EA have come in for a lot of stick with their move to Freemium on mobile and integrated microtransactions in console games. Real Racing 3 is the latest title to go freemium, but does it hurt the game or is it still top of the smartphone racers?
Having now spent many hours with the game on Android (Nexus 7) and iOS (iPhone and iPad) I still haven’t completely made up my mind over the freemium integration within Firemonkey’s new game, but I do have a good idea whether the game itself is any good.
The short answer is; yes, the game is a solid racer and yes, the freemium and IAP model does have an impact on how much fun the game provides, but this doesn’t really become apparent until quite far into the game.
From the outset there is one thing that stands out about Real Racing 3 and that’s the level of detail in the graphics. Now that real cars are modelled and race on real life tracks, the importance in getting these things looking right is paramount, lest the petrolheads point out their mistakes. It’s here that Firemonkeys have obviously done a lot of work and comparing this to the last game shows the improvements to the graphics and physics engines have paid off.
The gameplay is a simple journey through ever increasingly powerful cars that will build up your skills as you progress. Races are pleasingly varied, from the standard gold, silver and bronze style race and elimitation to drag races where every gear change is important and endurance racing where an ever-ticking clock counts down while you try to get more miles behind the wheel. The races are all split into sections with 3 or 4 cups in each section needed to open up the next. These sections are then further divided in to classes with new cars required to race in a new class.
You do have the option of skipping ahead to the next class if you have enough in game money to buy a car in that class or fancy shelling out real world money, otherwise it’s just a case of getting on with the racing and repeating a few tracks until you’ve managed to save up enough to buy that shiny supercar you have your eye on.