Real Racing 2 Review for iPhone and iPod Touch
Firemint created something special when the original Real Racing title hit the App Store. The game was truly breathtaking in the sense of graphics and realism for an iOS racer. So it comes to no surprise the sequel, Real Racing 2, packs an even bigger punch and shouldn’t disappoint racing and car enthusiasts.
Instead of just generic car models there are 30 officially licensed cars this time around. On top of this, there are car damages present when you bump into too many other cars or walls. The biggest addition, however, is being able to race against 12 opponents on the track at once including in online multiplayer matches.
The matches are set up by you going into a lobby first and everyone getting an equal vote on the event or racetrack to race in and on the number of laps. This is a great system as some people who like long races with many laps won’t necessarily force those gamers that want quick sessions to have to sit through so many laps.
The race tracks themselves are nothing short of spectacular. Firemint really created a title to marvel at. From the way the tire marks stay on tracks, to the sun glare, to the waterfalls or turning windmills in the background, there is just so much aesthetic beauty to behold. Presentation in general is top notch in Real Racing 2 with short car introductions before a race, great sound effects and background music, and a whole bunch of options in terms of control and gameplay. There is an option for car vibrations you will feel and various achievements to unlock via GameCenter as well.
You can choose to have steering, anti-skid and breaking assists from the menu to be turned off, thus giving the game that simulation feel at the expense of higher difficulty. There are also three difficulty settings to choose from. On anything above easy and with even some assists cranked down or off, the game is quite challenging.
There are five control methods to choose from that are alphabetical in order from A to E and I found B as the best option with the accelerometer for turning via tilt and two pedals. This way, you are able to accelerate and break by pressing on each side of the screen to hit a virtual pedal. There are also steering wheel touch inputs that don’t rely on tilt for those gamers that like virtual controls. Despite this, the default accelerometer sensitivity is just perfect and you never feel like your turning your iPhone too much or upside down in any direction even on hard turns.
The various camera options are great as well ranging from two different cockpit views to an over the shoulder third-person view and a couple in-between. There a also many events to go through ranging from 16-car championship races to head-to-head challenges in the career mode. You will be playing the same ones over to get a better position as well as earn currency. The cash you earn through the races will be used for purchasing new vehicles and upgraded parts. I really like how the game gives you the ability to tune your car by adding upgrades and even paint it various colors of your choosing. This is done in the pitlane menu. The official-licensed cars for purchase range from all kinds of brands like Volswagens, BMWs and even Jaguars. There is a nice variety in prices and quality as well.
Although the title is hailed as an extremely realistic racing-sim, this can be approached but only by turning off the control assists from the defaults. Still, the crashes themselves never take you out of the race or seem spectacular. Even if you bump into another car while going around 100 mph it will feel as if you only bumped him and not really force your steering off much. This is no ‘Flatout’ when it comes to car damage or crashes (although admittedly Flatout is not a sim but more of an arcade racer). Another shortcoming I found is the sense of speed is often lacking even when you are going the maximum speed of a vehicle as the tracks often have long straight sections where it still feels too long to get to the next turn. You don’t see yourself in any micro-tunnel vision or the track around you changing quickly and passing by like expected at very high-speeds. Still, the feeling of speed is there on turns and trying to clear good ones while going over 80 mph won’t be easy. With assist off you also will be sliding and even off the main track if the turns are sharp enough.
Don’t rely on the break too much especially at sharp turns. Ease off the acceleration and anticipate sharp turns first. It is faster clearing turns by going slower than breaking suddenly and trying to accelerate back to high speed. Also use your dash or funds wisely by saving for good models and makes rather than just upgrading an entry-level vehicle.
Despite some criticism that can be addressed in the next title, this is truly one of the best racing sims out there on any portable system. There is a lot of depth, challenge, and lasting appeal with the great multiplayer support. I highly recommend the title for any racing enthusiasts or gamers who want a deep racing experience. Real Racing 2 is available at the App Store for $9.99.
Note: A promotional code was provided by the creator for use in this article.
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