Real Racing 3 updated review

RR3v2_00Real Racing 3 has been out since February (2013) and it is still one of the best (if not the best) racing games for Android. The game has been updated constantly, the developers put enough time and work into new content and refined some core features, like physics or AI. Of course every update brings its own bugs and sometimes an update can make the game worse than before. One step forward, two steps backward…  Let’s see how Real Racing 3 looks after several main updates:

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The good:

New series: The amount of races now reaches more than 1200 events. This is a huge number, which means a lot of gameplay hours (hundreds) to race all of them.

New cars: Whole new manufacturers, like Mercedes and old good ones too now let you ride their cars, of course if you can. They cost money, time to deliver and a new addition: you need to unlock some of them by earning trophies from previous races.

New event type: Time Trial. You have one lap to make the best time you can with a rolling start. Then compare your time with players from all around the world and of course with your friends. Once you have a time and try your luck one more time, a “ghost” of your best lap will be present on the track. I encountered several glitches, but I will tell you about this later. A great addition is that already completed series will become incomplete again, which means you can earn R$ and gold by finishing the time trials of each car.

Improved AI: the artificial intelligence have been heavily modified, now they are tougher opponents and less likely to collide with you as I observed.  Of course in some events the AI is still imbalanced, but this is a story of its own.

Daily bonus. Every day the money you win on your first race will get doubled (starting with 10% bonus up to 100% in a few days, which if will remain once you race every day).

There are small but significant updates, like you can chose a car (will be marked with a key) and you can quickly jump to the series in which the marked car is. There is cloud save, other log-in options like Google+ or when you restart a race the countdown is shorter so you don’t waste much time. The repairs are completely remade, you don’t have to repair every damage one by one. Also there are some cars which can be bought for Gold, not just for R$. For a higher price of course…

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The bad:

More IAPs in the form of Gold. The developers are becoming more greedy as they force the players even more to spend real money on in-game currencies. In the updated version players have to pay even more Gold on new cars, to reduce waiting and repair time. And the amount of R$ people can get was reduced in a really fashioned way. Now there is a “clean race bonus”, which is the amount you get when you don’t scratch your car. Of course with the current AI this is impossible, no matter how carefully you race, there will be minor damages which will result in a decrease of the clean race bonus. The new cars: Buying a new car already costs player lot of money, but sometimes this is not enough. You need to upgrade your car to be good enough to compete with others, sometimes its only an option, but with the new PR rating of the cars, there are events which require a minimum PR rating. If your car doesn’t have the required rating, you can’t enter that event. But don’t worry, the latest cars have around 35 upgrades, compared to older cars, which had around 20. One good advice: only upgrade if it’s necessary, like earning a trophy, so you can unlock a better car. Don’t over-upgrade.

The AI. Although the AI have been improved, it is still aggressive and imbalanced. Once they are slow as hell, once they are out of reach. But if you encounter a race where the opponents will be the on the exact difficulty, you are going to enjoy it. They are aggressive, but more careful in the same time, although they now go off-road or when they catch up with you they try to overtake you. But still needs improvement.

The main menu. The new design looks good, but became less effective. The navigation became slower, the only good point is the quick jump button to your marked car. The new animations are unnecessary, I would appreciate a turn-off button in the settings. The loading time have increased too. What a shame.

Bugs: Various bug and glitches, like in Time Trial mode you can encounter a race against a Ghost, which will cut the track and will be unreachable. Or you can lose your daily progress even with cloud saving. Sometimes cloud save saved my day, but not always. Once the progress in the cloud was even more outdated and I lost more progress. This field need some improvements too.

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What is missing:

Real-time multiplayer. Google have already made available Play Services for achievements, leaderboards and real-time multiplayer for the developers, some of them already built into its games. It would be a really good addition for RR3 if players could compete with each other than in TSM. There could be co-op series against bots, or races where everyone is a living being. Don’t know how many players are the limit, but in Riptide GP2 four players don’t cause any problems.

A skirmish mode, where players could select the event types, tracks, number of laps, opponents and race with already unlocked cars they have in their garage. This combined with multiplayer, and RR3 will become legendary.

New series with new locations, from all around the world. I would personally like to race in Singapore GP at night, or Yas Marinas in Abu Dhabi. Some traditional tracks could come too, like Monte Carlo, Monza, Nürburgring (Nordschleife) or Hungaroring.

New cars. Lots of manufacturers could be added, like Volskwagen (Golf or Scirocco), Alfa Romeo (Giulietta, 4C), Mazda (MX5) or the heavyweight Ferrari. New cars for the existing manufacturers: new McLaren or Lamborghini for example. New series could be built around these new cars, like in the latest update the Porsche 911 50th anniversaries.

Paid version. For a reasonable price players could buy the game, and there would be no premium currency (Gold). Everything else could remain the same, cars would still be needed to unlock and buy for R$. Wait and repair times could be calibrated to be more comfortable and so on.

To sum up, the new updates are a setback despite the new content, the game as a whole still has huge problems. It is still one of the best racing games on out there, buts far from perfect. The AI still needs more work on it, game changer features are missing and the greedy developers should ditch the free-to-play (pay-to-win) model, not strengthen it more. I must give this game a lower score because of it, but this isn’t the end, I think the best is yet to come.

[EDIT – 2013.12.18] It seems Firemonkeys are really listening to the crowd and recently have rolled out 3 main updates. These updates brought 6 new luxury cars from Ferrari, the stellar Lamborghini Veneno and Mclaren’s latest supercar, the P1. There is a whole new track, Circuit de Catalunya and several new events. The downside is that the new content is still highly money demanding as the new cars are one of the most expensive cars in the series. The Veveno costs 900 Golds… On the other hand the Time Trial Challenge is being moderated and the lap times of the hackers are being erased. Hopefully the developers will keep the competition fair and will bring some more improvements in the future (like real-time multiplayer which became accessible on iOS devices)

Rating: 85/100

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More screenshot can be found here: Google+

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