The long awaited Forza 3 Demo had finally made its way to the XBL Marketplace 2 weeks ago and so far it really impresses. The Forza franchise is the number one racer when it comes to user created content and online play. Forza 3 looks to push the envelope even further this time around with a more stream lined marketplace for buying and selling user created vehicles that either have custom paints , tuned engines or even both !
The competition against Forza is slim right now. Games Like DiRT 2 and NFS Shift offer fast and furious racing action but they do it in a more arcady sim fashion. The only other sim racer looking to go head to head with Forza is GT 5 and for now all we know is that wont be releasing till sometime in March in Japan and the U.S. shortly after.
But while we still have to wait to play both games, we do have playable version of both games in a demo form of sorts. GT5 Prologue has been out for some time now and is basically a very small portion of the game wrapped up in a $30 package. And of course like I mentioned XBL just received the Forza 3 demo not to long ago. Id like to do a little comparison of the two “demos” based on graphics, gameplay and presentation.
For starters Forza 3 is a beautiful game. The 60 fps, the lighting and the over all overhaul in graphics just makes this game some serious eye candy. GT5 Pro is just as pretty of a game and even edges Forza out a bit in this area. While both games have a great frame rate and lovely environments to race in GT5 has the better lighting effects and I think the in car cam is a bit better in GT5. Its still great in Forza but again its just edged out a bit that's all. The same could be said for the car models as well. Over all they are both breath taking to look at and worthy of showing off each consoles capabilities.
I think when it comes to gameplay both games excel in the sim department as they should, but I feel Forza 3 not only handles the “sim” part of racing better, but also it allows new comers the chance to ease into the game. Forza 3 and GT5 both allow for customized driving difficulties with the option of turning driver assists on and off, but as of right now only Forza 3 allows for the player to have the auto brake feature that slows the car down with the proper braking to help keep you on the track and in the race. The addition of the rewind feature will be loved by the hardcore player as well as the new comer. You screw up and just do it over again !
I think the A.I. still and has always gone to the Forza franchise. The A.I. keeps true the real life style of racing for position as opposed to be programmed to stay in a certain line like GT5. I felt that Forza 3 was heading in this direction a bit, but after some more time with the demo I've come to realize that the A.I. is a bit more aggressive then before , but still makes the moves it needs to win the race on its own.
As far as production values and game presentation both games impress. I think that GT5 Prologue being in more of a game state gives it the upper hand here so I think Ill pass judgment till The full retail version of Forza 3 comes. The demo did show a much cleaner presentation, but again it wasn't much to go on.
With both games landing and consoles soon I think gamers choosing one way or the other wont be disappointed. For me my I have to stay with what's made me happy over the past few years and that's Forza 3. Both games are going to demand a lot of time and energy just to play so to have both would be setting ones self up for gaming fatigue. That being said I need to go pre-order my copy of Forza Motorsports 3.