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Review: Real Racing 3

Local Melbourne based developer Firemonkeys has released the highly anticipated Real Racing 3 and for a game running on mobile devices (iPad generation 2, iPhone 4 and later plus Android) it is a technological treat.

Real Racing 3 lets fans race on real world circuits with powerful dream cars from all-new manufacturers like Porsche, Audi and Dodge. With the improvements achieved with Real Racing 2, the team aimed to raise the bar on expectations and continue to give their artists the ability to create the most realistic graphic effects on cars on an individual basis. Real Racing 3 delivers the unique experience of speeding in some of the best cars on world famous race tracks

In this video diary the team show off some in game footage with the parochial angle of highlighting some local racing real-estate.

Firstly, just down from the Firemonkeys’ developer studio the team has put together a fictional Melbourne CBD based circuit. Starting outside the Arts Centre you can bump and barge down Flinders street, over Queens Bridge and back to St Kilda road.

More grounded in reality and certainly getting the anticipatory saliva flowing is the inclusion of the Mt Panorama Bathurst track along with eight other real world locations.

Firemonkeys are a favoured developer for Apple in particular – Having been responsible for the smash-hit mobile games such as Flight Control, Need For Speed and The Sims.  The Real Racing franchise has garnered critical praise for being first to market as Apple in particular roles out new features.  For example RR2 was one of the first games that iPad and iPhone owners could stream to living room televisions via the Air-Play feature of Apple TV.

With Real Racing 3 the Firemonkeys team is focussing on an improved graphical experience for players.  The 46 cars from twelve manufactures feature different paint finish effects (matt, pearl, gloss), real-time reflections including opponent cars and all track features, is a vast step up from Real Racing 2.

Damage modelling includes the obvious body work problems encountered during normal bumper to bumper racing as well as more exotic forms of mechanical consideration such as clogged air filters if your driving line takes you off the tarmac a bit too often perhaps.

Also a step up from the previous iteration is the sheer number of events available, over 900 in fact, up from 70 in Real Racing 2 and twelve in the original game.    This includes simple Speed Record tests and Drag Racing up to Cup races and Elimination events, all across a number of series championships.

Winning a trophy in events unlocks new series – or, and this is a major change as well, you can pay “gold” to instantly unlock new races.  
So how do you get Gold?  Well you can earn a little bit as your driving level increase through racing, or, you guessed it, you can buy more in-game currency with a bit of real world dosh.  Speaking to Senior Product Manager Joe Donoghue and Producer Kynan Woodman at Firemonkeys this was the plan from day one of development; “We were trying to retrofit this model into RR2 originally, but it was too difficult, RR3 was designed from the ground up to be free.”

RR2 cost around $10 when it launched on the App Store, whilst RR3 is free, with only your impatience or the need to reward the developers requiring you to put any “hard earned” into the game.

There is plenty of opportunity, as newly bought cars delivery, repairs and servicing all take real-world time to complete, all of which can be bypassed by using gold.  But this is not too much of an issue once a stable of cars is acquired; one in the shop, one on the road is more than manageable.

No, the big driver that will push you to open the wallet is friendly competiveness.  Once a few mates appear in your game with their grinning visages offering up times to beat, it is difficult not to get caught up in a virtual cold war of technology.

Real Racing 3 features Time Shift Multiplayer (TSM).  More than a ghost car in your game, regardless of whether your friends are online or not, a real car will race against you in the chosen event.  Left to itself the car tagged with your friends face will post the same time they recorded when they raced the same race.  Regardless of their time however, beating their car in the race will win dollar bonuses.

This social aspect to the game with TSM is the most addictive part of the game.  The sound effects, visuals (such as persistent skid marks), handling physics, car and even choices round out the quality of this well-polished offering from a local developer making it big world wide.


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Mike Bantick

joomla visitor

Having failed to grow up Bantick continues to pursue his childish passions for creative writing, interactive entertainment and showing-off through adulthood. In 1994 Bantick began doing radio at Melbourne’s 102.7 3RRRFM, in 1997 transferring to become a core member of the technology show Byte Into It. In 2003 he wrote briefly for the The Age newspaper’s Green Guide, providing video game reviews. In 2004 Bantick wrote the news section of PC GameZone magazine. Since 2006 Bantick has provided gaming and tech lifestyle stories for iTWire.com, including interviews and opinion in the RadioactivIT section.