Asphalt 6 HD Review

Asphalt 6 Adrenaline HD
8.8 Overall Score
AV: 8/10
Gameplay: 9/10
Online: 1/10

Huge Career Mode | Blistering speed | Superb Graphics | Great Handling | Wide range of tracks and vehicles

Poor Sound | No Online racing

Game Info

GAME NAME: Asphalt 6 HD

DEVELOPER(S): Gameloft

PUBLISHER(S): Gameloft

PLATFORM(S): iPhone 4, iPad, iPad 2, iPhone 4S

GENRE(S): racing

RELEASE DATE(S): December 2010

 

Introduction

 

The Asphalt series of games has appeared on many handheld formats, and included a release date game for the Nintendo 3DS.  However, racing games on iOS can be a very difficult thing to implement.  Get it right, and the results (such as Real Racing HD) can be superb.  Get it wrong and, well – it is disastrous.  Asphalt 6 HD, subtitled adrenaline, is not interested in simming the experience of driving a real car.  Instead it concentrates on seat of your pants racing.  To see whether it achieves it’s aim, read on….

 

Gameplay

 

Although all the standard racing options are here – single race, time trial etc it is, as always, the career mode that offers the meat of the game.  And having achieved 100% completion in this mode, Gamers Domain feel qualified to offer a decent opinion on this mode.  Starting off with a basic mini, and just one track – the object in the first race is to finish in the top three.  You are awarded one star for third, two for second, and three for first.  But there are a total of five stars to be won in this and every race.  More on that in a minute.

Finish the race in the top three, you will get your star reward and another track will open up.  Finish all 5 races in this cup, and a new cup opens up with another five races.  Finish all these five races and you will be a huge 1% through the career mode.  Yep – one thing you cannot accuse Gameloft of is skimping on the size of the game, and unusually for games like this – your interest will not wane until you achieve that elusive 100%.

Of course, if all there was to it was endless racing you wouldn’t even get 20% into the game – but thankfully there are different types of races for you to get your teeth into.  One minute you might be participating in a standard race through Nassau, the next you will be competing with five other cars, trying to run them off the road before they do it to you.  And all the time, as well as trying to achieve that top three finish for the star reward, you will also be attempting to fulfill two extra targets to get the other two stars.  So, for example, if the main target is to finish in the top three, then the two “sub targets” might be to earn 250 drift points, and knock down three opponents.  It keeps the interest going, and it becomes a real challenge by the end.  You need those stars as well, because some of the later cars and tracks cannot be unlocked just by reaching them in the career.  You will not have enough stars, requiring you to go back and win some more.

In terms of handling, this is easily the best handling racing game I have yet played on iPad 2 (I have tested it on iPad 1 and although it is playable the machine does struggle with the graphics hence it is not really recommended for that device).  The standard accelerate and brake peddles are available for you to press with your fingers, but perform certain tasks and your boast meter fills.  Activate this and an extensive speed boast is yours.  The unique thing about the handling is this : However far you turn the iPad to steer, the picture rotates as well, so you can always see where you’re going.  It’s a neat touch and really helps the gameplay as you never feel frustrated.

Asphalt 6, then, really is an excellent game – it handles well, and has plenty to keep you occupied.  There are plenty of officially licensed cars (and bikes) to unlock, and new events and environments to race on.  But what about the graphics, sound, and online elements.  Do they elevate it to a must buy game, or drag it down amongst the also-rans?

Graphics

 

On the original iPad, the graphics for Asphalt 6 are functional.  On iPad 2 though, they blaze.  The car models are nice and detailed, and genuinely do look like they are racing on the road rather than just above it.  The tracks are well realised, with a mixture of surfaces and backgrounds.  When needed to be (such as Nassau) the environments are bright and colourful – however when you are racing at night in Tokyo in the rain, the darkness and reflections are beautifully realised.  This is certainly a beautiful looking game.

There are also lots of extra touches which whilst not necessary certainly make the game look even better.  Airliners sweep in to land overhead, and balloons float over mountains in the distance.  Sometimes it is hard to believe that this is running on an iOS system.

The graphics alone would merit an 8.5 out of 10 (we mark harshly here at GD towers) but at the end there we give a combined AV score, so we also have to consider the :

 

Sound

 

And this is sadly where the game does fall down slightly.  Being honest this is much more likely to be a flaw of the hardware than the design but it still needs to be mentioned.  If you are expecting every car to sound dramatically different, then you are likely to be disappointed.  Yes, there are some subtle differences in car groups (the Mini sounds different to the Ferrari, for example) but within similar groups the cars sound too similar.  The sound of crashing is also not so hot.  You don’t get the sound of tearing metal and the sense that real damage is being caused.  Instead, we get a generic boring crash noise.  The in game music is also cheesy beyond belief, but you can always dip into your own playlist on the fly so this isn’t so bad.

Overall then, the sound does rather drag down the overall score – but this is to be expected on an iOS device.

 

Online

 

Zero.  Nada.  Zilch.  Well – that’s not quite true.  There is an integration with Gameloft’s own version of Game Centre which allows you to see when friends have unlocked trophies.  But that is it.  No online racing, or even racing against a friend’s time trials.  Disappointing.

 

Conclusion

 

Don’t be fooled by the mark below.  Asphalt 6 is an excellent game and a worthy addition to any iPad2 owners collection.  If you like arcade racers then there is quite simply none better on the device at the moment.  Beautiful graphics, and oodles of challenge and a huge career mode make up for the lack of online and the poor sound to make a game that really should be in everyone’s collection.  Highly recommended.

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