Asphalt 7: Heat
The iOS racing thoroughbred is back with another upgrade
Gameloft is an established name within the mobile gaming world, and Asphalt has become one of its heavyweight franchises, regularly topping download charts and gaining high scoring reviews from users with each new release.
At first glance it appears that Asphalt 7 certainly won’t be breaking this cycle, as Gameloft has once again managed to raise the game a level or two in a number of ways. In depth for one; with more cars than ever before you can create your own dream garage, with a Ferrari here and Aston Martin there. The visuals have also improved; everything in Asphalt looks even more polished, with more impressive use of shadows and particle physics to help the environments you’re racing in, as well as the cars themselves, look more realistic. Seeing the reflection of the London skyline bouncing off the roof of your Bugatti is a very pleasing image, especially if you happen to be drifting past the House of Commons at the time. Racing through the English capital is one of several new tracks that fans of the series will be excited to hear about, along with Hawaii, Paris, Miami and Rio.
The control setup remains the same, and certainly lends itself to an exciting gaming experience when coupled with the arcade-style gameplay that has always been a hallmark of the series. Asphalt moves at a quick pace, so newcomers should not be surprised to find themselves flinging their device left and right, attempting to handle the corners and not crash using the tilt-based controls.
Then there are the on-track upgrades that earn you extra nitrous boosts, as well as cash and reputation that can be used to upgrade your current car and be put towards new ones. With more on offer than ever this is something you’re going to want to do. It’s clear then that this game excels in the excitement stakes, but depth is something it also won’t be outdone on.
As well as the main Campaign mode and its 13 different cups, in Quick Play you have the choice of six different race types that range from a traditional lap contest to Knockdown – where you have to crash out as many of your opponents as is humanly possible within the set time limit, something that once again places Asphalt squarely in the arcade side of the genre.
While the game as a whole has been give a extra layer of polish, Gameloft has spent time on specific areas within the game in order to improve the user experience. The most notable of these is the Multiplayer arena, which has been given something of an overhaul in order to get more people playing and connecting with one another through racing. Whether you choose to play locally against friends or online, your race capacity is six players, which is significantly fewer than the likes of Real Racing, although in terms of car types and race modes Asphalt does more than make up for it. The multiplayer does also come with all the power-ups that you find in single player mode, as well as four of the race types that you can use in Quick Play. Gameloft has also made an effort to make the whole experience a more social one for users, with Leaderboards to compare yourself to other players, and you have the ability to send and receive friend requests with any other player. Once you’ve created your own little community, you can then use the new Asphalt Tracker that shows direct comparisons between you and all those you are friends with, to see who properly owns the bragging rights. The app itself also has improved matchmaker settings to help you find a game, and the Asphalt Academy, which presents a new racing challenge, with a leaderboard of the best times.
This app then is more than just an update to a strong series, with more cars than ever and increasingly sharp visuals, it is a brilliant arcade-style racer with thrills in abundance. It has also been placed in the lowest App Store price bracket, making it impressive value for money when it comes to the amount of playing time and fun you’ll get out of it. It’s not quite the king of iOS racing yet, but Asphalt is getting closer all the time.
More of everything and an enhanced multiplayer setup that will have fans of the series tapping the Buy icon without hesitation.
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