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I finally got copies of forza and enthusia to compare with GT4. GT4 and
Enthusia are both running through my computer via my Hauppauge TV card,
which allows me to use the exact same logitech forcefeedback wheel and
computer monitor as I use for GPL N2003 and other pc sims. This allows me to
get a more accurate comparison with my pc sims versus console sims, since I
am seated in the same virtual cockpit , so to speak. It has given me a much
greater appreciation of the simulation aspects of GT4 and Enthusia than I
percieved when running them through my TV and using a joypad for control.
Unfortunately, I only have a joypad for my XBOX and Forza, and I played it
on my TV.Consequently, it is a bit difficult to get a totally accurate
comparison of the physics modelling given the far more precise control I had
of the cars in GT4 and Enthusia using a forcefeedback wheel, as opposed to a
fairly imprecise analog joystick, although I did get much improved with my
joystick control after a few hours of practice.
Anyways, my general impression is that Forza is an excellent SIM level
racing game, with the finest physics modelling ever seen on any console
racing game. Only slightly less capable in that department than the finest
PC sims. GT4 by comparison lacks proper physics when it comes to oversteer.
You can intentionally induce oversteer in GT4 with some effort (and a
powerful rearwheel driven car like a Dodge Viper), but rarely will you spin
your car by getting too heavy on the throttle in mid turn, unless you get
the rearwheels into the grass. Oddly, GT3 seemed much better in this aspect
of physics modelling, albeit much inferior to GT4 in overall physics and
forcefeedback implementation. GT4 generally reprimands you for entering a
corner too fast by inducing massive understeer, which causes you to run off
GT4 is certainly not an arcade physics model IMO, but is kind of SIM-LITE
compared to Forza and the better PC sims. Enthusia is kind of hard to pin
down. Sometimes it feels like it has a significantly better physics model
than GT4, but mostly it feels vague and less precise or predictable.
Accuracy of physics seems to vary greatly from car model to car model. Just
when I was appreciating the nice car physics modelling in a Honda NSX, I
found myself greatly dissapointed by the virtually undrivable clumbsy
physics presented in a 427 COBRA.
The Cobra would spinout constantly, no matter how sedately and carefully I
drove it, heaven forbid try and race it. Enthusia's physics model, at it's
best, is on par overall with GT4's. It certainly models oversteer better
than GT4, but it just feels less predictable and consistent than either GT4
or Forza. Bottom-line, Forza Racing has the best Physics modeling of the
three, and would greatly benefit from a 1st class steering wheel with true
forcefeedback. As far as A.I. opponents are concerned, Forza is again the
clear winner. GT4's A.I. is the weakest part of the game, a poor joke.
Enthusia , has better A.I. than GT4, but only average A.I. at best. Forza
racing's A.I. is good but not great, given the overly aggressive nature of
the standard A.I. drivers who will readily bump you in the heat of racing..
Programming your own custom A.I. drivers ,or DRIVATARS as the game calls
them, allows you to create a custom set of A.I. opponents that will drive
similar to the way that you drive. They will tend to drive similar lap times
as you do. They will tend to make mistakes about as often as you do in
They greatly enhance the value of this game, and I hope that this is a
feature that might someday be incorporated into future PC sims. As far as
graphics is concerned, I would tend to give the nod to GT4. GT4's graphics
are superb, with the scene lighting being IMO the state of the art. Frame
rates are absolutely smooth and high. GT4 car models are impeccably
welldone. No other racing game I have ever seen looks as real to life on
replays as GT4, including all pc and console racers. By comparison, Forza is
almost as good as GT4 with respect to graphics overall.
Forza graphics are more detailed than GT4's, with higher rez texture mapping
it seems, and more 'solid' looking 3D models for cars and scenery. However,
everything looks 'computer generated' and less real than in GT4, for some
indefinable reason. Perhaps it's a lesser quality of lighting and scenery
reflections, as well as something marginally artificial about the car's 3D
modelling. Enthusia by comparison looks better than GT3 but not nearly as
good as GT4 or Forza. Enthusia is certainl a good looking game, with nice
car modeling and interesting race courses, but it is slightly less
graphically interesting than GT4. At first glance you would easily think
that you were looking at GT4. Overall , GT4 seems more polished, with higher
production values. Everything in GT4's overall presentation just seems to be
of higher quality.Forza would be a close second in overall quality of
presentation. Enthusia has many good points as far as the essentials of a
good racing game, decent pyhsics,graphics, A.I., but the game as a whole
seems poorly organized and lacking in polish. After all is said and done, I
would say that Forza barely wins out over GT4, mainly due to it's better
pyhsics modelling. GT4 is a slicker overall game, with it's huge assortment
of cars, superior selection of racecourses and race types, magnificent
replays, rich outstanding car sounds, and superior depth of gameplay.
Enthusia is kind of a lite version of GT4, better in a few areas, but second
rate in most things. I think that it certainly deserves higher ratings than
I have seen in the published reviews of this game, but I would say that in a
field of console racers that now includes Forza and GT4, it deserves a
rental before you buy it. It has some nice unique qualities that don't make
me regret having forked out $39 for it, but it looks second rate compared to
Forza and GT4.