Ford Racing 3 Review

PlayStation 2

November 23, 2004 by

Ford Racing 3 Image

There has been a large abundance of arcade racers hitting the market as of late. Each game offers a different style of gameplay, with a large number of these proving to be solid racers. The thought of an arcade racer that offers a huge number of Ford produced vehicles, from the Model T Ford through to the 2005 Mustang GT and a variety of concept vehicles in-between, would appear to be a promising and interesting title at first. Unfortunately, developer Razorworks Ford Racing 3 is far from interesting, and even less enjoyable. The difficulty is not finding the problems with the game, but finding what is actually good about it.

The single player mode in Ford Racing 3 offers three different modes. Ford Competition allows players to compete in fourteen competitions to unlock new vehicles and tracks, obtain trophies and unlock further competitions to compete in. The competitions are displayed in an easy-access and viewable table, showing what types of vehicles are used in the competition. These range from truck-based races, which are raced over off-road tracks utilising a range of trucks and other off-road vehicles, to classic competitions, which include the original Ford vehicles, such as the Model T Ford. Ford Challenge allows you to compete in a range of set challenges, all of which are relatively bland and uninteresting Completing these challenges will result in unlocking new vehicles, tracks and race types that you are able to use in the Ford Collection mode. Ford Collection allows you to make your own, simple modes using items that you have unlock by completing challenges in Ford Challenge. Finally, Quick Race allows you to begin a race immediately with a randomly selected vehicle and track.

Within the above modes, Ford Racing 3 offers eleven different race types, all of which are relatively bland and unoriginal. A standard race is simply a basic race between five opponents. Elimination results in whichever racer that is placing last at the end of a lap being eliminated from the race. Drafting requires you to drive closely behind your opponent without actually touching him. Driving skills requires you to drive through a number of gates, each scoring you one point to a timer, and complete the lap before the timer finishes. Duel is simply a race between five competitors in succession; beating them results in a new range of competitors being placed in the following lap. Seconds Out requires you to collect a number of bonuses that are placed around the track within a set time limit. Racing line, one of the few decent race types available, requires you to earn boost be driving along a line, with the more you follow the line, the more boost you receive. Following the line closely is essential in order to keep-up with your faster competitors. Although it is impressive to see such a large number of different race modes available, the truth is, the majority of these modes are boring or similar to each other.

Although the three single player modes hold several hours of actual gameplay, the bland feel of the game will prevent most people from juicing all of the unlockable cars, tracks and objects that are on offer. Playing Ford Racing 3 to simply unlock everything feels more like a chore, rather than enjoyment.

The developer of Ford Racing 3, Razorworks, has managed to realistically replicate the feel of each Ford vehicle. Trucks will obviously control heavier than cars, although each truck also has its own individual feel. There is very little freedom in the track designs. Invisible walls that begin at the exact edge of the road prevent your vehicles from even leaving the road, which not only makes the game easier but rather annoying.

As a result of the linear track designs, the multiplayer modes quickly become tiring, as the winner of the race is almost entirely determined by the speed of the car, rather than skill. The multiplayer mode consists of four different race options: standard race, which simply allows you to compete against a friend and computer-controlled competitors in a basic race. Boost and Elimination are both exactly the same as the modes found in the single player mode. Finally, Relay requires the players to pass the baton onto the next player, similar to the actual athletic sport.

For a title that has been released in late 2004, Ford Racing 3, the graphics quality is outdated. They are possibly the worst that I have seen for some time, especially the scenery around the tracks. The reflections off the vehicles are unrealistic. Scenery generally looks blurry with little detail, rarely changing and having little effect on the vehicles. Vehicles generally look blocky, with much less shape than what they actually do feature in real-life.

The sense of speed, although not as thrilling or fast when compared to other arcade racers that have been released as of late, is of a more realistic approach. Upon boosting in selected modes, developer Razorworks has attempted to reproduce the feel of a rush by providing a slight on-screen blur, which barely works at all. The game feels as if it is running at the same speed before the boost.

For an official game of Ford vehicles, the vehicles rarely sound like the actual vehicle. Many actually sound similar to other vehicles in the game, although there is a noticeable variation between different types of vehicles, such as a Mustang and a truck. Crash sound effects are extremely poor sounding absolutely nothing like an a crash at all.

There is a small number of music available in Ford Racing 3, which results in the same songs being repeated all too often. Some of the music is simply annoying, which often detracts from the little amount of gameplay available.

Ford Racing 3 is a poor attempt at creating an authentic arcade racer that features accurate models of cars. Instead, the game has resulted in being a boring, repetitive game with ordinary gameplay, outdated graphics and poor music. Only diehard fans of Ford vehicles will have any interest in this game, and even then it is questioning as to wether these people will actually enjoy the game. With the large abundance of quality arcade racers available on the market today, there really is little reason to add this game to your collection.

Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.