Racing games have been one constant for the App Store, with Gameloft, EA Mobile, and Firemint leading the way. I remember the first legitimate racing game, Asphalt 4, was released on the App Store alongside Real Soccer 2009.
And boy oh boy, did I enjoy that one. I played that game for at least 8 hours, beating the career mode and collecting all the cars. I thought the graphics were great at the time, and overall, it was just plain fun.
Then Asphalt 5 came along and the experience just wasn’t the same; there had been other arcade racers such as Need for Speed Undercover that completely raised the bar when it came to racers. The graphics for Asphalt 5 were much improved from Asphalt 4, but other than that, everything else was much the same.
Now come 2010/2011, we have the release of Asphalt 6. And I’m starting to get the feeling that Asphalt will never have the same experience as I did with the first one, as Asphalt 6 seems almost like a rehash of Asphalt 5. The graphics are better, there is online multiplayer… but the game experience is more or less the same.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a great game. Crashing other cars, gameplay variety, tons of cars—the whole lot is still there. I just think that the whole lot has appeared in all three Asphalts. In other words, it’s getting old.
Graphics: The graphics aren’t of Real Racing 2 caliber, but they’re good enough. They’re an improvement—albeit not huge—from Asphalt 5, and it really does show what the iPhone is capable of graphically. I remember trying to play Fruit Ninja on my friend’s Droid Erus… didn’t work out too well.
Online Multiplayer: This is a feature that I have been clamoring for since the release of Asphalt 5, a game that looked perfectly ready to take on an online multiplayer feature. While the online isn’t too deep and won’t provide tons of replay value, it’s online multiplayer. I mean, what more can you expect?
Controls: I’m pretty sure by now, if a developer cannot get the controls for a racing game down, they either don’t know how to develop or are too lazy to make the adjustments to create the right control scheme. Gameloft has them down here—like it has in all previous games—and no one should have a problem with them.
Nothing different: I stated it in the beginning of this review, and the Asphalt series really needs to find something that will make it stand out. It feels like I’ve played this game before around a year ago on Asphalt 5, and the gameplay experience just doesn’t differ from its predecessors. It’s the same old arcade racing experience: take down enemies, eliminate them, etc.
Gameloft Live: It’s sluggish, old, and much too clunky to be even added anymore. Hopefully they give it up for GameCenter, as they’ve changed the UI for Gameloft Live at least three times now—the current one looking pretty ugly—and the interface as a whole is quite unresponsive. And if they’re going to add achievements and leaderboards, why not GameCenter?
The Asphalt series are getting old. That fact is quite evident in this review, and it just doesn’t feel any different from Asphalt 5. If you’re really desperate for online multiplayer—again, not really a make-or-break feature—then I guess you can pick this up. Other than that, there’s really no difference.