Vroom Vroom. Crash bang wallop. There you have the sum experience of my previous dalliances with the Forza series, racing sims that were utterly beautiful to look at, but for those weaned on a diet of Burnouts and PGRs, intensely difficult and frustrating.

Vroom Vroom. Crash bang wallop. There you have the sum experience of my previous dalliances with the Forza series, racing sims that were utterly beautiful to look at, but for those weaned on a diet of Burnouts and PGRs, intensely difficult and frustrating.

This is something Turn 10 have gone to great pains to redress in Forza 3, and initially they err far too much in favour of the novice. Where Forza 2 took great pleasure in embarrassing the inept player by sending him cannoning into the nearest ditch at any display of driving innocence, the steering and braking stabilisers utilised now are far too helpful, and it’s possible to win all your races without once utilising the brake pedal. Fair game for Need for Speed freaks, but when Forza is touting itself as a driving sim it seems a little OTT.

Cleverly though, there are incentives to remove the helping hands – with the removal of each driving aid, you’re given a huge percentage increase in point scoring abilities, said points allowing you to upgrade your sludgy old Toyota Yaris into a chrome demon easily capable of slaughtering the beastliest of supercars in a head to head.

Remove the driving aids also sharply increases the learning curve, and this is where the benefit of the games slow pace – it takes many races to unlock cars and further courses – is most evident. The slower stylings of typical commuter cars like the Ford Focus give you plenty of headroom to learn how to properly handle and push the cars around the course, something pretty impossible if you’d started in that snazzy Ferrari that you’d find quite quickly catapulting into a field at the very first corner.

Technically, bar some dire menu commentary and a little pop up (that, to be fair, you’d have to make a point of looking for), the game runs beautifully, and as you slowly make your way up the ranks, eventually at a blistering pace. Bear in mind though it’s a pretty huge install over two discs, and annoyingly the load time for new courses can be a little long.

Definitely not one for those happy with the typical racers pouring out of game studios these days, but if you’ve the time to invest in really getting to grips with the game, Forza 3 has got more than a little to give back
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