For the record, I've been a fan of the Gran Turismo series of games since its launch in 1997 and despite there being a general feeling of disappointment over the latest instalment, Gran Turismo 5, I've actually really enjoyed playing the game.
So, it was with a certain sense of guilt, with my Playstation 3 gathering dust, that I set up the Xbox to try the game that's trying to steal GT's crown: Forza Motorsport 4.
The pre-launch footage I'd seen looked pretty impressive, then there's inclusion of over 80 manufacturers, recently launched exclusives such as the latest BMW M5 and 22 tracks, each with multiple configurations. Surely Forza Motorsport 4 has to be the key to digital motorsports happiness? I was keen to find out.
I started my Forza experience in the World Tour area of the Career mode, working my way from baby superminis to more serious supercars.
There's no doubt there's an amazing choice of cars, but what surprised me more in the easiest mode is how straightforward it is to fill your garage. This is where I have my only major issue with Forza, as it seems game producer, Turn 10, has made the game play almost too simple, to appeal to the mass market.
For example, there's a dotted line to show you the line round the track and it will slow you down for the corners if you don't. The damage if you crash into other cars is very real though!
You can choose harder modes, but for me Gran Turismo has more challenging game play.
However, it's not just the impressive list of cars which are beautifully rendered that impress; the track list is equally comprehensive for petrol heads and can lead to unforgettable moments. Cars and tracks that stick in my mind, were the full Nurburgring track in a MINI John Cooper Works and the Le Mans track in a McLaren F1.
So is Forza better than Gran Turismo? Well in terms of graphics, the choice of cars and tracks, the answer has to be a definite yes. I also thought that the inclusion of the Top Gear test track was better integrated into Forza's game play; I just feel that Gran Turismo is still the more challenging and technical game to play.
If you're a petrol head with an Xbox, this game is definitely worth buying.
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