We’ve been a little disappointed with some of the iPhone ports that have graced our screens recently. Reckless Racing, NBA JAM, Fast Five The Movie: The Game etc. which continue to remind us that we’re not playing a dedicated Mac game. Well, Real Racing 2 from EA has changed all that with some absolutely beautiful graphics. With licensed cars, a good career mode and challenging gameplay, this might just be the down-to-earth track racer we have all been waiting for.
Real Racing 2 Gameplay
Real Racing 2 has a tough initiation process, and getting past the first few tracks is a hard slog. But when you’re going 200MPH in a Lotus, you begin to see the hard work paying off. Whereas with the slower cars it’s pretty easy to keep the thing on the track, when you’re behind the wheel of a modified Shelby Mustang, or even a super-charged McLaran, keeping the beast from skidding off into the sand requires precise braking and smooth turning.
It’s a shame the on/off arrow buttons don’t enable you to make subtle changes needed and as a result, either cause you to career off into the bunker, or over-steer. Thankfully, Real Racing 2 has iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad support as a wireless controller and demonstrates what tilt is perfect for; being able to fluidly round corners without the awkward jerkiness that comes with using a keyboard. You can use your iDevice as a controller by going to a web address (control.cloudcell.com) which will scan for a Mac running Real Racing 2 on your Wi-fi and automatically connect to it. It works flawlessly, apart from a few problems that come with using Safari as a controller rather than a dedicated app (the screen accidentally rotating or going to sleep if it receives no input). Nothing game breaking, but they can sometimes crop up now and again. I would actually discourage people without an iDevice to go get Real Racing 2, purely because it makes the whole game so much more frustrating.
Real Racing’s attempt at car collision and damage shows that it’s obviously not the developer’s strength. It’s impossible to ‘take someone out’, and sometimes, other cars can feel like they are being pulled along by a piece of string.
There is online multiplayer thrown in there as well, but as you race with your own cars from the career, it becomes more of a chance for those with the most jazzed up cars to flex their ego. Definitely not something to waste time on.
But riding around in that Lotus in single player is brilliant and rewarding. Especially when it looks so beautiful. Although Real Racing’s graphics aren’t going to compete with top end racers like DiRT 2, they are still some of the best looking iPhone graphics I’ve seen for a while. Plus, having licensed cars from Jaguar to BMW adds a sense of realism and believability.
And that is what Real Racing 2 is all about. It stays true to its name and remains realistic. There’s no mega boosts, crazy jumps or globe-trotting courses. If you’re more one for arcade racers then this is not for you. Instead Real Racing is an engaging racer that doesn’t attempt to blind you with explosions or intense motion blur, but with simple elegance and appreciation for what cars are made for. Driving. It can get a little repetitive, but each step up to the next racing division adds a whole new wave of challenge that continues to suck you in.
Price: $12.99 (£8.99)
Description: Real Racing – The Title Says it All
Pros: Stunning iPhone-port visuals, smooth tilt control using an iDevice, licensed cars, skill required in faster cars.
Cons: Hard to get past the first few levels, on/off arrow key control is not great, does start to get a little stale until you get into a faster division.