Why “Rewind” Is The Best Thing To Happen To Racers

It’s no secret that I’m a massive Forza 3 fan, and having praised my time spent with the demo recently I thought I’d take a look at one of the game’s lesser discussed areas: Rewind.  To be honest I’d not read a huge amount on this relatively new feature (and one brand new to the Forza series) before getting behind the wheel of the demo, but now that I’ve spent some time with it I honestly can’t imagine a racing game not using it in the future.

To see what I mean, watch this video:


For starters, not having a ‘rewind’ feature now feels odd and empty, like playing a game on the Wii and never getting a Trophy or an Achievement, and certainly current racers like Need For Speed: Shift would benefit massively from the ability to correct a mistake given that game’s occasionally rather shady physics.  I’ve become so used to having the option in Forza recently that I instinctively reach for the back button every time I become involved in a crash that simply wasn’t my fault.

I’m not suggesting that Turn 10 have done anything that Codemasters haven’t already attempted, mind, it’s just that the option in Forza does actually rewind rather than throwing you back at a predetermined point and expecting you to remember where you’re up to before catapulting you at full speed into exactly the same wall as the otherwise exceptional DiRT 2 and GRID are want to do.  What Forza does seems more graceful and less of a graphical showoff, and one that to me should be now taken for granted.

Turn 10’s Dan Greenawalt said it best in response to gamers worrying that it would spoil the simulation aspect: “I could not disagree more,” he said. “I am a sim racing gamer as well, and I can’t go back to games that don’t have it now. When I play other racing games and they don’t have this rewind, I just feel like, ‘Are you kidding me? I mean, this is kind of old school.'”  It’s hard not to agree to be honest – racing games simply don’t feel fair without the ability to rewind a portion of time.

So, what do you think of this new feature?  If you’ve played the demo let us know whether you think it has had a positive effect on the simulation genre or not, and if you’re thinking of buying Forza 3 will you be playing with the rewind assist on or off?  For me, I’ve been using it extensively for both perfecting my racing line and experimenting with the superb driver AI (the sheer number of different ways other cars react to you on the same corner is astonishing), but what do you think of the feature?