Racing enthusiasts have been enjoying games like Need for Speed, Gran Turismo, Forza and others for years on consoles and PC. In the spirit of those games comes Real Racing 3 from Electronic Arts (EA).
Real Racing 3
Real Racing 3 is, as the title would indicate, a racing game which is available and free for Android and iOS devices. The game focuses on track racing with a wide variety of tracks and various cars available for purchase and use in competition.
In a word, stunning, for a mobile device game. Vehicle graphics are superb and realistic right down to the clear-coat paint jobs and dash gauges.
Tracks scroll smoothly and seamlessly. Corners are tight and in close quarters with competitors remain accurate without clipping.
The environment as a whole is fairly impressive considering this is a mobile game. Tracks are detailed with mock advertising, bleachers, pit areas (not accessible) and terrain (grass, dirt, etc.). On certain occasions even a blimp can be seen overhead for added experience.
One major noticeable omission from the environment are fans. Not a single person in any of the stands or even onlookers at the start and finish line. We aren’t exactly surprised given the problems with human likeness in video games, but we’re surprised a blurry bunch of colored pixels weren’t added to give some life to the tracks.
Exceptional. That’s really all that needs to be said, but we’ll expand a bit. Cars have differing control characteristics and operational strengths and it clearly shows while driving. For example, an Audi is much more precise in turns than say a Viper. There are several manufacturers and models to choose from. 46 total vehicles in all with heavy representation by Porsche and BMW (too much actually). Instead of 8 Porsches, we’d prefer more manufacturers? Some clear omissions include Ferrari, Mercedes, Aston Martin and Mazda to name a few.
Drivers race against Time Shifted Multiplayer (TSM) racers. Essentially racing against recorded times of other players. For the most part the TSM data is acceptable though we’ve seen some instances where the times are disproportionate to the current situation.
As the Stig, you’re not only in control of racing your vehicles, but also in charge of their maintenance and performance upgrades. Maintenance is routine after every race and surprisingly, the repairs make a difference during a race. Oil changes, which occur often, are noticeable in the output of the vehicle so repairs aren’t simply a matter of busy work, but a matter of performance management.
Upgrades can consist of varying modules, but typically players will find Engine, Drivetrain, Tires and Brakes modules. More advanced cars have additional options such as Suspension and Exhaust.
Advanced players have a number of options for limiting the AI control over vehicles, but the auto assist is perfectly balanced for new players and beginners. Customization is available in the form of paint colors, but limited to a predefined number of colors. We hope a future update includes a color wheel type option for a truly custom appearance.
Issues & Shortcomings
Every game has its limitations and Real Racing 3 does as well.
RR3 is a fantastic display of mobile gaming, but at times extends its reach with graphics utilization. In particular, the Southbank course in Australia which is a tight winding course will become stuttered and choppy. The reason? There are simply too many cars for that race. With limited space and maneuverability the cars are forced to bunch together, which in and of itself is not a problem, but the hardware simply cannot handle all the motion, physics and graphic manipulation on the screen at one time. That track in particular is troublesome for other reasons too. It essentially turns into a smash ‘em up derby to pass vehicles because of the tight nature of the course.
Prices and earnings seem to be out of proportion. For the most part, prices seem accurate and attainable. However, the elite high-end vehicles are well over 1 million dollars. While the costs are realistic in nature, driver earnings are very low and even with the variety of bonuses rewarded some of the highest priced vehicles will take gamers so long to achieve that they will likely have a new device before they attain them. Repairs fall under this issue as well. Repairs are priced out based on the item, but for some reason there is a time delay on repairs. Waiting 30 minutes, an hour, or more for repairs to finish is unnecessary and honestly we fail to see the logic behind this waiting feature.
Which leads us to a huge shortcoming. There is no backup and save option for RR3 data. FireMonkeys has noted that the option is planned for an update, but as of now it does not exist.
Finally, the most ridiculous limitation of the bunch is that of user personalization. New players can personalize their experience with an in game name by logging in with their Facebook credentials. That is the ONLY option. Frankly, that is unacceptable and should be updated immediately to allow players the choice of their own name without any sort of account login or association. For now, players who don’t login via Facebook are forced to play as Guest which limits the experience a bit.
Real Racing 3 is an awesome mobile game. The graphics are crisp with gorgeous cars and quality atmosphere. The gameplay is some of the best we’ve experienced in terms of win-ability and competition. Though there are some shortcomings they aren’t nearly numerous or prevalent enough to steer players away.
For mobile gamers, Real Racing 3 is a must have. For everyone else, RR3 is a must try. We fully recommend Real Racing 3 from a gaming standpoint and overwhelmingly encourage users to put this on their must have app list.
- 46 Unique cars
- Exceptional graphics
- Accurate and enjoyable gameplay
- Large variety of tracks and race types
- TSM for multi-player racing competition
- Very high replay value
- Excessive wait times for repairs
- No sync or cloud backup option
- Facebook connectivity required for personalization
- Pricing is out of scale for super high end vehicles
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