Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Device Reviewed On: iPad Mini
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Gameloft’s Asphalt series returns to take arcade racing pleasantries to a new height. Asphalt 8: Airborne features everything players are familiar with, especially the vehicle handling during each race. There are numerous cars to purchase and upgrade, and multiple objectives to accomplish besides the typical potential three star earnings by placing in the top 3. However, what it really brings to the table - besides an overhaul of the user interface and graphics, which look nice - is a new way to launch vehicles in the air while performing stunts.
Airborne. That’s the key word in the title and the main focus in the game, and it elevates the entertainment that it provides by letting players watch their vehicles go flying across the screen. Plus it’s pretty awesome when the boost is activated and players come crashing down on top of other vehicles for a takedown. I’ve always had great fun with arcade racers and enjoyed the previous Asphalt entries, but something as simple as adding ramps and a few stunts to the action has really taken this series in a new direction. Up!
First and most importantly are the levels. As I said previously, the familiar sensation to the gameplay is still present in Asphalt 8: Airborne, except now players can launch their vehicles off of ramps and do a few spins or rolls. However, the levels are what really take the game airborne with their design. There are multiple ramps scattered throughout each course, and there are some areas where there is no choice but to go flying in the air with massive jumps from one platform to the next.
What makes some of the levels so enjoyable are the simple and little things, such as being able to take multiple routes around a massive rocket in the middle of the map which eventually launches on the second lap. It’s also great to ramp over a moving cruise ship, performing a few spins while doing so. Those moments are few, but add to the satisfaction of each track. It’s not always about getting airtime either as many of the ramps are passable, so Asphalt fans don’t need to worry too much about the high-flying action. I do think it needs to be a little more rewarding though, especially when players get all 5 stars in a season.
Airborne is an easy addiction for any arcade racing fan. There are a few areas that need some touch-up, such as the walls near a few ramps that cause players to wreck for no reason. Also, the limited amount of tricks may feel lacking, but this is still first and foremost a racing game. They haven’t added the wings yet, like in Rush 2049. Maybe they should work on that!
Asphalt 8: Airborne is a great addition to the series and arcade racing fans will find themselves very happy with its offerings.