Not too long ago Electronic Arts released Real Racing 3 on iOS. Now it is available for Android, so the vast majority of the population with a mobile device can now enjoy this racing game. Real Racing 3 is a follow up to the very successful second title in the series and takes everything that its prequel accomplished and adds a whole host of new tracks, cars and modes to bring you the biggest racing game ever to hit a mobile device.
That all sounds rather promising in theory, but when the game starts, other than a picture above some cars of the supposed human drivers, the game feels much the same as any racing game with cars driven by computer artificial intelligence. Most cars stay on the driving line, a lot of them will crash into you just to stay on the driving line, and they really do not have the fun and excitement of genuine human racers. That said, they do perform well, and the game gives enough of a challenge to make you want to progress further into the game.
Real Racing 3 features over 900 events, which consist of cup race’s, elimination, endurance challenges and drag racing. Without doubt, the most fun racing mode is the cup race, which is a straight forward race against other cars, while the most least fun mode in the drag racing, which is tedious beyond compare.
The controls are very tight and can be tweaked and adjusted to just how the player prefers to drive. The option of the tilt to turn mode is excellent, as this control is very accurate. There is also a virtual on-screen accelerator and brake which gives you a good feeling of control no matter which event you choose. During drag racing, things change slightly and you have to press a “start” button once the light turns green, and then change gears to get speed. It breaks up the monotony of constantly racing, but as mentioned, can be very tedious and no fun at all to play.
With each vehicle you can fine-tune the engine, breaks, drive-shaft and more, which gives the vehicle better speed and acceleration etc. Vehicles also take damage and need to be repaired, plus cars need to be serviced quite often to keep them operational. Whilst they are being serviced they cannot be driven, a clever technique by EA for you to spend real money to speed things up. And with everything the game has to offer, this is its main downfall. Because you are awarded coins and virtual currency for everything you do, buying new cars, or saving up for various other features can take a very long time, especially with the time penalties for servicing. EA offer coins and currency for the player to buy with their own hard-earned Dollars, Pounds and Euros.
The game features real place locations, and has Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Silverstone, Hockenheimring and many more all realised in the most amazing detail, as not seen on a mobile device before. Just when you thought mobile games couldn’t look any better, EA throws Real Racing 3 at you, and it really blows your mind.
The tracks look stunning, and its hard to tell them apart from tracks in games such as Forza on the Xbox 360 or Gran Turismo on the PlayStation 3, they really are that good. There are also over 45 cars to choose from as you build up your points, and these are also stunningly realised and realistic looking. Every detail you’d find in full console games are included in Real Racing 3, and at 1.7GB, it’s understandable that the graphics are so good.
All this brilliance in graphics however has its problems. There can be some pop-in with other cars on the road and there is the occasional hiccup when the screen scrolls quickly in one direction. That said, on a Samsung 3 the game played brilliantly and had no-where near as much performance issues as the game does on an iPad 2.
In addition to the deliberate attention to detail with the graphics, the sound is also very impressive in Real Racing 3. Each car sounds as it should in real-life, and the ambient sound effects of the racing circuit, and cars passing you etc all sound realistic and add to the enjoyment of what is the best racing game on a mobile device.
Real Racing 3 is a free download, and as such relies on in-game purchases to make its money. The game can be played without spending any real money, however one needs to put in a hell of a lot of hours before they can get through the game. In fact, so much time is wasted by waiting around for servicing and grinding in races to earn currency that EA ensure that you almost want to buy coins in order to progress with the game. The game does have a lot to offer, with dozens of tracks, tens of vehicles, many different events and a great opportunity to fine-tune your vehicles, however, the casual player may struggle to get past the early stages of the game.
Real Racing 3 is an achievement of mobile gaming. It is a huge download that has a huge amount of content, bringing a console quality racing game to a mobile device. The game can be played in small bursts due to the fact that each even only takes a couple of minutes to play, and there is plenty for the player to keep coming back to. The game is free, and only let down by the time in which the player cannot actually play the game. This seems a silly system, but one in which EA obviously hope people will spend real money to speed up the process. This game is well worth a download, even if it allows the player to see just how far mobile games have come along in the last 12 months.