Forza vs Gran Turismo Part 1

All pictures are in-game Above: Gran Turismo

This is for my love toward car lust and gaming, fused as one. With Forza 2 coming in less than a month and Gran Turismo HD playable, its going to be interesting how these iterations push the envelope for simulation racing. I’m really that excited about this. I will probably never drive most of the cars in the games in real life. So if there’s any tangible chance to try and experience those beastly machines, I’ll go for it. But within my lifestyle, this is probably as close as I’ll get for a while.

To get this fact out of the way, I would like to state that Forza Motorsport, the franchise, is better than Gran Turismo, the franchise. (Oh here come the riots.) And before some GT lovers cry foul, I ask, “Why is Gran Turismo better?” Comparisons can be drawn to incredible degrees between these car simulators. To establish credibility, I myself, have owned every iteration of each series (Forza only has one, GT having 4). I have played more Gran Turismo hours than Forza hours. And while there are some stellar moments I’ve had with GT (GT3 is the best in the series), I feel that the series is becoming stagnant. Old tricks don’t work on this salty dog. And that’s why I have embraced the superior Forza Motorsport. Here are some reasons why I oppose tradition that GT has established and challenge the guys at Polyphony to do better. Its kind of a side by side comparison of what both car simulators bring to the table in their latest entry in the series, Forza 1, and Gran Turismo 4.

This is where a game’s flashier parts try to hook newbies into playing their game. A slick intro video, shiny menu interface, clickable sounds, delicious menu buttons, game controls and sex appeal. I also call this the “Fast and the Furious factor.” Sure it can show you some really nice pictures, but does it have substance?

And in all regards, Gran Turismo is better at reproducing this factor than Forza. The car culture that GT brings and the aura surrounding it is very slick. The music selection in GT is also a helluva lot better. Unlike Forza’s soundtrack, GT has people that sing and its not limited to rock-only “hits”. Replays after races in GT have a cool interactive camera feature, something I’ve enjoyed since GT3. You can change screen filters, and take photos of saved replays. Forza has none of this. And these features have kept and keeps bringing in fans to the series. And that’s what I love about the series. Its something that I can flash in front of my friends on my HD projector and get instant OOO’s and Ahhh’s. Its nice to show off. But what good is a sexy looking girl without some brains to match? So GT wins this round.
GT: 1, Forza:0

Gran Turismo: Cittia Aria


Sound Design:
This is probably one of the most overlooked things in gaming. Sound is invisible, but it affects a lot of what we feel is tactile and real. If you watch a really nice action movie with sound turned off, its not really that impressive (Half of a movies budget goes to sound editing). When you try to recreate sound for gaming, something that’s dynamic, you do have little hiccups. They are important audio cues to listen for. This is where Forza roars in spades. Everytime I drive a car in Forza I can recognize what territory the car comes from without looking at the screen. The riotous roar of an American-bred car is far different from the peddling hum of JDM (japanese) cars, and the sophisticated whines of European car makes. Engine sound details can distinguish V-8’s to rotaries, turbo’s to twin turbo’s, from stock to flowmasters. In Forza, engine sounds can tell me when I’m supposed to shift gears, when tires loose their grip, if I’m about to run out of gas, or if somethings damaged inside. Crash sounds in Forza are good, better than GT’s, but not what you expect from real life. You’ll hear crunching and shattered glass. But nothing spectacular. GT has most of these sounds, but not to the complexity that Forza has.
GT:1, Forza 1

Both look really nice. They get the geometry of landscapes and the cars very well. Forza has really detailed car models and nice textures, but Gran Turismo has a more realistic color palette and lighting system. The guys at Polyphony studios know how to fool our eyes (Something all Sony game studios are good at). Side by side, GT looks more dynamic and aesthetically pleasing. The game runs at a silky 60fps (frames per second) whereas Forza is half of that. The tracks that GT includes are some of the most beautifully created gamescapes out there (ie: Grand Canyon, Cittia Aria, Yosemite) I have never seen better/cleaner looking skies. Forza is nice, but the colors are a little too vivid and cartoony for real life. Just look at these: GT,top. Forza,bottom

GT: 2, Forza:1

Like stated earlier, GT has thee best looking environments to race around in. Their imaginary tracks are designed to never get boring no matter how many times they’re raced in. Both simulators nail the accuracy of the elevations and distances depicted in their real world tracks. Forza, however, is a little better at it. Road Atlanta and Laguna Seca have been time trialed by real world racers both in the game and in real life, and the time differentials are closer in Forza. Almost by one tenth of a second. But I like imaginary courses because they tend to include landmarks that you don’t normally see in real life (famous sites, bridges, godrays through trees, night racing). You want to race in Yosemite valley? Not if Arnold has a say in it. But doesn’t racing at a 100+ mph with El Capitan in the background or drifting on the edge of the Grand Canyon sound highly appealing?

Gran Turismo: Grand Canyon. El Capitan

GT:3, Forza:1

Car Selection:
One weird thing about of the GT series is the massive omission in its car selection. They do not have any Ferrari’s, Porsche’s, or Lamborghini’s. These three car manufacturers alone, have changed the landscape of racing motorsport. Ferrari being the largest contributor. Forza not only has these makes, but have more of those types of cars that I actually want to drive. GT has more than twice the number of cars in Forza, but their quality is a little suspect. Answer me this GT, “Why would I want nine different types of the Honda NSX?” or ” Why do I have to drive this stupid 100 horsepower piece of crap Daihatsu?” Car lust definitely goes to Forza. por exemplo:

Ferrari Enzo(Forza)
Porsche Carrera GT (Forza)

GT:3, Forza:2

(to be continued…) Next time: Gameplay, Career, Online


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