Asphalt 7: Heat Is to Arcade Racing what Real Racing is to Sim Racing
On rare occasions I will tell you to go and grab a game immediately and then come back and read this review…….this is one of those occasions and to be honest what do you have to lose when all you’ll be spending is 99 cents on a universal app that will work on both your iPhone and iPad should you be lucky enough to have both.
You may be thinking, especially if you already have Asphalt 6, why should I even spend more money on the next version of Gamelofts arcade racer and the simple answer is this, it’s Bigger, Better, Faster and there’s more of it, so much in fact this review may only scratch the surface of all the features that are packed into this racing game.
If you have played any of Gamelofts games before then you will know what to expect when it comes to sound and graphics, and in Asphalt7 Heat they continue to lead the way a rainbow of electric lights that illuminate 15 different tracks from all around the world and with a pumping soundtrack the game is a dream to both see and hear.
There are four control options to choose from so you are bound to find one that suits your driving preferences, from using the accelerometer, on screen steering wheel or the screen itself the controls work very well, and you can also choose from auto or manual acceleration depending on your preference.
The quality of the controls are highlighted due to the fact that you can jump straight into Quick Play mode and start winning races immediately. Quick Race is just the beginning though, as the Career, Online and Multiplayer modes are where the real value comes in.
The Career Mode is spread over 13 cups each with 4 different races and these include normal races, elimination, knockdown, paint job and king of the hill which all offer slightly different variations on driving as fast as you can around the streets of the world.
As you work your way through the career mode you’ll have the ability to unlock and upgrade a great range of licensed cars, from a Mini Cooper S to the Shelby GT 500, from a BMW Z4 to the Lamborghini Countach and everything in between. There are 60 cars in total so there should be something for everyone.
The cars handle as well as you would expect for an arcade racer, the game relies heavily on drifting but this is relatively easy to control, early on at least, only when you start to unlock the bigger, faster cars does it get a little trickier, by the time you unlock them though you’ll be well practised, right?
Of course you don’t have to work through the game and earn your racing stripes to unlock all the flash cars, instead you can purchase your in game dollars by spending your hard earned dollars via in-app purchase but it’s well balanced, meaning that if you are willing to put the time in you can achieve your rewards without the need of spending above and beyond the original $1 outlay.
The online options are really where the game comes to life and it does this in two ways. First up is the online multi-player where you can race against your friends, and enemies, in any combination of race types and locations. The online mode works well, the games come thick and fast and there is relatively little slow down, it adds a whole new dimension to the gameplay that will keep you playing Asphalt 7 for a long time to come, or at least until Asphalt 8 comes out!
If you don’t want to want to race against people online in real time you can choose the weekly event that makes up the Asphalt Academy and see how far up the world rankings you can get.
With the game being a universal app it’s good to see that your progress can be transferred between devices. Asphalt Tracker allows you to transfer your progress between devices using either Facebook, or Gameloft’s own servers and while this isn’t quite as seamless as iCloud syncing would be it works and prevents you having to play the game twice across all of your devices.
Asphalt Tracker also enables you to send offline challenges to your friends via Gameloft which just adds more depth to an already deep game and that’s before mentioning the goals are Gameloft’s equivalent of GameCenter Achievements.
After all this eulogizing you’d think that perhaps I didn’t have anything bad to say about the game, that’s not the case. Asphalt 7’s all about social gaming and this takes the form of Facebook integration, the problem with this is though that between races and for every earned goal you are prompted to confirm whether or not you want to publicize the achievement and if you don’t want to bombard your Facebook newsfeed with your progress it can get a little frustrating.
What we like
- Great looking
- Multiple ways to play
- Smooth online experiences
- Large choice of cars and tracks
What to know
- Irritating social media prompts