Review: Real Racing 3

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Electronic Arts | 1.8 GB | FREE

Simulation racing games are special because they really don’t run cross-platform. The Xbox has had Forza Motorsport. The Playstation has always had Gran Turismo. Nintendo has… Um… And of course, iOS has always had Real Racing to be their simulation racer. Real Racing 3 promises two main features over its predecessor, real tracks, and time delayed multiplayer action. Besides that, is it really worth the trouble?  

Gameplay

Real Racing 3 adds a little to a game that was already packed full of features. Unfortunately, with these additions, you also lose quite a bit. For starters, RR2 had featured 3 forms of gameplay: career, arcade, and multiplayer. RR3 only offers career and multiplayer. I really liked the idea of arcade as it gave the game lots more replay.

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Now, what’s a racing game without its cars? Well, it’s no fun. Fortunately, Real Racing 3 adds a bunch more vehicles for players to get behind having a total of about 45 vehicles. Although it’s about 50% more than RR2, many vehicles end up missing. Chevy, Volkswagen, Jag, Lotus, and (gulp) Volvo are all MIA in RR3. I would love to see these manufacturers back into the game as many of these vehicles are among my favs. Other manufacturers can also be added, I hear Lexus has a nice new Supercar too…

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As stated, there are only two modes of gameplay in RR3, the career is filled with many events that can definitely keep you busy for hours, even more so if you decide to be stingy with cash (more on that later). Each even will pit you against one or more opponents on the track. I found many of these races to diverge from simulation. Instead, the majority of the races require you to recklessly fight your way to the top destroying anything in your path. This is the opposite of simulation racing.

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Now, not only are the races themselves not feel anywhere near simulation, but just the way the physics and controls work takes it away. Besides being forced to basically recklessly force your way through races, I found that the physics of being on dirt and sand had the opposite effect of what would happen in real life. Additionally, scrapping a wall had effects that were well over exaggerated. I’d also like to add that damaged tail lights don’t reduce your top speed…

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After each race, depending on how reckless you decided to be, you’ll be greeted with the screen you’ll learn to hate. You’ll repair your vehicles, and service it as well if needed. Each of these costs in game cash, as well as another irreplaceable thing. Time, and as Ben Franklin once stated, time is money. Services, as well as vehicle deliveries all take time to complete. Many times, you are simply left waiting. Unless you feel like forking over some dough on some gold.

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One complain I had in RR2 has been fixed, however. My wish of real cars on real tracks has come true. Firemonkeys has finally decided to add in some of the most popular tracks all around the world and incorporate them into RR3. Racers can now drive on Laguna Beach, or go half way around the world to Suzuka and just about everywhere else in between.

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RR3 did add plenty of new content over RR2, it does however come at a cost. The timers are simply annoying, and in all honesty, replaying through RR2, I felt that provided the better simulation over RR3 despite lacking real tracks. Seeing some cars disappear didn’t help either. Overall though, the gameplay is still very fun. If anyone is looking for a “sim” gameplay with an arcade twist, this is a direction to head in.

Gameplay: ★★★★

Graphics

Between the new NFS and RR for the iOS platform, I have to say, the NFS graphics are a step ahead. They graphics in RR3 are still stellar though, and definitely a positive point for the game. They, however, aren’t the best compared to things rendered by the Unreal Engine. Nonetheless, graphics remain very strongly detailed and very clear. A little anti-aliasing would have served this game a little better; maybe a Gaussian blur might have helped as well.

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When racing, RR3 does offer the same four options available for racers. You have your standard behind car camera, roof cam, and bumper cams to allow you to see more into the race. Like RR2, an in car view is also added in. The in car features real working speedometers as well as working mirrors (something RR2 didn’t have). The working mirrors make racing a little bit easier to do.

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Now, the graphics in RR3 are an upgrade to RR2’s graphics. However, they have to compete with the standard bar for today’s level of mobile gaming. Although they improved quite a bit to RR2, the improvements were minor compared to the improvements that mobile gaming has undergone since RR2. The removal of the replay feature has also saddened me a bit too.

Graphics: ★★★★½

Audio

Real Racing 3 actually down-played in the audio department in contrast to RR2. This comes as a shocker to me, but it happened. The sound effects in RR3 sound corny, and that’s in comparison to RR2. Unnecessary glass shattering, plagues just about every race. Car scrapes don’t sound like car scrapes, and the sound they have when your wheels are in dirt or sand are basically the same. I can reproduce it by scratching a microphone. The BGM is really unappealing as well, I found RR2 to be more upbeat and engaging. The BGM in RR3 is just boring.

Audio: ★★★

Replay

Firemonkeys did a great thing when they introduced the time delayed multiplayer, this definitely added quite a bit of replay to the game. This, of course, is left to nil with every other piece of garbage they incorporated. The timers are simply annoying and physically stop you from playing the game. The lack of an arcade, make a race and play it, outside of career, is also a bit of a deal breaker.

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Besides those points, you do have to remember, this is still Real Racing. The game is still the same Real Racing we got in RR2. So the actual gameplay, new cars, and new tracks will keep you playing. But RR2 had better replay value than RR3.

Replay: ★★★★

Value

OK, we take a few steps forward, the game is free. Now for the steps back. Your stuck on their timer unless you pay up. That’s about all I have to say to sum up the game. If you are anything more than a casual gamer, this game will drive you nuts. I’d hate to say it, if you fall into that latter category, I suggest sticking with RR2. If you’re not, then this game is actually quite worth it. The timers won’t bother you too much, and it is free. The value behind this game is really a coin toss depending on how serious of a gamer you are.

Value: ★★★★

Final Thoughts

With the newest installment of Real Racing 3, Firemonkeys too one step forward in comparison to Real Racing 2. The new multiplayer mode and the real tracks are definitely steps in the right direction. They, however, took two steps back. Timers, forced breaks, and only minor improvements plague RR3 from being one of the best racers out there.

Overall Score

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Real Racing 3

† All prices are in US currency.
This review was written by the iFans.com Review Team. Cumulative scores are rounded to the nearest half or full star.
All accessories, applications, themes, tweaks, or other products were purchased by iFans at their respective prices unless stated otherwise.
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