21 Nov, 2004

Ford Racing 3 Review

PS2 Review | Another week, another arcade racer.
Just about every second title I review lately appears to be an arcade racer. I am a bit of a fan of arcade racers when they are good though, so I don’t mind. However, after playing some classic arcade racers such as Burnout 3 and Flat Out it isn’t fun to go back and play Ford Racing 3.

Ford Racing 3 is a budget title that was released last week and it's, not surprisingly, the follow up to Ford Racing 2. Just like its predecessors it retails for $49.95 and it is very light on features. For a game to establish itself in the arcade racing genre it needs to be memorable. Unfortunately Ford Racing 3 isn't. It is pretty obvious from the outset that Ford Racing 3 is only appealing to one demographic, Ford fans, so if you cannot stand Ford cars then we truly don’t know why you would play this game or even look at it for more than a few seconds.

Ford Racing 3 features four main modes and that is it. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing but it isn't flattering when compared to other racers. There is a Ford Competition mode which takes the player through a tree of challenges they must complete. These challenges aren’t exactly hard and focus on certain cars.

Ford Challenge allows you to collect vehicles, tracks and race types for your Ford collection. This mode just comprises of choosing a challenge theme, choosing a car and then winning the race. This will unlock your new Ford car. Considering the game starts with only one car unlocked, this might be the first mode to check out.

For a next-generation title the graphics really should be better.

For a next-generation title the graphics really should be better.
The final main mode is Ford Collection which allows the gamer to create their own challenges using the vehicles, tracks and race types collected, this is a disguised way of basically a single race where you can choose your options. There is also a quick race mode which is self-explanatory but I truly don’t see any reason to ever go into that option.

The game play in Ford Racing 3 is bland. There is close to no sense of speed, the A.I is nothing short of ordinary and there is no damage model. In fact, at times this game feels too slow. I can't actually remember a moment in the game where I became involved with it, as most of the time I was trying to look for some redeeming features. I didn't find many. One of the assests of the game lies in its quick loading. Aside from the initial boot up, loading is consistently under five seconds, allowing for quick and easy access to games.

So how long would this game last? It would be easy to say about ten minutes after bootup, but those who stick with the game will see it ending quite quickly as well. The novelty of Ford having an exclusive game is over extremely quickly and the races are never really exciting enough to keep the gamer coming back for more. Those who pick up the Xbox version of the game will have access to online scoreboards but this feature is absent from the Playstation 2 version. Die-hard fans of the game will want to collect every car, track and race type available, so this could keep the gamer entertained for a while.

Another reason that the game ties quickly is the audio. Ford Racing 3 is one of those games that really makes Xbox custom soundtracks sound good. The songs are repetitive and the engine noises don’t sound very good at all. More effort should have been made to make these cars sound like the Fords they are based on. Unfortunately though, there is no custom soundtrack option for the Playstation 2 which means you have to put up with the lackluster soundtrack the developers have added in.

Where else would we see these two cars in the one race?

Where else would we see these two cars in the one race?
The visuals are also another feature of the game which need severe upgrading. In fact, it seriously looks to me like there have been close to no updates of the visuals from Ford Racing 2. The visuals in Ford Racing 2 were outdated then, so for 2004 standards Ford Racing 3 is one of the worst looking games I have played for a while. The light reflecting off the windows of the cars doesn’t even look authentic.

If you’ve played Ford Racing 2then you have essentially played Ford Racing 3. The games are practically the same except with a few new cars and some different modes. This is extremely disappointing and the game should be so much better. There is nothing in Ford Racing 3 that we haven’t seen elsewhere done much better. Anyone picking this game up would have to be an extremely biased Ford fan who needs just about anything with Ford written on it. We think it is inevitable that we will see a Ford Racing 4 in the next twelve months, we just hope that developer Razorworks listens to our complaints and creates a decent arcade racer. Until then we strongly advise holding off on Ford Racing 3 and heading straight for Burnout 3 or even the upcoming Need for Speed: Underground 2.

It's just such a tremendous shame that in nine months the actual game doesn't seem to have changed from its predeccesors. This sequel isn't a revolution, nor an evolution, we are used to sequels that at least add something new to the game, but with Ford Racing 3 we cannot see it adding anyting we haven't seen before. The one thing the game has going for it is the price, but for $49.95 you could always pick up Burnout 2 or for a few dollars extra you could get Flat Out. We know what we would choose.
The Score
Ford Racing 3 is a missed opportunity that comes last in the arcade game race. 4
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

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9 years ago
They're still making these?

*shakes head*
9 years ago
Havn't played 1 and 2 and I don't think that I want to play 3 with a rating of only 4 :S
8 years ago
where can you play this game
8 years ago
head back to 2004 and you'll find it...
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  Pre-order or buy:
    PALGN recommends: www.Play-Asia.com

Australian Release Date:
  Out Now
European Release Date:
  Out Now
  Empire Interactive

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