I make no bones about the fact that I am a car fanatic, but it has to be said that there are certain limitations to my breadth of car experience. Sure, I drive every single day and love every minute of it, read up on all the lastest cars and get down to track days whenever I can, but there really is a gaping hole in what I would consider one of my primary past-times; I never get to drive the brightest and best of the car industry.
I am also a computer geek of the highest order. So, when I am not out and about in my car, I am glued to my Xbox360 (as you can guess, I am a big hit with the ladies). I may not be 100% on-the-button in this case, but in Forza Motorsport 3 I believe I have discovered the perfect way to experience and indulge both my passions.
Forza basically gives you the opportunity to race hundreds of cars around some of the worlds best known tracks, such as Silverstone and the Nurburgring. Now, obviously I am not as deluded as to confuse CGI’d cars and tracks with real-life, but the attention to detail in Forza is quite remarkable. Get in front of an HD TV with a steering wheel and pedals and you really are catapulted into the cockpit of an Audi R8 or even the rather sublime Bugatti Veyron.
Driving skill is definitely rewarded in this game. I found that the ability of being able to drive aided my ability at this game, whereas my non-driving friends struggled with physics of cornering and when to brake. I am reliably informed that the game designers wanted to find a balance between realism and arcade-playability, which I think they have achieved admirably. Being able to choose manual shift and no auto-braking is perfect for the seasoned car gamers, whereas the uninitiated can opt for a much safer ‘best-line’ guide and auto-braking.
So, sitting on my living room sofa with a steering wheel on my lap may not be exactly the same as sitting inside a tuned Porsche 911 covered in my personal decals, but Forza is the closest I am likely to get for the time being.
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