Expert auto enthusiasts from Car and Driver magazine raced Forza 3 against Gran Turismo 5 for the ultimate driving game crown. Surprisingly, considering the scope of Gran Turismo 5 and the idea that it’s marketed towards real drivers and gearheads, Forza 3 came out the winner in this showdown, which will be featured in their March 2011 issue. Let’s find out why.
According to Car and Driver, Forza 3 offers more real-world tracks than GT5, and they are “more realistically rendered” and show more detail. They note, however, that GT5 offers a Course Maker which adds some value to the game, but the created tracks don’t have the polish of the rendered tracks from Forza.
As far as vehicles go, GT5 offers substantially more than Forza 3, but not all of them are rendered in full detail, which the game considers “premium” cars. While GT5 may have over 1,000 cars, only 200 of them are the detailed “premium” cars. The regular models look “like GT4 cars, and that was last generation’s hardware.” This means that compared to Forza 3 (which sports 400 vehicles), there are only half the number of highly detailed cars in GT5.
Car and Driver also found the selection of cars in GT5 “questionable.” The fact that a new Toyota Prius is rendered in full detail, while an iconic 1971 Dodge Charger Super Bee 426 Hemi is rendered in PS2 graphics, is sinful, as was the lack of any Porches in the game. Forza, on the other hand, offers 27.
In addition to less questionable car choices, Forza also offers the ability to jump right into any one of them the moment the game is fired up. Forza, however, does not have racing carts, NASCAR, or rally cars, which are all featured in GT5.
As far as controls, GT5 controlled significantly better with a steering wheel than it did the PS3’s sixaxis controller, which “lacked adequate range of motion to precisely nail apexes and manage power.” The standard Xbox 360 controller was almost as good as the wheel if ultimate simulation was not a priority: “The joysticks and triggers are precise and well placed.” The wheels for both consoles were comparable, with the PS3 wheel having a slight edge in its button placement.
When it came time to choose an overall winner, Car and Driver gave the edge to GT5 for its all-encompassing depth, calling it “peerlessly comprehensive,” but also stated that they would “happily trade the 16 different Daihatsus that GT5 offers for more detailed tracks and a few more premium cars.” They had much more praise for Forza 3, however:
While Forza 3 may not have GT5’s scope, it feels the more cohesive and better executed of the pair. There are more cars that we would want to find in a video game in Forza than there are in GT5. These games are about fulfilling automotive fantasies and driving cars one normally wouldn’t be able to even sit in. Forza delivers on this concept, providing more desirable cars for players to drive, customize, and yes, destroy than GT5, and with better overall presentation. Forza is at once a competitive simulator and a fun game casual users can quickly get into and out of; it does not require players to delve into layers of levels and challenges to get to the good stuff. Its polish and flexibility make Forza Motorsport 3 the better choice. But with Forza 4 on the horizon and GT5’s frequent updates, we may be forced to repeat this tough assignment again soon.