Fans of mobile racing games have many good options available right now. Games like Real Racing 3, GT Racing 2, Asphalt 8 and Need For Speed No Limits are now almost as good as any console-based racing game. This is one genre where the difference between the console and PC versions is minuscule, and now smartphone variants have joined in. The latest game to join the bandwagon is Gameloft’s Asphalt Xtreme. Available as a free download on both Android and iOS devices, the new game’s charm lies in its completely off the track take on racing. The game is set in extremely perilous conditions. It is also the first game in the Asphalt series that requires active internet connection.
Asphalt series has always been one of the best looking racing games. In-air stunts, slow motion capture of car crashes and the highly detailed ambience are some of the highlights of the series. In this case, you have to be a bit more careful than in earlier games in the series. Falling rocks, big boulder or an abyss in the racing track are some of elements that would keep testing you again and again. The various locales known as emerald forest, ancient relics, desert and Thai beach have been captured extensively and in detail.
Avoiding the crashes is important as every crash takes away a few critical seconds allowing the rivals to take a significant lead. The cars available to users are limited compared to the one’s available in GT Racing 2 or Real Racing 3, but they are all unique and have not been seen before. You can tweak the graphics quality, screen density and camera angle in the display settings page. Not many mobile racing games allow so much control over these elements.
The gameplay is very similar to that of Asphalt 8. You can accelerate manually or let the AI do it for you. Tilting the phone at camera angle steers the car in that direction. All the controls feel intuitive and provide full control over every movement of the car. Applying brakes at sharp curves can save your cars from falling over the cliff or crashing into an object.
The game’s main draw is the career mode which is divided into five categories Rookie, Amateur, Semi-pro, Pro and Master. Each carries the same set of tracks but with different toughness levels and car types. You can buy some of these cars by paying up real cash and speed up things. These single car packs start at Rs620 and include freebies such as free tokens and credits. These tokens and credits are required when you have to upgrade your existing car or buy new phones.
In addition to the career mode, the game offers multi-player events and limited time racing events.
Asphalt Xtreme is a refreshing addition to a genre that hasn’t anything unique in a long time. It can be a bit more challenging and the fact that you need to be connected all the time to play it are some factors that would put off casual gamers, but for serious racing fans, this is a real treat.
Developed by Gameloft
Free (In-app purchases from Rs10 to Rs6,200)
Available on Android and iOS
Tested on OnePlus One (Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, 3GB RAM, 64GB storage)