By Andrew Green
I spent a little time with the Forza Motorsport 3 demo this afternoon. While the full game will not be out until October 27th, XBLA Gold members are currently able to download a demo to have an early taste. I took 3 of the 5 cars in the demo out for a spin. My impressions of the 1.2 gigs of racing action within!
What I took away from my time with the Forza 3 demo was a feeling of being catered to. You see, I'm not what you would call competent when it comes to most racing games. I've spent a lot more time with Burnout Paradise than Gran Turismo. Forza 3 looks like it is trying to bridge the gap between the hardcore and arcade racer crowds. The game offers numerous options designed to ease you into the world of "realistic" racing, including a braking line, auto-braking and even a rewind option that winds the action back 15 seconds or so, letting you make a graceful turn rather than your initial head-on crash into a barrier.
If the thought of so much assistance turns you off, rest assured that all of these features can be disabled to offer a more difficult experience. This kind of adjustable difficulty is something I like seeing in games, why lock out any one particular crowd when you don't have to, right?
As for the graphics, the cars models are looking impressive, though I saw a mere 5 out of hundreds that will be in the final game. I always enjoy when a demo goes out of the way to remind you that this is NOT representative of the final product, usually in the form of little blubs of information at the bottom. It all comes back to that feeling of being given whatever you want. More cars? Done. Suck at driving? Fixed. You like leaderboards? Covered. Carmen Electra at your side, cheering you on? Can't help you there pal.
Give it a look and see what you think! I'd love to hear from some of the more knowledgeable racing fans out there on how they think the series is shaping up. Or you know, if you just want to write "GT5 RULEZ!!1!" in the comments, do what you have to.