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Gran Turismo vs. Forza Motorsport : Comparison
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Fri Jun 13, 2008 4:36 pm Reply and quote this post
“Both have cars, both have racing, so what’s the difference?”

That’s our job to tell you. For people unaware about these racing series, you should know they are probably the best racing simulations in account for realism. Gran Turismo is the PlayStation exclusive series and Forza Motorsport is the Xbox loyalist. They are not NFS-ish titles giving a laid-back and blissful driving. Gran Turismo is a completely settled franchise now whereas Forza Motorsport is a brand new series having only two titles till date.

Gran Turismo (from Polyphony Digital), the first “top PSX seller” title was out in fall of 1997 and was recognized not only for the extensively realistic driving simulation, physics based car realism and sound from real life cars but also for the maximum PlayStation power it was utilizing to give at-the-time state of the art graphics. And till date it has evolved into numerous titles just beside the “full” games which would feature some gameplay depicting only concepts of what they were building in their future releases.

Prior to GT 4, GT 4: Prologue was released, which was regarded as a teaser for the game. This helped them realize what people would expect from GT 4 and yet despite it was unexpected the GT 4 was then released with a vast number of  around 700 cars and 50+ race tracks. Therefore all the GTs have huge number of licensed vehicles to keep you immersed in the game and whatever you think GT is like, you will not get bored of the content each (full) version of the game will offer.

And finally the game has stepped into the next generation console PS3 having scintillating graphics that you could easily mistake for a real footage if somehow you were browsing through your TV channels and one of them was showing the game footage (I kept looking for GamerTV but was irritated to see this game’s video wondering why in the world GamerTV is not coming on its time, only to be in awe few seconds later). The “full” next gen version of GT which is Gran Turismo 5: not released but its teaser is ready for people to get their hands on.

Forza Motorsport, GT’s now one of the main adversaries developed by Turn 10 came out on Xbox in May 2005, featuring around 231 cars at your disposal to race around real life circuits. The most esteemed feature in Forza was its physics engine and how it would vary the car’s performance impromptu of effects like damage or collision (which also we will discuss is dazzling) during The Race. So Forza was known for its realistic damage and collisions from the perspective of a professional driver or a casual racing gamer.

Like I said, in contrast to GT, Forza would vary three main features of the car you browse for in games (Top Speed, Acceleration and Handling) according to how much we have smashed our car during a race. Realism! It spawned a sequel in mid-2007 on next gen Xbox 360 also which was successful with nothing immense to show off but still having the Forza-essence which is good.

It will be too thorough to discuss series by series so here we will take a contrasting (or not) look at the latest next gen iterations of the series, Gran Turismo 5: Prologue and Forza Motorsport 2.


Since GT 5 Pro is only a demo there is less course selection but still has a huge amount of cars, which might get problematic as its fun to change the area you are driving in more than the car you are driving. But the game is still fully fledged and can easily be stripped of its ‘demo’ tag. The characteristics of a car are a striking feature.

Every car is different, every! You will want to remember each and every detail & spec about cars and even when you have the best cars you will feel like giving your old one a try just because it had something unique (which every car does). The new and improved dashboard look is praiseworthy. It’s not a stationary picture in any sense, completely different dashboards for all cars which are exceptionally accurate and in motion.

So we will see everything different in dashboards when we go from all included Ferraris and Ford GTs to Skylines and Mustangs. The course selection is limited but a very good compilation so unless you feel like having more you won’t be disappointed with what you have got. The new interface is now having the first time introduced “My Page” just like having a profile page from where you will be able to do whatever you want do in the game.

The GUI is completely HD rendered and it’s an exquisite display all the way. This game is the first one to go online with plenty of race combos to compete in.

Coming to Forza 2, the feature in the limelight comes to be the any level combination you can get of cars, motors, parts and race tracks. You feel like doing “something” and you do the very exact “something”. The developers worked 24 hours as this is easily evident.

There are 12 different environments with 40+ racetracks which tend to get confessedly repetitive but not perhaps for a racing maniac. The list includes famous race tracks like Silver Stone or Laguna and what’s more, it also has fantasy tracks for the satisfying driving thrill of cars whose cost ranges in 100 thousands of dollars.

The interface is beautiful, bright and trouble-free to go through with plenty of options in racing. You can go online for an incredible number of options like car trading, car gifting and Microsoft sponsored tournaments. Oh yes, also free racing with opponents!

Winner: Forza Motorsport 2


In Gran Turismo 5: Prologue, the physics and mechanics are state of the art. The car would drive as real as it would in real life. It would over steer-under steer exactly according how pathetically you drive and wherever the engine is placed in the car. As I said each car is distinctive. The characteristics of each car are clearly noticeable even if they are similar in internal design. It is all dynamics and the way you drive.

The AI in past GT games was average. There was nothing significant about it but in GT 5 Pro it is slightly improved. Occasionally you will see other drivers making mistakes which might cost us too. They will try their best to win and stay smooth on the road. Nothing outstanding about it but still improvement is improvement.

Forza Motorsport 2 is on the perfect spot on the line between realism and arcade-enjoyment in car racing. In controls, it is more or less like GT, which is to say it’s just about completely realistic. Real tests on car drivers were done where some racer drove on a real track and then in the game with the same car and track to see how closely the record results matched.

The game features the driving assistance line just like in NFS ProStreet which would show you the best line for driving around curves including when to slow down and when to pick up the pace or rush. The AI is average.

Occasionally someone would swipe ahead from your side giving you a nudge (which leads your car exasperatingly off course) but during parallel driving they tend to back off showing cowardice. So the race is won slowly. But this game is surely not for the impatient types. One thing to note is that the upgrades in the cars makes things easier but don’t turn out to be table turning and if you drive smooth and perfect you will win any race with the stock car.

Finally to say, in both games you cannot say “Step on it!!” because you don’t have to “step on it”, otherwise it’s just bye-bye early from race for you. It’s all about feathering the accelerator and brakes with ‘love and affection’ around the ‘mean’ turns to stay ahead and win the race. If you prefer to be in speed throughout all the game buy an NFS.

Winner: Forza Motorsport 2 with a very low margin.


If I don’t talk about graphics this article would not probably be about gaming! GT 5: Prologue is easily the king of graphics. As mentioned before, it’s easy to mistake it for real footage when you run it at 1080p. It supports all kinds of modes 1080p/i, 720p whatever you have in your TV and the game rocks the PS3 potential.

You can go through the trailers online and see the stunning amount of detail in the game which may actually drive you off course a lot. The lighting is astounding. The unique dashboard in every car would show a lot detailed lighting effects as the car changes angles according to the sun or goes through a tunnel or a shadowed area whatever. Its graphics are closest to realism without a doubt.

Forza Motorsport 2 is however on the other hand, not up to the mark. It is clearly not sucking the Xbox 360 potential and aliasing and jagged lines are all over the screen. Modes supported are 720p and 1080i. The graphics section is clearly a turn down feature about the game otherwise probably making it best of the best.

The real time damage done to the cars is however paid attention to and the details are overwhelming. GT 5: Prologue also has similarly brilliant damage effects.

Winner: Gran Turismo 5: Prologue without a doubt.


This genre of game or racing is not about the sound really but still GT 5 has state of the art engine sounds which are totally from real life cars and a decent soundtrack. There are no complaints about it. Forza Motorsport 2 has varying engine sounds, though it’s all only what you can expect from a racing game. The ambient noises can get irksome in Forza.

Winner: Gran Turismo 5: Prologue


Sorry to disappoint you all but there is no “Overall”. GT5: Prologue may be a decision for an average gamer but a must buy for GT fans and Forza 2 is a must buy for arcade driving lovers still looking for realism but a decision for someone who wants high-tech graphics. We were never supposed to conclude which game is better. Both are fantastic titles of the gaming industry and a must play for all avid racing gamers.

Stuff like state of the art graphics in GT5: Prologue and extravagant amount of detail in Forza Motorsport 2 (like even getting discounts from car companies) put both these games on the success list. Buy the game (if you haven’t already) for whichever console you own or get both if you have both X360 and PS3.

Contributed by Editorial Team, Executive Management Team
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