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Forza 3 Review

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Petrolhead perfection

★★★★★

Normally when a game bends over backwards to be all things to all people, all you end up with is a hideous, compromised mess. But in avoiding the middle ground and allowing gearheads to veer into both hardcore simulation and outrageous arcade racing, Forza Motorsport 3 is the finest driving game since Gran Turismo redefined the genre.

For motoring geeks, FM3 is the stuff of dreams, allowing you to get under the bonnet and tinker with any part of your ride and create your dream machine. During races, the game’s intense simulation feel is also enhanced by car tyres that get steadily more worn as the scrambles unfold – in turn playing havoc with your handling – while computer-controlled opponents that often make reckless mistakes add an edge of danger to the sprawling single-player career.

But for anyone looking for high-speed action without the fuss, FM3 also excels. Help is on hand to deal with any part of the driving experience and let you concentrate on the racing action, and players can even choose to automatically upgrade their car in preparation for the tracks ahead. The nifty rewind function – that allows you to skip back five seconds and retake tricky corners – also welcomes casual players with open arms, while the razor-sharp visuals and realistic tracks will have every car nut on the planet gagging to get their hands on an Xbox 360 controller.

Beautifully subtle controls, enticing online action and the opportunity to design your own complex paintjobs also make FM3 the most accomplished driving game of the year, and the icing on the cake is that all 400 vehicles are unlocked from the very beginning – all you have to do is earn the money to drive them. Sublime.

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