App review: Real Racing 3

Try not to crash in this racing game, because you won't be able to race while your car is getting fixed

EA Games Real Racing 3
  • EA Games Real Racing 3
  • EA Games Real Racing 3
  • Expert Rating

    4.50 / 5

Pros

  • Completionist structure
  • UI structure
  • Driving recreation

Cons

  • Graphics not the best
  • Lack of environment detail
  • Timer for servicing/upgrades

Bottom Line

Real Racing 3 contains plenty of content to keep drivers of all levels of experience entertained -- free of charge. While its graphics are not mind-blowing, the cars and tracks look great, and most importantly, the driving experience is exceptional.

Would you buy this?

Real Racing 3 is a mobile racing game that's perfect for rev-heads, and it caters to users with different levels of gaming experience. While it's arguably not the most graphically impressive game, it's definitely attractive and it provides plenty of content for long-term entertainment through its 'completionist' structure. The best part is that it's designed to punish reckless driving, so each turn demands concentration in order to avoid hefty damage bills.

Real Racing 3 is structured well. Following a short introduction when it's first launched (during which you will need to calibrate your smartphone, pick a starting car and test-drive it) the game presents a busy yet straightforward main menu. This menu interface contains a grid of thumbnails representing playable events, which are greyed out until you purchase a car that can compete in them. Tapping into an event takes you to a series of challenges. The higher you place in a race, the more your completion percentage increases for the overall event (the figure is displayed on the thumbnails in the main menu). This completion indicator is a good way to keep track of how much you have done, and acts as incentive to improve.

On the left of the main menu is a series of thumbnails linking to the 'Upgrades', 'Repairs', 'Respray, 'My Cars', and 'Time Shifted Multiplayer' (TSM) menus. All the options are there on the screen so you don't have to go hunting for them.

The art of driving is meant to be accurately recreated in Real Racing 3. Acceleration, breaking, steering and turning are all realistic. As obvious as it sounds, the game rewards careful and patient driving. It forces you to stay on the road, take corners properly and avoid bumping into opponents in order to win gold across all races and get the most cash (represented as R$ in game).

The controls are simple and dependent on your choice of preset. I use the ‘Tilt B’ option as I like to be able to have full control of my vehicle. EA has also included a ‘Steering Sensitivity’ bar which can be adjusted. In addition, there is the option of toggling traction control and steering assist on and off, as well as choosing the level of brake assist. The more assists, the easier the game. For full control of vehicles and complete freedom of driving, turning these off is ideal.

Choose your control method: Tilt A uses an automatic throttle while Tilt B allows you to take control of the acceleration.
Choose your control method: Tilt A uses an automatic throttle while Tilt B allows you to take control of the acceleration.

Heading off-road in the game will result in major speed decreases and some loss of control (depending on the terrain onto which you venture). Drifting around sharp corners will also slow you down, depending on the angle of the turn. Negligence not only hinders performance, but damages the car. Repair bills and servicing fees may not appear expensive at the start, but once you purchase your first supercar, you will understand the value of constant speed monitoring and perfect turning.

Tapping opponents and going off-road will result in damage that will put your car in the shop.
Tapping opponents and going off-road will result in damage that will put your car in the shop.

In addition to taking chunks out of your funds, damages will literally stop you from playing; once a car is put into servicing, a real-time timer commences and you cannot use the car until it has elapsed and the task completed.

As such, the best way to progress through the initial stages of Real Racing 3 and attain enough R$ to buy high-end cars is by owning more than one car at the beginning. I recommend purchasing a second car in a different category as soon as it becomes available. If you can play twice the amount, you will earn twice the R$.

Another good way to save R$ is by purchasing your first supercar with gold, a special currency earned after certain accomplishments, such as levelling up, for example. Not all supercars can be purchased with these, but the McLaren MP4-12C is a good and affordable buy at 65 gold. If you use two lesser cars to earn R$ and save gold to purchase this McLaren, you should have plenty of funds for upgrades.

Improve your car's performance with component upgrades.
Improve your car's performance with component upgrades.

What keeps Real Racing 3 interesting is the different game modes. Rather than doing the same thing over and over, EA has you doing laps, dragging, or aiming for high speeds. This is also beneficial for those who excel at some tasks, but struggle with others; it doesn't allow players to get stuck.

Different game modes ensure you'll never get bored.
Different game modes ensure you'll never get bored.

EA has incorporated a healthy number of different tracks into the game. Among the selection are some popular Australian locations, such as Bathurst’s Mount Panorama, and Melbourne’s Southbank.

For those struggling with progress, EA has made some packs available, which can be purchased using real money. Yes, these are an easy way to get some top-end cars initially, but they also remove the satisfaction of earning them.

EA has also included achievements which can be viewed by tapping the human-shaped icon in the bottom-right of the main menu, and then the trophy logo. Unfortunately, it appears that these don’t always register. For example, I was not awarded the ‘Extreme Acceleration’ achievement despite reaching over 281km/h.

My achievements *sigh*.
My achievements *sigh*.

Developer: EA
Version: 1.0.59
Size: 6.1MB
Cost: Free
Reviewed on: Samsung Galaxy Note II

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