Real Racing 3
Real Racing 3 is a 2013 racing game, developed by Firemonkeys Studios and published by Electronic Arts for iOS, Android, Nvidia Shield and BlackBerry 10 devices. It was released on iOS and Android on 28 February 2013 under the freemium business model; it was free to download, with enhancements available through in-app purchases. The game is the sequel to 2009's Real Racing and 2010's Real Racing 2. Primarily due to the freemium nature of the game, it received less favorable reviews than its predecessors, although the gameplay remains generally lauded.
|Real Racing 3|
|Release||iOS & Android
Game features include 19 real-world racetracks, a 22-car grid, and 209 officially licensed cars from 33 manufacturers such as Audi, Porsche, Lamborghini, Bugatti, Ford, Ferrari, McLaren and Koenigsegg. Unlike in the previous Real Racing games, players are required to maintain and service their vehicles, requiring in-game cash and real-world time.
When players begin the game, they are lent a Porsche 911 GT3 RS as a tutorial car, going through the basic tutorial of the game. They then must buy a Nissan Silvia S15 or a Ford Focus RS as a starting car. The player begins the game at driver level 0 and increases his/her rank as he/she earns "fame points" (similar to experience) based on his/her performance in a race. Once they pass driver levels, gold coins are rewarded at each level up. Depending upon the amount of fame points required to reach the new level, the game rewards from 5 to 100 coins of the premium currency. The game as a whole is divided into multiple different series, each series is further subdivided into several tiers, and each tier into one to three individual races.
- Series: There are a total of 135 series in the game as of June 2017, and only certain cars can be used in any given series (most series allow the use of 3-5 cars, although some only allow one car, or up to 13). When the game was first released, a series became available for play immediately when the player has purchased one of the cars usable in that series. However, as of update 1.2 (July 2013), a series must be unlocked by winning a certain number of trophies in a previous series. Any car that is allowed in a given series can be used in any race within that series, with exception of "showcase" races, where only one specific car may be used. This means most series cannot be completed to 100% unless the player has purchased all usable cars for that series, although the vast majority of cars can be used in more than one series. Upon finishing 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% of a series, R$ and gold are awarded to the player. To achieve 100% completion of a series, the player must earn a gold trophy (first place for races and complete one or more Time Trial event's without going off-track or colliding into any barriers) in each event of the series.
- Tiers: Every series is divided into about seventeen to twenty two tiers, all of which contain one to three races. Upon entering a particular series, only one tier is available, although once a tier is unlocked all races within that tier are available for play. More tiers are unlocked as the player earns bronze, silver and gold medals in the races of a previous tier, or can be unlocked by use of in-game currency or gold coins.
- Unlike in the previous Real Racing games, players are required to maintain and service their vehicles; if the player does not perform such maintenance, the car's performance will suffer drastically. Performing maintenance and upgrades requires in-game cash and also takes up real-world time, often up to several hours, depending on the car being serviced.
There are two types of currency in the game: "Race dollars" (referred to as "R$") and gold. R$ is earned by completing races, advancing in a series, completing laps without leaving the track or bumping into other cars, and hiring the Manager. Gold coins are earned only by finishing each quarter of a series, advancing to a higher driver level, completing Game Center/Google Play Games achievements (as of update 2.1), by watching fifteen to thirty second advertisements available in-game, opening the application every day, or by completing partner offers. R$ can be used to purchase new cars, buy upgrades, and pay for maintenance. Gold coins are used to immediately finish maintenance, deliver newly purchased cars without waiting, unlock new tiers, instantly unlock cars, buy higher level upgrades, customize cars, and purchase cars that are not available through R$. The player can purchase both R$ and gold coins with real-world money in the in-app store if they wish. Upon the initial release of the game, 148Apps.com calculated that to earn enough R$ to buy every car in the game would take over 472 hours of gameplay, covering 6,801 races, at an average of 4 minutes 10 seconds per race and an average reward of R$3,700 per race. To purchase every car in the game using gold purchased with real-world money would cost $503.22. These figures did not take into account any upgrades, repairs or maintenance.
A significant component of the game is that the player must wait for maintenance and the "delivery" of newly purchased cars. From the announcement of this aspect of the game, it has been a controversial topic, although it does further reinforce the real component of the game. When a player races, if they race hard, go off track, or hit other cars, their car picks up damage and becomes more in need of maintenance. Eventually, the car will deteriorate to the point that it begins to under-perform. At this stage, the player must get the car serviced, which can take up to several hours in real-time. This time can only be reduced by spending gold coins, which are much rarer in the game than R$, unless the player is willing to spend real money on them in the in-app store. This freemium nature sparked backlash from "hardcore" fans. In response to negative fan feedback and bad press, in update 1.1, EA and Firemonkeys tweaked the repair times so that damage was repaired instantly whereas maintenance times became significantly shorter, although could still only be bypassed completely with the use of gold coins. As of update 1.2, repairs were removed from the game altogether, with cars now requiring maintenance only, although maintenance can still only be bypassed by gold. In update 4.0, you could watch ads to reduce maintenance or reduce upgrade times.
Introduced in update 1.2 in July 2013, drive points are required for the player to participate in time trials. Each race costs one drive point. The player begins with two drive points, and can only increase their maximum available drive points to five by using gold coins. When the player runs out of drive points, they can use two gold coins to get a full refill or simply wait until the game automatically replenishes the points (one point is replenished every eighteen minutes).
Introduced in update 1.3.5 in September 2013, VIP service is an option available for every car in the game. Purchasing a VIP service for any car must be done through the in-app store and costs real world money, with each VIP service usable only for the car for which it is purchased. The VIP service removes any waiting times for newly purchased cars or upgrades purchased with R$. Usually, when a player purchases a new car through R$, they must wait several hours for that car to be 'delivered'. However, if they purchase the VIP service for that car, it will be delivered instantly upon purchase. The service works the same for upgrades. Any upgrades purchased with R$ take time to complete, however, if the player has purchased the VIP service, upgrades are performed instantly.
Introduced in update 1.4.0 in October 2013, crew members can be hired prior to each race. The player has the option to hire a Manager to earn double R$ if he/she places first, an Agent to earn double fame if he/she places first, and/or an Auto Engineer to maintain the condition of the car if he/she places first. The player is free to hire no crew members if they wish, or all three. Each crew member costs one gold coin. From time to time, crew members offer their services for free.
Control in Real Racing 3 is similar to that of its predecessors. The player is given seven different control methods from which to choose: "Tilt A" features accelerometer steering (tilting the physical device to the left to turn left and to the right to turn right), auto accelerate and manual brake; "Tilt B" features accelerometer steering, manual accelerate and manual brake; "Wheel A" features a virtual on-screen steering wheel to steer, auto accelerate and manual brake; "Wheel A (Flipped)" is the same as "Wheel A" but with the virtual steering wheel on the right of the screen and the brake on the left; "Wheel B" features a virtual steering wheel to steer, manual accelerate and manual brake; "Wheel B (Flipped)"; "Buttons" features touch to steer (where the player touches the left side of the touchscreen to turn left, and the right side to turn right), auto accelerate and manual brake. Within each of these options, the player can modify the amount of brake assist and steering assist, as well as selecting to turn on or off "traction control". In Tilt A and Tilt B, the accelerometer sensitivity can also be modified.
Real Racing 3 features eleven different types of race; "Cup" (basic race against nine to twenty-one opponents over several laps); "NASCAR" (rolling start race in NASCAR cars with up to 42 opponents, with drafting available); "Formula E" (rolling start race in Formula E cars with manual controls and disabled brakes, players automatically lose the race if the battery runs out); "Elimination" (race against seven opponents, where the car in last place is eliminated every 20 seconds); "Endurance" (the player begins with sixty seconds on the clock, and must reach a certain distance before the timer runs out. Time is added, up to a maximum ninety (90.00) seconds, for overtaking other cars and completing laps); "Head-to-Head" (similar to Cup but with just one opponent); "Autocross" (the player must complete a certain portion of a track within a given time); "Speed Record" (the player must reach a certain speed over the course of a single lap); "Speed Snap" (the player must complete a certain portion of a track, and must cross the finishing line at a certain speed); "Drag Race" (a two car drag race, with three opponents taking turns); "Hunter" (the opponent is given a head start against the player, and the player must try to reduce the gap and/or overtake the opponent by the largest amount by the end of the lap to win); "Time Trial" (the player must complete a lap as fast as possible without all four tires leaving the track or the car bumping into the walls; time trial races require drive points).
When initially released, the game did not offer a "traditional" multiplayer mode (where people who are all online at the same time race against one another), it instead offered a type of multiplayer known as "Time Shifted Multiplayer" (TSM), a system invented by Firemonkeys. TSM works by recording the lap times of people in each race, and then, when the player goes online, the game itself recreates those lap times, i.e. AI opponents in multiplayer mode are actually emulating the laps raced by real people at another time. However, TSM has not been especially well received, with many reviewers lamenting the game's lack of a "normal" online mode. 148Apps said of TSM, "Real Racing 3 uses race times to generate AI controlled doubles that follow almost perfect paths for each race rather than mirroring their human creators' abilities, race lines, and skill. This means it's not really like racing against friends at all as the cars don't do anything other than follow a path at an algorithmically determined speed based on the recorded time and cars used by friends."
As of update 2.0 (December 2013), however, a more traditional multiplayer mode was made available, for up to four players. Weekly multiplayer tournaments are also included, as are multiplayer leaderboards, via Game Center. In update 2.6, eight-player multiplayer with drafting was introduced, with drafting available.
Drafting is only available to the NASCAR circuit. Drafting occurs when a car comes behind another and drafts at the bumper.
When there is a group of 4 or more in a single file line, that is called train drafting. It holds more speed than normally drafting with 1 car. NASCAR features side drafting. It was finally released to the NASCAR Circuit in 2017.
In 2016, the developers made a mistake. All cars in each circuit had the ability to draft. The bug was finally patched during their major update in 2017.
Introduced in the 4.5.1 update, all the cars fully upgraded receive following benefits: double distance till serviced, all paintings and patterns for free, and free of drive points to enter a time trial. Plus, certain cars can be used to attend a special kind of series called the exclusive series, in which only one car can be used in each exclusive series, but the opponents do not necessarily use the car. The current exclusive series available are for the Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec [R34], the BMW M3 GTS, the Lamborghini Gallardo, the Audi R8 LMS Ultra, the Porsche 918 RSR Concept, the Ariel Atom V8, the Jaguar F-type, the Ferrari F12tdf, the Mercedes AMG GT3, the Koenigsegg Regera, the Ferrari FXX K, the McLaren MP4-X, the Aston Martin V12 Vantage S, the McLaren P1 GTR, the Ferrari F14 T, and the Koenigsegg One:1.
Cars and locationsEdit
The game features 217 officially licensed cars. When the game was first released, every car was immediately available for purchase, with the only limitation being how much R$ or gold the player had. As of Update 1.2, however, most of the cars must now be unlocked by winning a certain number of trophies before they become available for purchase. Cars purchased before the introduction of unlocks remain playable along with any race series that features that car; even if the player has not yet progressed to the point where they would normally be able to unlock them.
Cars include the Dodge Challenger SRT8, Lexus IS F, Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, the Nissan 350Z (Z33), the Ford GT FIA GT1, the BMW Z4 GT3, the Ford Shelby GT500, the Dodge Charger SRT8, the Ford Mustang GT Premium, the Audi R8 LMS ultra, the Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4, the Koenigsegg CCXR, the Porsche 918 Spyder concept, the Ferrari LaFerrari, the SRT Viper GTS, the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3, the Bentley Continental Supersports, the Lexus LFA, the Pagani Zonda R, the Shelby '66 Cobra 427, the Ferrari F12berlinetta, the Aston Martin V12 Vantage S, the Toyota TS040 Hybrid, the Lamborghini Veneno, the Koenigsegg Agera R, and the McLaren P1 GTR.
The game includes nineteen real-world racetracks, including a fictional but geographically accurate street circuit about 1.7 miles in length through Firemonkeys' home of Southbank, Melbourne. The tracks are Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Brands Hatch, Circuit de Catalunya, Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Circuit des 24 Heures, Daytona International Speedway, Dubai Autodrome, Formula E Hong Kong Circuit, Hockenheimring, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Mount Panorama, Nürburgring, the Porsche Leipzig Test Track, Red Bull Ring, Richmond International Raceway, Silverstone, and Suzuka Circuit. Indianapolis, Catalunya, Monza, Nürburgring, Hockenheim, Suzuka, Daytona, Dubai, Red Bull Ring and Leipzig have multiple layouts, for a total of forty-two different courses.
The first game update, released in March 2013, added Chevrolet as a new manufacturer, along with the Camaro ZL1, the Cobalt SS and the Corvette ZR1 (added via the May bugfix patch). The next update in May 2013 added Lexus as a new manufacturer, and also added two variations of the Dodge Charger, and a new racetrack, the Dubai Autodrome. Subsequent updates in 2013 saw the introduction of Bentley and Mercedes-Benz in July; Shelby in August; seven new Porsches (including the 2013 Porsche 911 RSR) in September; Ferrari and the Circuit de Catalunya in October; three new Ferraris and the Hyundai i20 WRC in November; and the Lamborghini Veneno and the McLaren P1 in December.
The March 2014 update added Aston Martin as a new manufacturer, along with the DB9, the Vanquish and the V12 Vantage S. The April 2014 update added a range of open-wheel cars, such as the Ariel Atom 3.5, the Caterham Seven 620R and the KTM X-Bow R, and also added the Hyundai Veloster Turbo and the 2014 Porsche 911 RSR. The May 2014 update added the Le Mans Circuit des 24 Heures and three Le Mans Prototype race cars: the Porsche 919 Hybrid, the Audi R18 e-tron quattro, and the Toyota TS040 Hybrid. The July 2014 update added the Ferrari F40 and the Ferrari F50. The August 2014 update added the 2015 Audi R8 V10 Spyder and the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse. The September 2014 update added the Lamborghini Miura and the Lamborghini Countach. The November 2014 update added the Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale and the LaFerrari. The December 2014 update added three Ferrari Formula One race cars (the 375 F1, the 412 T2, and the F14 T) and the Autodromo Nazionale Monza circuit.
The January 2015 update added Spadaconcept as a new manufacturer, along with two variations of the Spada Codatronca, and an "exclusive reveal" of the 2015 Porsche Cayman GT4. The March 2015 update added three Aston Martin race cars, all of which are based on the Vantage car line: the N430, the V12 GT3 and the V8 GTE. The April 2015 update added the Nürburgring circuit and new manufacturer Renault, with the addition of the Clio Cup, the DeZir Concept and the R.S. 01. The June 2015 update added the Nissan GT-R LM Nismo, the 2015 specifications of both the Audi R18 e-tron quattro and the Porsche 919 Hybrid, and the 2015 Porsche 911 RSR. The July 2015 update added the Porsche Boxster GTS and the Porsche 918 Spyder Weissach Package, as well as the Porsche Leipzig Test Track. The August 2015 update added five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race cars: the Chevrolet SS (two variations), the Ford Fusion (two variations), and the Toyota Camry; as well as the Lamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4 and the Richmond International Raceway track. The October 2015 update added two new Chevrolet Corvette cars (the Stingray Z51 and the '69 Stingray 427) and three new McLaren cars (the F1 GTR, the P1 GTR and the 650S GT3). The December 2015 update added four new cars: the Aston Martin Vulcan, the Koenigsegg Regera, the Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4 and the McLaren 12C Spider.
The January 2016 update added the Ford Mustang GT Premium and the 2016 Ford Shelby GT350R. The February 2016 update added seven 2016-spec NASCAR race cars (two new variations each of the Toyota Camry and the Ford Fusion, as well as three new variations of the Chevrolet SS), the Lamborghini Sesto Elemento, and the Daytona International Speedway track. The April 2016 update added new manufacturer Hennessey Performance Engineering, with the addition of the Venom GT, and also added the BMW 3.0 CSL and the 2015 BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage R. The May 2016 update added new manufacturer Jaguar, along with the C-X75, and also added the Ford GT Le Mans, the 2016 Porsche 911 RSR, the Ferrari 488 GTE, and the Chevrolet Corvette C7.R. The June 2016 update added new manufacturer Lotus, with the addition of the 3-Eleven, the Exige S 360 Cup, and the Type 125, and also added the Ferrari FXX-K. The August 2016 update added three new Jaguar cars (the F-Type SVR, the Lightweight E-Type, and the XJ220), and also added the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and the Porsche 911 Carrera S, and a Samsung livery for the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3. The September 2016 update added three Supercars race cars: the Ford Falcon FG X, the Nissan Altima and the Holden Commodore VF; as well as the Ferrari F12tdf and a Samsung livery for the Audi R8 V10 Spyder. The November 2016 update introduced 3 new McLaren cars, in the form of the MP4-X, the 570GT, and the 675LT. The December 2016 update added the Mercedes-AMG GT3 and the Spark-Renault SRT 01E Formula E race car (three variations) with a new game mode ("Formula E"), as well as the Hong Kong Central Harbourfront Circuit.
The January 2017 update added R3 spec editions of the Lamborghini Huracán and the Ford Shelby GT350R, as well as the Renault Sport Mégane R.S. 275 Trophy-R and the Mercedes-AMG A45. The February 2017 update added two 2017-spec NASCAR cars, the Porsche Cayman S, and the Lamborghini Centenario. The April 2017 update added the Koenigsegg One:1, the Nissan Skyline 2000 GT-R and the Nissan Skyline GT-R Group A. The May 2017 update added new manufacturer Mazda, with the addition of the 787B; as well as the Jaguar XJR-9, the Porsche 962, the 2017 Porsche 911 RSR and one 2017-spec NASCAR car. The July 2017 update added three new Mazda cars (the RX-3, the RX-7 Spirit R (FD), and the Furai), and also added the R3 spec edition of the Jaguar C-X75. The September 2017 Update added three 2017 spec Supercars and the McLaren 720S. The October 2017 update added the Aston Martin One-77, the Aston Martin Vantage AMR Pro, the Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo EVO and the Jaguar XE SV Project 8. The December 2017 updated added Red Bull Ring, the McLaren MP4/4, the Lamborghini Huracán Performante, an R3 Spec edition of the Nissan Silvia, and the 2017 Ford GT.
The January 2018 update added no new cars, but introduced 3 Limited Time Series for the Jaguar C-X75, McLaren 570GT, and Lamborghini Miura. The February 2018 update added 3 2018-spec NASCAR cars, the 2017 Aston Martin Vantage GTE, the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro SS and the 1967 Chevrolet Camaro SS. The March 2018 update added the Ferrari Testarossa, Ferrari J50, Ferrari 812 Superfast, and Ferrari F430; as well as a Limited Time Series for the Ferrari F12berlinetta.
|Real Racing 3|
Real Racing 3 received mixed reviews. Critics praised the game's twenty-two car grid, its improved graphics and the addition of real-world tracks, but many were heavily critical of the game's freemium business model. The iOS version holds aggregate scores of 70 out of 100 on Metacritic, based on thirty reviews (compared to scores of 88 and 94 for its predecessors).
Eurogamer's Martin Robinson was extremely critical, scoring the game 3 out of 10. He praised the gameplay, graphics, sound, use of real world tracks, controls and the TSM system, but felt every positive aspect of the game was negated by the freemium model;
"At a time when the gaming world is finally comfortable with the idea of a triple-A mobile game, Real Racing 3 should have been a triumphant affirmation of a point made convincingly enough by the first game in the series. Instead, it's been strangled by the tentacles of gaming's next unconquerable: free-to-play. If games like Dota and Tribes are the warm, welcoming faces of free-to-play, then Real Racing 3 is the grotesque polar opposite, the snarling grinch that's the embodiment of every sceptic's worst nightmare. It's cynical, it's nasty and it's hard-wired into the very fabric of the game, making it totally unavoidable [...] There's a good game somewhere within Real Racing 3 - and there are plenty of free-to-play games that prove this model can work while respecting the player. Firemonkeys and EA have got that balance horribly, horribly wrong, to an extent where the business model becomes the game - with gut-wrenching results."
AppSpy's Andrew Nesvadba, while less critical, scoring the game 3 out of 5, also derided the in-app purchase system, which he called "all but impenetrable" and "designed to exact payment from the player over and over again." Macworld's Chris Holt also scored the game 3 out of 5. He praised the gameplay and graphics, but, like AppSpy, he was critical of the in-app purchase system; "EA has taken the air out of the tires of Real Racing 3's lightning quick gameplay, effectively turning one of the best iOS games on the market into a frustrating, stop-and-go test on your patience." Slide to Play's Shawn Leonard gave the game a rating of 2 out of 4, praising the game's visuals and gameplay, but criticising the freemium model, the TSM system, and the "painfully long" wait times. He wrote, "the reality is that Real Racing 3 is a high-profile business experiment gone wrong."
IGN's Justin Davis, on the other hand, awarded a score of 9.1 out of 10, and an "Editor's Choice" award, arguing that the game was an example of "freemium racing done right." Davis felt that the freemium model was aimed mainly at impatient gamers, as he had not spent any real-world money during his playtest, and noted that wait times became less odious once a player had several vehicles so they could race one while another was undergoing maintenance. He praised the integration of the freemium model, arguing that "Freemium games have to implement their business model in a way that doesn't unbalance the gameplay, and they have to have gameplay high-quality enough to be worth everyone's time to begin with. Real Racing 3 succeeds brilliantly on both counts." Edge scored the game 6 out of 10, and although they were critical of the waiting times, they also felt that the players' desires to avoid such waiting times added to the realism of the gameplay; "Firemonkeys has done an admirable job of folding those paywalls into the gameplay. Having to keep your car serviced to maintain peak performance strengthens Real Racing's sim aspirations, while the need to pay for repairs encourages more thoughtful driving and adds a real-world layer of peril to overtaking."
Rob Rich of 148Apps scored the game 4.5 out of 5, arguing that "the important thing to note is that Real Racing 3 is very, very awesome." He was critical of the TSM system, which he found "underwhelming", but he praised the graphics and defended the freemium model; "rather than create a paywall or punish frugal iOS gamers, Firemonkeys has created a much friendlier model in theory that ties all real time waiting and premium currency to maintenance and repairs." Pocket Gamer's Peter Willington was also impressed, scoring the game 9 out of 10 and giving it a "Gold Award", although he was critical of the TSM system, saying the game "lacks a real multiplayer mode."
TouchArcade's Eli Hodapp scored the game 4 out of 5. He praised many aspects, including the graphics, gameplay and presentation, but was critical of how integral to the experience of playing the in-app purchasing was; "everything in the game is better than its predecessors, except how much you'll need to fork out if you want to play it [...] Real Racing 3 is as much a waiting game as it is a racing game." TouchGen's Kevin Moore also scored the game 4 out of 5. He was especially impressed with the graphics and the range of races, tracks and cars. However, he criticised the TSM system and the freemium model; "Real Racing 3 is a great looking, great playing title which oozes slickness and class. It has a metric tonne of events to keep you playing, and is easily the best of its type on the App Store. Which makes the move to freemium feel like a cheapening of the brand."
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