Forza Motorsport 3
E3 2009: Forza 3 Hands On Preview - Them Be Fightin' Words
Written Friday, June 12, 2009 By Dan Webb
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After the doors of E3 closed late last Tuesday night and the stands were cooling down, Microsoft ushered the British press back onto a now desolate show floor for an extensive hands on and presentation with Forza 3 and its developers Turn 10. To sit here and say that Turn 10 are a confident developer would be a total understatement. Some call it arrogance, some call it passion, we're not sure what we'd call it. The 30 minute presentation alone had more sound bites than you’d expect with a 5 minute chat with Peter Molyneux discussing the impact of Milo on the future of technology. We were ambushed with bold claim after bold claim from a confident Dan Greenawalt, the Game Director at Turn 10. Forza 3 is the “best simulator you’ll find on any console,” it will try to “redefine the racing genre”, it’s the “biggest racing game in this generation,” “no racing game looks better on any console” ... and it didn’t stop there. The enthusiasm and audacious sound bites continued long after the presentation had finished with John Wendell, Forza 3 Content Director, continuing the ambush whilst we went hands on with the title. Bashfully Wendell admitted that “Forza 3 was where it was because of Gran Turismo” before then adding that the GT series “wasn’t evolving fast enough, so we did it ourselves,” pointing out the fact that Forza had released 3 titles since Gran Turismo’s last effort. Right then, enough of all the bold claims, let’s talk about the title, how it handles, what’s new, and why it was our best racer of the show this year.

A quick number crunch before we head on; Forza 3 will feature over 100 tracks, 60% of which are real world with the other 40% being original. It will also feature 400+ cars ranging across 40+ manufacturers and all this content will come across two discs; with the second disc containing mostly cars, but it essentially means that a hard drive is a necessity if you want to access all the content.

New features in the series include the “rewind” function (yes, as seen in GRID), which can be used as much or as little as you like during single player races; allowing players to rewind play for as many 5 second segments as they see fit. It felt like a bit of a cop out for a self certified simulator from my perspective but Wendell noted that Forza 3 is all about having fun and get rammed off the corner on the last lap losing your hard work totally drains the fun out of the experience. Those watching the Microsoft Press Conference will probably have come away from the presentation thinking that Forza may have gone a little soft ... a little arcadey, and in some respects, that’s true. The racer has now opened its doors and broadened its horizons and can now be picked up and played by anyone who wants a racing experience. This doesn’t mean that they’ve sacrificed the sim aspect, far from it, it just means now that with all the assists on, Forza is bloody easy to play, it’s essentially becomes a “one button driving” experience then. However, take off all the assists and the game is probably as Greenawalt says, the best simulator on any console.

In terms of physics, Turn 10 have worked alongside McLaren in the UK to improve things like their aero package, picking up a few hints off McLaren’s very own simulator; the very one that Lewis Hamilton uses. This exchange of notes per se also allowed the Turn 10 guys to improve how the air gets dirty behind the car and how it affects the down force. It essentially means Forza 3 will perform real time calculations on how things will change depending on the car in front of you. Greenawalt commented, “do we have to do that for most players?” ... “No, we do it because we’re perfectionists and want the simulation to be unparalleled.”  Moving on, the tires in Forza 2 simulated heat, wear, and carefully simulated how the gases reacted inside each of them, now in Forza 3, they simulate tire flex as well. So as the car loads up and gets the load on the front tires, the tires actually deform and roll under the rim. Forza 3 also runs at 60 frames per second with Greenawalt quick to praise that aspect and slam others ... again, “if you can’t run at 60, you’re not a great racing game.” If it wasn’t enough to take a dig at other non 60 frames per second racers on the show floor, Greenawalt then continues to muse that they don’t rely on one feature that “other racing games hang their hat on – “oh we have a cockpit view ... and then we’re done,” and that they have a ton of features and aspects that all sell the game also. Now if that wasn’t a burn on Need For Speed: SHIFT, I’ll eat my hat.

Players can also expect to lose a little time in the game’s broad career mode, which now has a layer on top of it that allows any player to get into the title. Turn 10 call it the “season mode” and it is said to be accessible for all ages and all difficulty levels. The season mode, which features guidance by the soothing tones of the British actor, Peter Egan, is said to assess the cars in your garage, the cars you’ve used so far and the races you’ve tended to race in, and will then offer the 3 best events for you based on those results. Also, expect to face off against immersive AI in over 200 events that can actually make human mistakes depending on the pressure you’re applying. A trait which does sound pretty damn advanced and one that we’re interested to see how realistic it really is.

The game is as you’ll probably have come to realise now, is a visual treat. Instead of choosing to incorporate weather conditions which Greenawalt comments would “actually take a game that has simulation physics and take it to a level where I don’t even think our assists could make it easy,” Turn 10 decided to invest in the game’s graphics and its HTR lighting. That’s abundantly clear when you care to look around at the game’s high detail textures, huge draw distances and naturally impressive rendering of the cars themselves.

As for the actual hands on, we got to experience three different tracks using a wide variety of cars; from a Porsche 911 to a Lamborghini Murcielago, whilst even dabbling in the Aston Martin DBS for a short while. After a few run throughs of the Montserrat track, once with assists on, and once with assists off; it was definitely plain to see that Greenawalt was a man true to his word (or at least some of them). From a self confessed Gran Turismo addict, racing with the assists on was pretty boring and was one button racing, which was no fun at all. Take all the assists off however and the experience really comes alive. Each corner tests you. The damage is no longer aesthetic only and can really affect the car. The opposition are more aggressive and never let you grab the line you want. You can’t just slam your foot on the accelerator when you leave a corner. It’s simulation racing just as it should be.

It wouldn’t be a Forza 3 preview if we didn’t spare a minute to discuss the community aspect of the title. Greenawalt mentions that the community is the core of Forza Motorsport and the UGC allows for people to interact with one another by creating just about anything that they can vision in terms of cars and videos. Forza 3 will include scoreboards for painters, tuners, for people that take photos, make videos and a number of other things. The title doesn’t look to make everyone into great racers; it looks to embrace people’s creativity as well. According to Greenawalt, people don’t go to YouTube to upload videos (although I do), they go to see what’s going on, what’s new and more importantly, what’s cool; and Forza wanted to embrace this attitude by rewarding the best creators out there in this new scoreboard system.
If you don’t get caught up in Greenawalt’s over emphasis on the impact of the title, you’ll be more than happy with Forza 3 when it hits in October. Sure Forza 3 is a fantastic racer, it’s a step up from Forza 2, but I’m not sure how it will redefine the genre. It’s a straight up solid racing simulator if you want one. It’s pick up and play if you want that, and whilst the whole community aspect is a nice aspect to throw time and effort in to, it’s surely only going to appeal to a small section of fans. The rest of us just want to drive the hell out of some sweet cars on some authentic and testing tracks and Forza 3 offers you just that. I’ve admittedly not sunk my teeth into a racing simulator since I lost months on 100%ing Gran Turismo 3, but Forza 3 is seriously good enough to tempt me back on to the track for another long stint. Racing fans won’t be disappointed, just so long as they don’t buy into Greenawalt’s hype. It’s good, in fact, it’s great and most certainly a step up from Forza 2, but it’s not reinventing the wheel ... by any means.

Forza Motorsport 3 will hit consoles on October 23rd in Europe and October 27th in North America.


User Comments

Forum Posts: 102
Comment #1 by N00B EATA
Friday, June 12, 2009 @ 10:55:52 PM
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I less than 3 AUDI R8!!!!!!

Forum Posts: 339
Comment #2 by colmotoole2
Friday, June 12, 2009 @ 11:03:17 PM
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Can't wait

Forum Posts: 15
Comment #3 by Snakktastic
Friday, June 12, 2009 @ 11:10:51 PM
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Meh, GT:5 will be better.

Forum Posts: 3985
Comment #4 by Sanction
Friday, June 12, 2009 @ 11:53:01 PM
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Oh lucky, lucky man...

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #5 by asilent boom
Friday, June 12, 2009 @ 11:56:13 PM
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@3 GT:5 going to release this year? very doubtful considering Sony didn't show anything on it at E3.

I'm not a Forza fan or racing sim fan but from what I have read this game could make me one.

Forum Posts: 731
Comment #6 by xxXI Dave IXxx
Saturday, June 13, 2009 @ 12:31:42 AM
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@3, Wow, I didnt know GT5 was coming out on the xbox. Whats that? It's not........well then hows it going to be better. Good luck with the online play buddy.

Forum Posts: 72
Comment #7 by badasz
Saturday, June 13, 2009 @ 12:49:21 AM
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i think forza and GT will be good games for the systems. im a hardcore fan of both.

Forum Posts: 2
Comment #8 by Carbonmist
Saturday, June 13, 2009 @ 01:28:22 AM
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Cant wait for forza 3. GT series is an arcade racer how can you compare arcade to realistic racers, you cant. Besides forza beats GT any day of the week.

Forum Posts: 677
Comment #9 by adriano28
Saturday, June 13, 2009 @ 01:36:30 AM
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nice new features guys. Im definitly gettin this. whats better is that for once, Europe is gettin the game before USA (although its only by a couple of days)

Forum Posts: 14787
Comment #10 by Webb [STAFF]
Saturday, June 13, 2009 @ 01:38:41 AM
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Wait ... GT an arcade racer? That's news to me =P

Forum Posts: 92
Comment #11 by ROA5T BeeF
Saturday, June 13, 2009 @ 01:40:14 AM
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This looks good but I'm not a big fan of sim-like racing games. I prefer the crazy arcadiness of Burnout instead. If I want it to feel like driving a real car, I will go drive my own car.

And @8 yeah I agree with Webb, GT is like THE simulation racing game. THE.

Forum Posts: 762
Comment #12 by Lord of Fate
Saturday, June 13, 2009 @ 01:42:31 AM
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Umm yea dewds... GT and FM are def both NOT arcade lolz, and why compare them? They're both spectacular games... why does it alays have to be about which game is better?

Anyway, I CAN'T WAIT for both games especially FM3 (since I don't own a PS3).

Forum Posts: 22
Comment #13 by alienterrorist
Saturday, June 13, 2009 @ 01:58:03 AM
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I just got into forza 2 not that long ago and its great. This just sounds AMAZING! I never liked the driving tests in GT.

Forum Posts: 153
Comment #14 by Senate4242
Saturday, June 13, 2009 @ 02:33:09 AM
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This is looking good. I thought there was no way Forza could top GT but they just might. At least I get to play this game, this decade.

If they released both GT and Forza this year, my head would explode.

Forum Posts: 193
Comment #15 by sneh
Saturday, June 13, 2009 @ 03:06:50 AM
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by the time gt5 comes out, it will be have to be compared to forza 18...

Forum Posts: 67
Comment #16 by Zak777
Saturday, June 13, 2009 @ 03:31:43 AM
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Wtf GT an arcade racer? You smoke-em peace pipe, I laugh and wallow my head in shame. I personally like GT more...but I don't have my friggin' PS3 yet so Forza for now. Might not turn out too badly if they make it well enough :D.

Forum Posts: 56
Comment #17 by Ryan-3
Saturday, June 13, 2009 @ 03:36:29 AM
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I'm off to pre-order :)

Forum Posts: 297
Comment #18 by gingerCHRIS123
Saturday, June 13, 2009 @ 04:14:33 AM
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Can't wait, i love 2, and hopefully this will be as good as it sounds

Forum Posts: 26
Comment #19 by Asphodel Nyx
Saturday, June 13, 2009 @ 04:18:05 AM
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I was a big fan of Forza 2 and didn't realise this was being released so soon... already booking a week off work to play!!!!!

Forum Posts: 237
Comment #20 by blitz7287
Saturday, June 13, 2009 @ 04:20:52 AM
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Cannot wait for this game. :)

ps. Audi R8's rule theres one a couple of streets away from me. i drool everytime i get past it lol.

Forum Posts: 1757
Comment #21 by Xterm1n8or
Saturday, June 13, 2009 @ 04:22:37 AM
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This can't come soon enough. *Drools*

Forum Posts: 509
Comment #22 by spilner100
Saturday, June 13, 2009 @ 04:30:09 AM
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I really want this game

Forum Posts: 3254
Comment #23 by Bearded Bugs
Saturday, June 13, 2009 @ 04:49:00 AM
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Gonna be amazing!

I agree with the person that said GT is a bit too arcadey, never felt real-enough by any means.

Forum Posts: 6
Comment #24 by f1Davii
Saturday, June 13, 2009 @ 05:42:44 AM
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le mans: check, Audi r8: check, some kind of deal with McLaren to bring the f1 car in like gt5 prologue with the Ferrari: any chance??

and sorry to be a pedantic sod but theres only one c in McLaren btw

Forum Posts: 741
Comment #25 by KewlBrettC
Saturday, June 13, 2009 @ 05:52:39 AM
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news flash guys, GT is NOT an arcade racer. Yes I do believe that Forza is better but don't be stupid and say GT is an arcade racer.

Forum Posts: 22
Comment #26 by STEALTH LIKE
Saturday, June 13, 2009 @ 06:25:09 AM
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Im a big NFS fan i always have been...but i never played forza 1 as i always prefered NFS but looking at the graphics and gameplay of this i thenk im now a forza fan :D

Forum Posts: 3254
Comment #27 by Bearded Bugs
Saturday, June 13, 2009 @ 07:12:47 AM
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#25 Calling the GT games "arcadey" is by no means stupid.

That's why I said "arcadey" and not "arcade", to me they've always been about half-and-half.

Forum Posts: 3
Comment #28 by OblivionGod123
Saturday, June 13, 2009 @ 08:10:16 AM
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i never liked gt so dont give a toss about it
roll on october

Forum Posts: 10
Comment #29 by Pvt Castrator
Saturday, June 13, 2009 @ 08:45:28 AM
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GT is not an arcade racer but until gt5 comes out the word "simulation" is something gt has never done compared to either existing Forza let alone the ever looming October date for Forza3. To clarify i base this upon the hundreds of races on GT where i won because i was able to smash into walls and other cars to make corners.

Forum Posts: 1185
Comment #30 by IncensedCape
Saturday, June 13, 2009 @ 08:46:01 AM
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Gran Turismo is boring as hell. Plus the fact that it is endlessly delayed.

Forum Posts: 262
Comment #31 by II M1CK3H II
Saturday, June 13, 2009 @ 09:13:18 AM
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I love the fact that more and more games are being released in europe before america these days! :D

Also, it looks sick, i loved forza one back on the original xbox, never played forza 2, but i'll check this one out!

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #32 by Jamerz
Saturday, June 13, 2009 @ 09:48:02 AM
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It looks really good.

Hopefully it doesn't get as repetitive as Forza 2 did.

I suppose i'll never get tired of driving the Audi R8 though. :)

Forum Posts: 7
Comment #33 by VeteranPants
Saturday, June 13, 2009 @ 10:00:11 AM
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GT5 doesnt come with crashes. so HOW could it be better. You can't even tune the car on GT5

Forum Posts: 1763
Comment #34 by Da CRU Mughhh
Saturday, June 13, 2009 @ 10:16:46 AM
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I want a copy now!!!! lol

Forum Posts: 1763
Comment #35 by Da CRU Mughhh
Saturday, June 13, 2009 @ 10:18:10 AM
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@8 What are you talking about GT arcade racer, man your on crack GT is one of the best race games ever!! Clearly you have no idea about what a good race game is!!!!!!!!!!!

Forum Posts: 24
Comment #36 by B Rabbit FNFA
Saturday, June 13, 2009 @ 11:49:28 AM
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Cant wait for this

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #37 by WARBRINGER
Saturday, June 13, 2009 @ 01:20:51 PM
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U.S should have the same release day =(
oh well, definitely picking this up, just wish it had drag racing and atleast one fox body Mustang, that would be my ideal racing game for the 360...

Forum Posts: 983
Comment #38 by Don Manolo
Saturday, June 13, 2009 @ 01:24:56 PM
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This will be so great!

Forum Posts: 177
Comment #39 by squirreltakos
Saturday, June 13, 2009 @ 01:49:31 PM
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2 discs are always better than one! ;)

I'm glad their throwing much more content on this one.

Forum Posts: 48
Comment #40 by DerPoodle
Saturday, June 13, 2009 @ 05:20:33 PM
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There is a god.

Forum Posts: 1790
Comment #41 by Midnight Malice
Sunday, June 14, 2009 @ 03:32:24 AM
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Forza is the racer for racing fans, GT is the racer for people that like pretty cars. I'll stick with the better game thank you. Forza3.... can't wait.

Forum Posts: 15
Comment #42 by Snakktastic
Sunday, June 14, 2009 @ 05:26:09 AM
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@6 I didn't know being a smart ass was an achievement, oh wait its not. Your comment just read like most 360 fanboy comments.

Forum Posts: 20
Comment #43 by heatedGAZZMAN
Sunday, June 14, 2009 @ 08:12:26 AM
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@7.I completely agree with you, both great games for each machines.
I'm looking forward to both.

Forum Posts: 81
Comment #44 by Funkybass89
Sunday, June 14, 2009 @ 08:24:37 AM
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I cant wait to get this game, i was a big fan of forza 2 , this is going to be great.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #45 by Rosco 5
Sunday, June 14, 2009 @ 10:17:55 AM
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Why o why the rewind fuction? its not... er realistic. Fear it will spoil the racing knowing that if crash you can just rewind. Still love the forza games cant wait or this one.

Forum Posts: 1790
Comment #46 by Midnight Malice
Sunday, June 14, 2009 @ 04:28:27 PM
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At 45 you can't use it online, so just don't use it in single player. Turn it off.

Forum Posts: 152
Comment #47 by Beau Coup Dinky Dau
Sunday, June 14, 2009 @ 05:19:58 PM
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This looks awesome!

Forum Posts: 239
Comment #48 by SuperWoody64
Sunday, June 14, 2009 @ 05:29:30 PM
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So you install the 2nd disc and when you play the first disc it reads that installed info.

I reeeally hope ff13 has this option.

Forum Posts: 2123
Comment #49 by pined5551
Sunday, June 14, 2009 @ 06:01:38 PM
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cant wait 4 this

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #50 by Fyzban
Sunday, June 14, 2009 @ 11:20:51 PM
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at 48
I doubt for Ff13 , you need to swich disc with other square enix rpg's even is you installed them on your hdd.

Forum Posts: 593
Comment #51 by x 19 Luke 87 x
Monday, June 15, 2009 @ 06:36:46 AM
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gt will piss on this

Forum Posts: 1
Comment #52 by connally88
Monday, June 15, 2009 @ 07:30:01 AM
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@3 GT5 will not be close to F3, @6 you should tery out F2, u can buy it for cheaper then u can rent it, and it was worth the buy when it came out

Forum Posts: 20693
Comment #53 by Barad
Monday, June 15, 2009 @ 07:35:36 AM
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this is gunna be great!!

Forum Posts: 10
Comment #54 by Ghetto Cheese
Monday, June 15, 2009 @ 07:58:52 AM
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YESS!!! looks amazing and well its forza, definitely getting this

Forum Posts: 40
Comment #55 by Just Nick
Monday, June 15, 2009 @ 09:52:08 AM
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Forgive me if I've missed it, but is the Bugatti Veyron going to be included (as I read somewhere that Bugatti Tracks would be included, I was just curious?

Forum Posts: 252
Comment #56 by JonathanT32
Monday, June 15, 2009 @ 03:49:17 PM
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ehhh.. this looks pretty good.. Graphics look pretty kick ass.. I hope they got that Nissan 350z a hell of alot faster.. especially that 370z.. This game is gonna be good!

Forum Posts: 341
Comment #57 by Evol Error
Monday, June 15, 2009 @ 10:41:10 PM
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Reason why Forza sucks: as soon as you touch the grass the car spins out of control.. even if its just a little bit.. that is not fun.. if I want the real thing I'll just go drive my real car. ;)

Forum Posts: 9
Comment #58 by puffy daddy
Tuesday, June 16, 2009 @ 09:43:47 AM
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@57 lol, thats what i do :D

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #59 by Grossmesser
Saturday, June 27, 2009 @ 04:51:19 PM
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@57, lol, I really doubt your car does that.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #60 by iTz L14M
Monday, August 10, 2009 @ 03:07:51 PM
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this game is gunna be awesome, i was a big fan of forza 2

Forum Posts: 103
Comment #61 by jordan40
Thursday, October 01, 2009 @ 05:49:05 AM
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fuck playstation! fuck psn! and fuck GT they cant even bring a full game and they have to bring out a prologue! who the fuck wants a prologue on a racing game?!?! a prologue for gears 3 or ahlo series etc... is more understandable!

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Game Info
Turn 10 Studios


US October 27, 2009
Europe October 23, 2009
Japan October 29, 2009

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