Asphalt 8 Makes Us Flip
Gameloft's Asphalt franchise has about as much in common with Sony's Gran Turismo as Sega's After Burner does with Microsoft Flight Simulator. Similar genres but different styles of play. Whereas GT favors hardcore simulation racing, Asphalt was born from arcade titles like San Francisco Rush and Cruis'n USA, games that ditched strict rules in favor of over-the-top high-speed fun.
With this in mind, Asphalt 8 follows in its predecessors' footsteps, but it's much crazier. Yes, you still get to drive 47 real world sports cars; in this case, the Lamborghini Veneno and Bugatti Veyron. That being said, you've probably never flipped a Corvette C7 360 degrees through a smoke trail left behind by a space shuttle.
This is where Asphalt 8 separates itself from the games that came before it. During the course of a race, you have opportunities to launch the car off ramps that not only send it through the air, but also spinning through elaborate set pieces that instill a cool sense of discovery with each new course.
That didn't prevent the developers from avoiding realism altogether. In fact, the game's significantly more unforgiving when it comes to clipping objects and rival drivers, where hitting something will in most cases wreck your vehicle; we did this after smacking into a rather large dump truck that rolled onto the track.
Whether or not the publisher can strike a perfect balance between realism and arcade shenanigans remains to be seen, but we had a blast with the demo, and hope the rest of Asphalt 8 is just as good. Find out this July when the game debuts on iOS and Android devices with online/asynchronous racing and a plethora of new locations to explore, including Venice and the Nevada Desert.