Ford Racing 3 is a racing video game published by Empire Interactive, 2K Games, and ZOO Digital. It is the third game in the Ford Racing series, and was released in Europe in October 2004, for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2 and Xbox. In the United States, the game was released on the same platforms the following year, followed by releases later that year for the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS. Visual Impact Productions developed the GBA and DS versions, while Razorworks developed the other versions. The game received mixed reviews, which included criticism of its soundtrack.
The home console and GBA versions feature 55 Ford vehicles, while the DS version has 26 Ford vehicles. The console version includes the Ford Competition and Ford Challenge modes. Ford Competition, a single-player mode, consists of 14 tournaments, each one made up of races using only certain types of vehicles. Ford Challenge consists of various race events in which certain challenges must be completed to progress to the next event. Four challenges exist for each vehicle class, with an easy, medium, and hard difficulty setting for each challenge. Additionally, the game features the Ford Collection mode, in which the player designs custom challenges by selecting a track, conditions, and vehicles.
The DS version includes the main Career mode, which is divided into 14 race tournaments, each with a different vehicle class and consisting of various race types, including elimination races. Tournaments contain up to six races each. A certain number of points are awarded to each racer depending on what place they came in at the end of each race. The racer with the most points at the end of the tournament is the winner. The game also includes 22 various challenges, categorized by vehicle class. Each vehicle has a single challenge. The player begins the game with three vehicles and a few race tracks, while other vehicles and tracks must be unlocked by completing challenges and competitions. The DS version also includes a Ford Collection mode, consisting of 10 different types of races, which the player can win to unlock additional content.
The PC version supports six-player network player through a local area network or the Internet, while the Xbox version supports online multiplayer for a maximum of six players through Xbox Live. The GBA version includes a multiplayer option with the use of a Game Link Cable. The DS version also has a multiplayer option, which requires each player to have a copy of the game.
Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine wrote: "If you're a Ford nut, you've got a nice little virtual showroom here, with a competent racing game to boot." Tom Price of Official Xbox Magazine praised the variety of vehicles, stating that it "is probably the biggest draw", but criticized the sound and outdated graphics. Official Xbox Magazine UK criticized the soundtrack and wrote that "it's not by any means the worst driving game ever made", but that "much like the Ford brand itself, there isn't really much in the way of glitz or glamour to it either."
Douglass C. Perry of IGN reviewed the PS2 and Xbox versions. Perry criticized the graphics and music, and concluded: "My first and final impressions of this game? Blech. Ford Racing 3 is not a travesty, but it's not any good either. The best thing that can be said about it is it's filled with 55 Fords. And if you like Fords, well, they're here for you. But I cannot say that you'll have fun or find any kind of thrill driving them, looking at them, or enjoy collecting them, which is kind of the whole point behind this cheap-ass, mediocre, and minimal effort." Scott Alan Marriott of X-Play praised the Xbox version for its graphics and scenic race tracks, as well as its support of Xbox Live, but he criticized the controls, writing that "the cars and trucks don't grip the road tightly at all, resulting in a loose style of driving that often feels like you are nudging a boat on water instead of steering radial tires on asphalt."
Greg Mueller of GameSpot reviewed the Xbox version and wrote: "Despite the license and some interesting gameplay modes, Ford Racing 3 comes off feeling generic and far less distinct than the real-life vehicles the game attempts to capture." Mueller further stated that the game "is a passable choice for fans of arcade-style racing because of its forgiving race physics and variety of gameplay modes. However, the game hasn't changed much since the previous installment in the series, and sim fans will be disappointed with the simplistic gameplay and weak vehicle customization options. Additionally, there are already a ton of arcade-style racing games on the market that do all of this better. The game does have some amusing moments, but it's ultimately a forgettable racing experience."
Mueller later reviewed the DS version and wrote that "while the console versions of Ford Racing 3 have halfway decent racing mechanics and online play, the DS version has neither of these things, and it looks ugly too. The end result is a stiff, lifeless husk of a racing game that will disappoint even the most forgiving of Ford fanatics." IGN reviewed the DS version and felt that it was better than Visual Impact's previous game, Burnout Legends, while writing: "Ford Racing 3 is severely mediocre, but still not nearly as bad as some of the racers that hit the Nintendo DS in the past few weeks."
Throughout its history, the Ford Motor Company has built a large catalog of distinct vehicles, from muscle cars to trucks and sedans. The company has also cultivated a following of loyal enthusiasts who have formed countless car clubs across the country to celebrate their favorite classic and modern Ford vehicles. 2K Games is once again hoping to capitalize on the Ford catalog and enthusiast culture by bringing more cars than ever to the Ford Racing series with its latest title, Ford Racing 3. However, despite the license and some interesting gameplay modes, Ford Racing 3 comes off feeling generic and far less distinct than the real-life vehicles the game attempts to capture.
The graphics in Ford Racing 3 are sharp and clear, but flat textures take some much-needed detail out of the game. The water in the game looks completely lifeless, and some of the environmental effects are poorly implemented. In one level you race through a forest where autumn leaves fall from above as you race, but rather than falling naturally and getting kicked up by traffic, they seem to just hang in the air. Also, in some areas vehicles will kick up trails of dust, but often the dust effect will clip right through the body of the car or truck, which looks awkward. For the most part, though, the environments are colorful and varied enough to be interesting, and the frame rate is always steady.
The sound in Ford Racing 3 is decent, with distinct engine noise for each vehicle. The track noise is minimal, with the only noticeable change in sound occurring when you enter a tunnel or when your tires squeal as you make a sharp turn. There's only one crashing sound available, and it's the same whether you hit a brick wall or a shrub. Oftentimes, there is no sound at all when you hit something. The music is a mix of a few upbeat rock-and-roll songs that are the familiar standard for most racing games, but the game does have custom soundtracks enabled if you feel like racing to your own playlist.
Ford Challenge is a series of single race events in which you must meet certain conditions to complete each challenge. There are four challenges for each vehicle class, with an easy, medium, and hard difficulty for each. There are several types of challenges, including duel, driving skills, drafting, and overtake. These challenges offer a welcome departure from the usual time trial and lap race modes featured in most racing games, but if you've played Ford Racing 2, you won't find anything new here. Some of the challenges are difficult, but you'll probably be able to complete most of the hard challenges on your first or second attempt. There is also a Ford collection mode where you can design your own challenges by choosing the track, race type, conditions, and vehicles.
Ford Racing 3 is Xbox Live enabled so you can race against up to five other players online. However, it's rare to actually find people online to race against. Once you do find a race, you can only race using cars that you've unlocked in the single-player game. As a result, you'll often be outmatched right from the start unless you first invest some time in completing the single-player challenges.
With a low budget price, Ford Racing 3 is a passable choice for fans of arcade-style racing because of its forgiving race physics and variety of gameplay modes. However, the game hasn't changed much since the previous installment in the series, and sim fans will be disappointed with the simplistic gameplay and weak vehicle customization options. Additionally, there are already a ton of arcade-style racing games on the market that do all of this better. The game does have some amusing moments, but it's ultimately a forgettable racing experience.
Ford Racing 3 is a racing video game published by Empire Interactive and 2K Games. It is the third game in the Ford Racing series, and was released in Europe in October 2004, for the personal computer (PC), PlayStation 2 (PS2) and Xbox. In the United States, the game was released on the same platforms the following year, followed by releases later that year for the Game Boy Advance (GBA) and Nintendo DS. Visual Impact Productions developed the GBA and DS versions, while Razorworks developed the other versions. The game received mixed reviews, which included criticism of its soundtrack.
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