The flagship racing game for iOS finally makes its way to the App Store after months of delays and anticipation. The first two Real Racing games set the bar for what a true racing sim on iOS should be and the third installment looks to build on past success.
Real Racing 3 (Free, App Store Link) from Firemonkeys and EA, once again builds upon past visuals, offer 45 licensed cars including Porsche, Lamborghini, and Audi, real tracks from around the world, and over 900 events. With every positive and new addition, the game has some noticeable aspects, which aren’t so popular, including the switch to a freemium concept.
Right when you start the game, you’re greeted with a tutorial, which unfortunately you can’t skip. If you’ve played the previous two games in the series, there’s really nothing new to see besides the introduction of time-shifted multiplayer, which is basically the developer’s solution to avoid any lag or players quitting throughout a race.
Once you finish the tutorial, you choose between two cars and start the first circuit. This is where the criticism starts to take off as you either have to wait two minutes to start racing with your newly purchased car or use a bit of in-game gold to immediately start racing.
A noticeable downside of Real Racing 3 is that it doesn’t support iCloud data transfer, so if you have the game on an iPhone and iPad, you would pretty much be starting out from scratch on either one. I don’t see how iCloud data isn’t supported given how much time you have to invest in the events and circuits, how much time it takes to be able to buy a new car, or repair current cars, and overall progression throughout the game.
One new feature, which the developers are relying heavily on is TSM (time-shifted multiplayer) over the conventional multiplayer or racing in real time versus a friend. In TSM, you race not only against the AI, but also versus your friends who have already raced on the specific track you’re currently on. This is a pretty interesting feature, but of course, one would always want to race with someone in real time. If you had the option to either choose TSM or racing in real time, that would be more practical, but TSM is still an intuitive feature.
Real Racing 3 does just about everything well except introducing the fremium concept. It just doesn’t work too well for a racing game, and even more so, the way it’s set up in this game. If your car takes some damage and needs to be repaired, you can easily do that by paying with in-game money and it will automatically fix itself with no wait time. If you need to service your car however, that’s a whole other story.
If you need to change your oil, you can either choose to pay the amount with in-game money (R$) and wait 15 minutes or pay the amount plus a few tokens. It’s basically the same deal for other services for your car. If you need your tires changed, you have to either pay and wait half an hour or pay the same amount and give up a few tokens. This has been everyone’s issue about Real Racing 3, understandably so.
What would be a great addition to the game is the option to avoid any waiting time in the freemium version and have the ability to buy a full version of the game. I don’t understand why the whole waiting process takes so long. It’s like if you were getting your car serviced in real time. I could understand if you had to wait a minute or two as you do when you buy a car, but 15 minutes to half an hour just throws the whole tempo of the gameplay off and disrupts your progress of the game. The gold you collect when you advance a level is given to you, but other than that, you have to buy it through IAPs.
One area of the Real Racing franchise that always stands out is the graphics, and RR3 is no exception. Everything from the tracks to the cockpit of the car, first or third perspective, the damage each car takes and the user interface is visually stunning. The damage the cars take show more clearly if you’re playing on an iPad, because the iPhone screen is smaller, it’s not as easy to see certain damage such as the bumper, either side of the car, or the hood. The cars do perform as if they take the right amount of damage, but from a visual perspective, it’s just not as noticeable as it is on other racing games.
Real Racing 3 does a lot of things right as far as graphics, gameplay; and controls; which are all carried over from the previous two games. The third installment just builds on that and offers so much in terms of number of events, cars, and tracks. With added time-shift multiplayer, it’s something new that the developers brought to the table. I could see a lot of people enjoying it, while some might want the real thing; live multiplayer.
Also, the fact that you’re not able to sync game progress through iCloud is sort of a bummer, given how much gameplay and progress you encounter throughout the game. If you’re a true fan of the franchise, you should definitely try out Real Racing 3. Even though the game has turned freemium, it still stays true to the gameplay by offering so much in terms of content and graphics alike.
Price: Free – Available now for the iPhone and iPad in the App Store. [DIRECT LINK]
- 46 different cars
- Tracks from real locations
- Over 900 different events
- Some of the best graphics of any racing game on iOS
- Changed to a freemium platform
- Long wait times for service on cars
- No iCloud support for data transfer between devices