steering wheel affair. Brilliant.
Ah, Forza. Tons of brilliant (and not-so-brilliant) cars, loads of beautifully rendered tracks (including the infamous Nürburgring), customisation options up to *here*. Superb. Heck, you can spend half an hour just going through the various options for just the different wheel types on offer.
What I particularly like though is the option to automatically upgrade your car to a specific level – say you buy a ‘D’ class Golf for example. You could go and upgrade each bit individually to get it up to an ‘A’ class, or you can just tell Forza that you’d like an ‘A’ class tuning setup and it’ll go off and work out what it needs to optimise the car to get it as close as possible to the top of the ‘A’ rating.
I also love that you can design the paint jobs on the cars. You can respray your shiny new Porsche in all manner of colours, with different shades for the roof, bonnett, sides, bumpers etc, but it was a while until I realised that you could apply decals and decal groups to the cars, building up some quite complex patterns.
EB and I have had enormous fun redesigning our respective garages, resulting in such classics as my dalmatian-spotted racing Ferrari and my current favourite Paul Smith-inspired stripey Audi R8 5.2 litre V10, which I adore.
And they give you a new car every time you go up an experience level – I’m up to level 21, so have had a ton of new cars to play with.
Don’t get me started on the simulation damage settings – I managed to completely bork my supertuned Golf last night by clipping a tyre wall on the New York circuit, resulting in me rolling the car end over end, and breaking the front and rear bumper, knackering both wings, killing three out of four of my suspension springs, screwing the gearbox *and* the steering. I couldn’t get the car out of first gear from that point and had to limp around the track to the pit lane for repairs… Still ended the race in 2nd place though. Booyah.
Anyone up for a race? my Xbox Live gamertag is d4k3gr4 if you want to add me to your list…