Monday, 8 June 2009

E3 2009 round-up part 2: Forza Motorsport 3

Here’s the second part of my E3 2009 racing game round-up. Next, let’s look at Microsoft’s latest offering.

Forza Motorsport 3 (Microsoft/Turn 10)

Looking at that screenshot, you can instantly tell that this is gonna be an awesome game. Just look at that detail! All cars in the game have 10 times the polygon count than those in Forza 2, which means Turn 10 have worked bloody hard to get the game to this level. With the game officially confirmed and unveiled during Microsoft’s press conference at E3, we soon quickly found out some details. 400 cars and 100 tracks for a start. Gameplay footage, trailers and screenshots initially show us cars such as the Audi R8, Aston Martin DBS, Chevy Corvette ZR1 and Nissan 370Z.

As for circuits, all 3 shown off at E3 are fictional layouts based in Montserrat, Spain. According to the developers, all fantasy circuits in the game will each have their own unique features and back stories, which helps add depth to these locations. In terms of real-world locations, the Nordschleife is back (of course), as well as Sebring, Silverstone and Suzuka so far. There is talk of Le Mans being featured too, as an announcement concerning Forza 3 is expected at next weekend’s Le Mans 24 Hours. Microsoft have close relationships with both Peugeot and Audi, with the latter officially confirming their partnership with them at E3. What this announcement entails remains to be seen. But hopefully it will be something that helps make the already awesome spectacle that is the 24 Hours just that little bit more enjoyable.

Turn 10 have been working very hard on perfecting their tyre physics for FM3, going to both Michelin engineers and their partners at McLaren for information, data and notes on tyre behaviour, flex and deformation. This concept of realism is nothing new, as sim racers will know too well that Live For Speed on the PC simulates deformation brilliantly. Apparently engine and tyre sounds and physics have both been upped in quality as some websites have reported after getting the privilege to . Also, another notable addition to the game is the addition of roll-over, i.e a car going into it’s roof. The trailer clearly shows a Ford GT lose it and barrel-roll through the air. Speaking of damage, this has also been given the once over with improvements in bump and dent mapping. All 400 cars also feature cockpit views, a first for the Forza franchise, with detail so fine even the indicator stalks look completely life-like. That shows just how much precision and hard graft has gone into the making of this sequel.

October 27th has been revealed as the release date, exclusive to XBOX 360. Dan Greenawalt, head of Turn 10, has said that FM3 is pretty much finished, all cars and tracks had been built and that as a whole the game ran rock solid during the entire duration of E3. Plus, if you think the game looks good now, then apparently it can only look better from now on. As some will know, I already have a 360 and along with NFS: Shift, this is one purchase I definately will not think twice about.