Real Racing 3: Mobile Gaming's Gran Turismo, With One Key Exception
This stunning racer already looks better than most portable driving sims. Even better, you won't grow noticeably old waiting for it.
During Electronic Arts' summer showcase, it was difficult to avoid drooling all over Real Racing 3. The trailer, while brief, featured graphics that made us do double, triple and even quadruple takes. It's crazy how close to photorealism this series gets, considering it runs on smartphones and tablets. Some little racing game? Try a legitimate threat to the console business. How do Sony and Microsoft hope to compete with a game that looks similar to Gran Turismo and Forza, but will also cost significantly less to boot?
Yes, we know. Real Racing 3's visuals don't hold a candle to those console franchises, and sure, it probably won't have nearly as many features, which isn't necessarily important when you consider that the included real world cars will run the proverbial gamut of favorites from Porsche, Dodge and Audi, among other manufacturers. On that note, Gran Turismo fans, you can keep the Honda Civic.
Speaking of Gran Turismo, each new Real Racing title rekindles fond memories of the GT's of old, most notably the first three entries, each one pushing the envelope of what people assumed was possible in a driving simulator. Except there's one key difference. The talented developers behind Real Racing can release a sequel much quicker than Polyphony Digital. Consider the fact that Gran Turismo 4 debuted in 2005, and Gran Turismo 5 appeared in 2010. In this five-year gap, lives change. You can attend and graduate college, get married and have a baby within this window of time. Meanwhile, both Sony and Polyphony leave the door wide open for competitors like Microsoft and Turn 10 Studios to make Gran Turismo look outdated by comparison.
Real Racing games, meanwhile, take little over a year to complete while maintaining their dominance across iOS and Android, and when competition appears, the developers (in the case of Real Racing 3, Firemonkeys), can make tweaks behind the scenes to improve the experience.
Real Racing also benefits from a quicker hardware cycle, a much easier platform in iOS to program for and cheaper development costs. It's a foregone conclusion that Apple will release a new iPhone and iPad regularly, giving Firemonkeys a new toy to play with.
Don't get us wrong. We dare not say Real Racing 3 will be superior to Gran Turismo 5, but considering how long it took for Polyphony to bring GT to PSP (announced in 2004, released in 2009), this is just one more example of how mobile developers are able to innovate and bring product to market on a more consistent basis. Ultimately, players benefit most, and on that note, we cannot wait to play Real Racing 3.