Big news dropped this week as Gameloft announced they’ve soft launched Asphalt 9: Legends in the Philippines. This has caused quite a stir primarily because the Asphalt games are among some of the best-looking racing games on the App Store. Heck, you might have already started looking at screenshots and are wondering if you should make a Philippines App Store account just to check it out for yourself. Well, if you are, I’m here to tell you that you shouldn’t, and here’s why:
Making a soft launch account to download unreleased games off the App Store is a complicated process, and it’s hardly worth your time. This is doubly true with an always online Gameloft release like Asphalt 9, since you need both a soft launch account to play the game and a VPN to make the game think you are actually connected to the internet in the Philippines to play. Even if you manage to jump through all of these hoops, the whole thing could still not work, so why even bother?
Note: If you absolutely insist on going through this process, check out this handy guide from Pocket Gamer.
The game will most certainly change
Part of the reason games go into soft launch is because they aren’t completely finalized yet. There will be bugs, the game economy will change, and you can almost guarantee that any progress you make in the soft launch will reset once the game launches globally. If you’re seriously interested in playing Asphalt 9, these things will only be setting you up for disappointment once the game comes out in your region.
Gameloft is notorious for making visually impressive knockoffs of console games and loading them with oppressive monetization schemes, and there is very little evidence that Asphalt 9 will be any different. Although I am willing to admit that the free-to-play hooks in Gameloft’s releases always feel a bit more tolerable in its racing games for some reason, there is almost always a breaking point that sours you on the whole experience. The easiest way to avoid this is by avoiding the game. If enough people do it, who knows? Maybe Gameloft will actually learn and change their ways.
There are already great racing games on iOS you could be playing
Perhaps the best reason that you don’t need to be playing Asphalt 9 is that the App Store already has great racing games for you to play. If you want a real console experience, there’s GRID Autosport. If you want something a little more like Mario Kart, perhaps check out Table Top Racing. For less-action or twitch-based racing action, might I suggest Disc Drivin’ 2 or even Motorsport Manager 2. Finally, if you just want some of the very best racing available on the platform, I’d direct you to check out Riptide GP: Renegade or Go Rally, my personal favorite racers on the App Store.