For long, Real Racing was THE racing game on iOS and Android. But, mobile users now have another rather fun game that they can download. GT Racing 2 has very good graphics, an excellent range of cars and a variety of events. On the face of it, looks very similar to Real Racing 3 in the way the events are packaged, but there are fine differences.
GT Racing 2: The Real Car Experience, is an apt name for a game that does motor racing simulation as well as this. Have all the fun, without having to deal with real world issues - that is one premise which makes or breaks a game. Unlike Gameloft’s previous successful game title, Asphalt 8: Airborne, GT Racing 2 walks a different path. While Asphalt was all about crazy driving, trills and powerful graphics, very similar to the Real Racing game from the outset. With the latest iteration, Gameloft has ensured that the title takes the evolutionary next step - range of cars, tracks, interface and user involvement. GT Racing 2 isn’t anything like the street racers like Asphalt, and the essence is completely different. It is about more realistic physics, real world cars licensed and replicated in the game with as close to genuine dynamics as possible.
Real Racing 3 was a massive update over the previous version, and stormed the charts on the Apple App Store and also the Android Play Store. And with good reason. When it landed on the scene, the kind of package Real Racing 3 bought to mobile devices was previously unseen. At least for a racing game. Excellent graphics, licensed cars to keep the fans indulged and realism were limited to the PC and consoles till then.
Start playing GT Racing 2, and you'll notice that the load times are very similar to the Real Racing 3 title, on the same device. No game is at a disadvantage. You start off with a bunch of the lowest rung cars, and can make your way through a series of events you're eligible for, called campaigns in GT Racing 2 and challenges/series in Real Racing 3. Both games have a massive variety of tracks you can drive on. Different events happen on different circuits or tracks, which include famous ones like Laguna Seca in the US. Along the way, you will graduate to more expensive cars, which keep getting more and more exotic as you move along. However, the cars feel a lot more tame-able through the range. And that could be good news for casual gamers. But, Real Racing 3 does offer a bigger difference in the car’s performance, as you move up levels.
In Real Racing 3, there are many ways you unlock cars to run their dedicated events – cups, head to head challenges and even drag races, or by buying one of the cars available in the franchise to race universally. Also, when you do buy a car, any car specific events are unlocked. The moment you get enough money, we suggest you upgrade your car, because as the levels go up, the difference between your car and the opponents’ cars becomes more considerable. Not just cars, you will need to upgrade the components as well – engine, gearbox, brakes etc. The realism goes up the level that you periodically need to service the car as well! You may decide not to, but performance does suffer considerably.
Progressing in the game
You don’t really have too many options to play around with the settings of the car in either game, except that you can upgrade components using the in-game cash. Clearly, both developers wanted you to get down to racing straightaway, without distractions that may be too much for casual gamers. While that is fine, this is where the fine-print comes into the picture - both games are free to download, after all!
This is where the entire debate about the in-game purchases comes into the picture. Pay anything upwards for Rs 110 in GT Racing 2, in various slabs, and you can buy the in-game cash that will quicken the progress and help you buy better cars. For anyone who doesn’t wish to graduate through the levels to get to their favorite car, let's say the Nissan GT-R or the Bugatti Veyron, will have to pay big bucks to buy the in-game currency to unlock the vehicle. If we look at the example of the Veyron, for example, you need to be on level 2127 (marked with stars) to unlock it. Or, pay 5,772 of the in-game money. For this, you will have to buy the 7,500 package from the in-game store, which costs Rs 2,700.
This is pretty similar to what Real Racing 3 allows you to do, with the freemium method allowing in-game purchases to enhance progress and packs offering higher spec cars and exotics.
While there is no harm in having a shortcut to get to the next level, this does prove rather enticing for a lot of gamers, who then avoid the longer and more patient route, for the lure of quick results. But, it is a subjective matter whether someone gets enticed by it or not, but if one does fall for it, then it takes away from the entire experience of natural progression.
Racing - the thing that matters
Once you are on the trackin GT Racing 2, with the car, all these foibles can easily be forgotten, because the experience is fantastic. In some ways, it is an improvement over the already excellent Real Racing 3. Cars are extremely detailed and realistic, and tracks as well as the landscape look rich with elements. While this wasn’t always visible in Real Racing 3 in this detail, the different textures and colours of the track surface make GT Racing 2 a visual delight. The differences between the two games are not much, but enough to show a difference visually. And that is just one example of the brilliant graphics.
For those who are in it for fun, or don’t want the learning curve while playing Real Racing 3, driver assists for steering and slowing down in corners can be useful, but unlike some other games, don’t put you at a disadvantage. If you want to go down the inside of the guy in front of you at the next corner, you can pretty much do so without any problems. Car handling is fairly unique to each car in Real Racing 3. You can probably throw a hot hatchback around the corner by putting a bit too much rubber on the grass, but do that in a muscle car, and you will be spun around like a tumble drier. Acceleration seems to lag a bit in relation to the rivals off the line when Traction Control is activated, but the game gives you enough opportunity to come back at the guys ahead in the corners. The weird thing is that you start every race last on the grid! Even for the one to one challenges, you will start in second and last on the grid, and the rival will always start ahead.
In GT Racing 2, you don’t start last on the grid. And that may itself be a victory for some! Car handling is a lot easier to master, and off-track excursions result in lesser penalties - in terms of speed and time lost.
While Real Racing 3 disappointed when it came to car service and repair times, GT Racing 2 does the same for any upgrades you wish to install. This could be anywhere between 10 minutes to 2.5 hours. You can bypass that using the in-game currency, but if you happen to not have some in the bank, the wait is long and torturous. Thankfully though, GT Racing 2 does not have the damage and repair procedure after every race like Real Racing 3, which was also a time consuming process.
In-game screenshots from GT Racing 2.
In-car view in Real Racing 3 is extremely good.
One thing we really like about Real Racing 3 is the fact that they offer goodies and offers on a regular basis. Almost everyday, a notification pops up for extra bonus for racing then, some higher spec car available at a special price or even free limited edition cars - the Hyundai i20 WRC edition being the latest.
Which one to invest in?
While both games are excellent in terms of gameplay, the freemium basis does stretch the conventional progress times a tad more than would be ideal. You can just splash the cash, and take the easier route. However, the bunch of licensed cars are extremely detailed, and the circuits look brilliant. If you are in it as a casual gamer, we would recommend GT Racing 2, because it suits you better - easier to handle cars, good graphics and progress is relatively quicker than Real Racing. However, for the more immersive experience, we would recommend Real Racing 3. Distinct car characteristics in Real Racing 3 is something that avid gamers would appreciate.