BreakingModern — The explosion shattered off the front hood as fuel and debris sputtered onto the black asphalt … okay, enough with the silly poetry. Gameloft’s new Asphalt 8: Airborne for Android on Google Play is straight up awesome, possibly the mobile version of Need for Speed. While I did admire Real Racing 3 for its purist appeal to racers, Asphalt 8: Airborne has the makings of a classic arcade game, with nitro boost and wreck bonuses to help each player. Let’s get started, shall we?
This game is simply sick. Not only does it combine stunning graphics with awesome gameplay, but as far as I can tell, it features extremely accurate detail of racetracks from around the globe (the Iceland-to-Tokyo track, for example, is terrific). The sheer detail put into every track really made me feel as if I was taking a world tour. Personally, I love world tour racing games (I’m a big geography buff), and I believe the presence of a variety of nations only enhances gameplay. It also makes me salivate with anticipation.
Souped Up Models
Mind you, this is a far cry from Midway’s Crusin’ World back in ’96. While that game did make my childhood gaming, Asphalt 8 completes my college gaming set. It’s not just the tracks that contain detail; there are a large number of cars that the player can choose from ranging from levels D-S (Forza Mortorsports anyone?). I’ll assume this is a creative inspiration and not a cheap rip-off on the part of the developers (although with the epic graphics, I doubt that it is).
The cars are real and up-to-date — including models like the Tesla Model S (hopefully its engine doesn’t catch on fire during play), and includes both gasoline and electric options (there’s no gameplay difference between them, though). Each car differs on its acceleration, handling etc., so players should pick the one that best suits them.
The tracks and cars may be cool, but I love this game because of one thing: getting benefits for wrecking people. This is the dream of my childhood. There is no greater feeling I get from racing than destroying my competition. And the fact that the game replays the wreckage in epic slow motion (with fenders flying everywhere) makes it that much better. Whenever a player crashes into another car (known as a knockout) he or she gets a bonus boost of nitro, which serves as a finite amount of turbo.
The inclusion of nitro in the game is a nice balance between the realism of the tracks and cars and the good old arcade style gameplay we all love. It may not be the purest form of racing, but it gives the underdog that edge to burst through the pack. Plus: luck makes any game more interesting.
Devil’s in the Details
There are lots of minute details about this game that put it over the top. For example, the player is able to customize his car in several epic paint schemes (I personally would’ve liked more options, but what can you do?). Plus, there are several racing modes to choose from, such as the very popular infected mode, where wrecking people not only gives you more nitro, but if you’re infected, it also infects them too (although, I don’t need any extra incentive to send someone to the scrap pile heap).
To top it all off, the various soundtracks that accompany each race are divine, with options of rock, bass and/or electronic. Cruising down the highway listening to your favorite beats is totally awesome.
Overall, as far as mobile games go, I’ll have to give this addicting epic-ness a 10/10 for stunning graphics, a great mechanics system that adheres to the laws of physics (well, sort of) and nitro benefits for wrecking people. Need I say more? You can find this game for Android on Google Play and on Apple iOS. It’s well worth your money, mostly because it’s free.
Images credit: Gameloft