Windows Phone fans have been hoping and praying for some kind of offspring of Forza Motorsport to hit the Windows Phone store. Unfortunately Microsoft and Turn 10 don’t seem to be listening. But at least Nokia and Electronic Arts have shown mercy with all those of you who prefer racing simulations over arcade games like Need for Speed or Asphalt.
Don’t get me wrong, both series provide great racing action, but they just don’t deliver the feeling like you’re fighting for winning a championship or driving a real car. This is not only because of the “tamed” physical behavior of the vehicles, but also because of the lack of a cockpit view. Both these points are where Real Racing 2 shines brightly.
Let’s be honest here. Real Racing 2 saw the light of day back in December 2010 for the very first time. And even though the graphics look quite good, there’s no doubt they don’t even come close to what we’ve seen with Asphalt 7 Heat. Cars aren’t as crisp and sharp looking, textures on objects surrounding the tracks are less colorful and you won’t get to see much more than a couple of lens flare effects. Does this make Real Racing 2 a bad game? Not by far! You will have to focus so much on driving your ride along the tracks, that you won’t even notice these shortcomings. And it’s not like it’s looking like Outrun on a Commodore C64. I’d even say Real Racing 2 looks a tad bit better than Asphalt 5.
Controls & Difficulty
Players can choose from a large variety of control types. Whether you prefer tilting to steer or tapping certain areas on the screen, RR2 has got you covered. It even offers a steering wheel, which I found a little too imprecise to be really useful though.
Unfortunately RR2 won’t let you shift gears manually. This would have made the experience perfect in my opinion, but I can see that two additional buttons or areas to tap would probably have made the game too complex to handle.
Besides the aforementioned controls, players can choose to make use of three driving assistants:
Braking is controlled by a slider bar which lets you adjust the amount of braking assistance you would like to have, whereas steering and anti slide can simply be turned on and off. Furthermore, you can choose from three difficulty settings. These do not have any impact on the behavior of the cars you drive, but determine the speed and skills of your opponents in career mode.
The available modes reflect pretty much what one would expect from a racing game:
In career mode you unlock tracks for single races and time attacks, earn money needed to buy new cars and upgrades and receive reputation which is required to proceed to higher championship classes. Some events require a certain type of car or at least a minimum and maximum amount of horse power. Thankfully you can enable and disable all your car upgrades purchased so far, so you won’t have to buy a new car each and every time.
Time attack and single race are rather self explanatory, so I’m going to leave it just there. Multiplayer offers exactly that: true real-time multiplayer. You can either host a game, set up the requirements and track, or you just join one of the already available offered races. It works pretty well, even on a mobile connection. I would recommend though to make sure you’re in a well covered area that at least provides 3G.
If you’ve been longing for a more realistic racing experience and own a Nokia Windows Phone, do not hesitate and head over to the store. Real Racing 2 is a Nokia exclusive, runs on Windows Phone 7.x and Windows Phone 8 and can be purchased from here for $4.99 or by scanning the QR Code below.