Born in 2004 on N-Gage and Nintendo DS, the Asphalt series has since gained the mobile market to settle comfortably. Racing game created by Gameloft and strongly “inspired” by classic licenses such as Need for Speed or Burnout. These arcade-oriented titles deliver at each iteration’s of the correct performances in spite of a model Free to play an aggressive strand, typical of the publisher. For this new episode, Gameloft decided to leave the asphalt of the circuits to take us on the dusty tracks of the whole world. A welcome change of scene that will allow you to discover a whole bunch of more exotic destinations, as well as a host of new vehicles to navigate them. A change on the form that does not come to shake the formula created a few years ago.
Like many games of cars before this one, Asphalt Xtreme will not enchant you by its scenario that is to say non-existent. Asphalt: Xtreme is a succession of races to be won one after the other. And in the end, it’s better this way because a games of this type happens lightly of a narrative overlay that often does not bring much to the case. Asphalt Xtreme, it is, therefore, of the race, and only of the race … And good old Free to play!
THE TRACK TO THE STARS
In a fairly classic way, Gameloft proposes here to go to the adventure to the four corners of the world in order to compete several series of races to the increasing difficulty. And by difficulty, understand above all that you will have to improve and advance your vehicles in order to gain speed in maneuverability and stand up to your opponents. At the heart of the game, this aspect is the most blatant avatar of free-to-play games. Each race you’ll won will allow you to receive building materials used to improve one aspect of you vehicle. This will also make it possible to accumulate the necessary funds for the unblocking of additional vehicles, and other small expenses gradually limiting the progress of the player. And if Asphalt Xtreme does not display at first glance a stamina gauge that decreases with each activity carried out, it will be noted very quickly the degradation of the oil of each vehicle, which it will be necessary to replace under penalty of being unable to participate in the least race.
A good Free-to-play game is never complete without the presence of a virtual currency, this Asphalt Xtreme is no exception to the rule, and you can quickly acquire these precious resources in order to more quickly unlock the additional vehicles or their improvements. Finally, there is the obvious presence of connection bonuses and other rewards that will have to be recovered at regular intervals and you are facing the Free-to-play in all its splendor. A short note on this subject before moving on: if it is possible to play without worrying about the restrictions imposed by the model, it will take time as Gameloft multiplies the barriers to force the player to disburse their dollars. A rather aggressive model that we regret a bit, but that is not unusual in the publisher.
However, what about the playful part properly speaking? Well to be simple, it is far from unpleasant! The racetracks, which take us out of the usual circuits to propel us to the heart of exotic destinations scattered around the globe are very satisfactory to go. The reason? Numerous crossing paths that can be borrowed to grab a few seconds on its opponents and optimize its journey and a range of different landscapes to be discovered at different levels of difficulty. History of not spoiling, the environments that one will be able to discover are magnificent to watch thanks to an artistic direction halfway between cartoon and realism. Moreover, the variety of decors will prevent the lassitude of settling as soon as you chain the races (within the limit of this damaged oil gauge).
Things get a bit messy when we talk about gameplay. Indeed, the game offers us rather painful controls using the gyroscope and the accelerometer, and one will have to tilt his device to make the slightest turn. A system that has long since shown its limitations in terms of accuracy, and that we can fortunately disable in the options to choose a much more effective tactile system. For the rest, we find ourselves faced with a rather classic control scheme, which has proved its worth: two keys to turn right or left (long pressures allowing to trigger a skid), a button for the brakes and a last to trigger the nitro and the trick is played. A simple system, but with some subtleties (at the level of the turbo) that will have to be mastered in order to triumph over adversity, even if the latter will not represent a major danger most of the time. The sensations of piloting, very arches, are finally perfectly mastered, pleasant and comfortable, including on game’s sessions that pull a little in length.