The Gran Turismo series is one of the most important driving seriesâ€™ of our time. Many challengers have tried to better Gran Turismo but have, ultimately failed. In fact, Gran Turismo is a system seller, for years Gran Turismo has gone unchallenged, until now. Enter Microsoft and Forza Motorsport. PALGN recently had a very exclusive play of the game and we came away with very mixed impressions.
It is important to note that the version of the game we played still has over four months of development time in it. Our impressions are nowhere near representative of the final quality of the game.
Upon booting up Forza Motorsport PALGN was treated to three options, Start, Quit and Credits. Naturally, we chose start and from there we were launched into a car selection screen.
Some of the cars we were able to choose from included the Nissan 350Z, 2004 Subaru Impreza WRX STi, Ferari 360 Modena F1 and the Porsche 911 GT3. In total, we were able to choose between twelve cars. We actually settled on the 2001 Audie #1 Infineon R8, which looked like it would fly around the track.
In the full version of Forza Motorsport you can fully customise your car to make it more rare and valuable, the demo version did not allow us to do this, but in the full version, gamers will be able to choose from buying everything from real-world body kits to aftermarket turbo kits.
After choosing our car we were able to choose to turn on some driving assists. This included stability management, traction control and anti-lock braking. We also chose between manual and automatic transmission.
After this we were launched straight into the race at Laguna Seca, which ironically enough also features in Gran Turismo. We were placed on the track with three other cars and were ready to try out the most important aspect of Forza, the racing.
A quick camera pan of our car happened during the countdown and then the game began. Our first disappointment of the game was how bland the track looked, some of the screenshots released to this date, look absolutely amazing, yet in-game we were less than impressed by the visuals, it is not over-exaggerating to say Gran Turismo 3 looks better.
We finished the race in 2nd position and that spelled the end of our play test. This felt very much like an arcade portion of the game, but we could not tell as we didn't navigate many menus at all.
One of the most hyped up features about Forza is the fact that it features real damage, whereas Gran Turismo does not, so how is the damage model? We would liken it more to Project Gotham rather than V8 Supercar 2. We were a little disappointed as we expect our car parts to be a bit more damaged by the end of the race.
So, after our play test of Forza we left a little disappointed but still optimistic. It is very clear that this game definitely needs a bit more work put into it, and the graphics, really do need a bit more improvement, but Gran Turismo 4 is definitely going to be facing its biggest challenger yet.