Asphalt 8: Airborne is a part of one of the best known racing series out there. We usually identify mobile racing games with the names Asphalt, or NFS. As a result, Airborne carries a lot of expectations from the series’ user base considering how good its predecessor was. So, here’s a look at the game.
As a player, you can choose from different game modes – Quick Solo race, Multiplayer, Local WiFi and the whole Career Mode. The mission in the game, just like any other arcade racing game, is to finish first, while collecting a few bonuses, hitting your enemies. Talking about the gameplay, the game offers ramps for your car to be jumping (up in the air – Airborne) and getting your timing right to get the most out of the jump, and drifts are also a part of the whole terrain racing.
The more traffic lights you break, drifts you make, wreck your opponents, win more races, better it’s for you, especially in the Career mode, to earn more stars. You get to choose from a lot of cars in your racing career. Huge and some classic cars, of course you can buy them using your stars or you can also opt for in-app purchase (which were quite expensive), same for upgrades. The controls are pretty basic – tilt to steer your car, press on your left to apply breaks, and press on your right on the screen to release a nitro boost. While these controls are straightforward, winning a race isn’t. I was quite surprised that how difficult it is to overtake your opponents. At times, without applying a couple of nitro boosts, you wouldn’t even get to notice where and how ahead are your opponents are from you in the race. Try upgrading, but I gues you are still going to realise that the game makes is pretty hard (for no definite reason?) for you to complete ranked first. The trick might be to have really well-timed nitro boosts, jumps off several ramps, and wreck a few of your opponents’ cars in your way. Make sure your own car doesn’t completely wreck, or prepare to waste a second or two and lose out on any momentum you had in the race. Probably because of this difficulty reason, you should try your hands on the Multiplayer mode, for there are similar players who would be playing and not a pre-programmed strategy computer. It could be more fun for you. Apart from modes, there are also scenes to select, which make up for nice refreshing tracks and scenes for racing.
Talking about the game’s graphics, you get to choose from three types of settings. If you have got the required hardware, play the top one and check that the game has graphics covered. Playing it on a Sony Xperia Z1, I hardly saw any frame rate drops, and the game played pretty smoothly overall. Though there was a minor hiccup when speeding, you just sometimes don’t get the feeling that yes, your car is actually going over 200. Might be just me here, though. Other than that complaint, the graphics part is done pretty well, and, though, not much stretched from its predecessor, it probably didn’t need to be.
As far as sound goes, there are again three options – Rock, Electronic, and Bass. The Rock (my preference here) gelled well with the game, and Electronics, too, seems to sound really nice. The cars engines sound very realistic, and overall, mix well with the whole theme. There are a few really good tracks included.
In conclusion, Airborne is a very good and graphics-intensive racing game that may not be a jump from its predecessor, but it does its job of keeping the user base interested with some added stunts and decent sound mixes.