Real Racing 3 hands-on

By , Feb 14, 2013

EA surprised us and dropped the Firemonkeys developed Real Racing 3 a few weeks earlier than its scheduled release in some territories. We were fortunate enough to be able to go hands-on with the highly anticipated sequel to iOS’ darling racing game franchise.

While we’re just beginning to progress through the game, some things were readily apparent. Yes, Real Racing 3 is a so-called freemium game, and EA is hoping that you will open your wallets as you make speedy progress through the game. We also found that the “online” experience is heavily watered down. In fact, I’d hesitate to actually call it online at all, as it’s actually more of an asynchronous affair, which pits you against your friend’s “ghost” racers instead.

Although the freemium aspect and the lack of true realtime head-to-head play may disappoint, the game tries to make up for it with its stunning visuals. This is hands-down the best looking iOS game I’ve ever seen or played. It’s just an absolute visual overdose. The game looks wonderful on the iPad mini, and the iPhone 4, but to really appreciate its beauty, fire it up on a Retina enabled full-sized iPad. Trust me when I say this, you’ll be picking your jaw up off the floor.

Real Racing 3 03

The gameplay mechanics are classic Real Racing — an experience that opts for a simulation approach, instead of the run and gun arcade gameplay of Need for Speed or an entry in the longwinded Asphalt series. Controls are as tight as ever, and require braking, careful steering, and an overall attention to detail. Fans of the Gran Turismo franchise will feel quite at home with Real Racing 3.

Real Racing 3 01

Real Racing 3 is also heavy on the content. In total, there are nearly four-dozen officially licensed cars, ranging from modest entries to the most exotic flavor of vehicle out there. The Firemonkeys took cues from games like Need For Speed, and immediately place you right into the action in order to get your feet wet. Be rest assured that there’s a ton of content awaiting you after you take your initial spin.

Real Racing 3 04

Tracks are quite varied and include locations that span the globe, and they are just as impressive from a visual standpoint as the vehicles themselves. The locals include popular areas like the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and Silverstone.

Real Racing 3 05

Real Racing 2 featured car damage, but the damage is taken to a whole new level this time around. The most obvious addition is the new persistent damage feature. Persistent damage forces you to make costly repairs on your vehicle, or else continue to reap the negative benefits of the damage throughout future races.

Real Racing 3 02

Obviously I have a few beefs with the approach that EA decided to take with real Racing 3, but there’s no denying that this is a console level title with console amounts of polish. It’s just too bad that EA had to skimp on the game’s online aspects and force freemium play down its customer’s throats. It would have been much more satisfying to have been able to purchase the game outright and enjoy true head-to-head battles with friends. As it stands, you should definitely take Real Racing 3 for a spin once it is available in your country. Despite its glaring flaws, it can hold its own on visual and gameplay merits alone.

We’ll be back with more Real Racing 3 coverage in the near future. For now, enjoy our video hands-on above.

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  • http://twitter.com/trenton2u Trenton

    When is it coming to the US store?

    • Jeff

      The release date is february 28th, two weeks from today. I could see EA pushing up the release date though.

      • http://twitter.com/messi96150 Dragonballz

        How did you get the real racing 3 early if you live in the USA

      • harit7

        Exactly.?

      • http://www.facebook.com/siggen Sigurd Bøe

        Make a Australian iTunes account,
        Loggout from app store, logg in to your alternate account, download, logg out, then logg in to your real account again.

      • http://djterm.de/ Robo Term

        but keep in mind that you have to re-enter the login details of the “new australian/new-zealandian” at the 1st time of game starts.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001809600195 Nada Tosnas

        There’s a fabulous thing called Goggle… I’m surprised you haven’t heard about it ;-)

        Adding to Sigurd’s advice, you could also just change the nationality of an alternate account (I changed my Canadian account to NZ – I also have a US account). No app/game can be released in the world that I cannot get ;-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/liamsagooch Liam Googolplex Merlyn

    Jeff, could you put up a list of everything that needs purchasing through in-app? Thanks ol’ chap :D

    • http://djterm.de/ Robo Term

      you don’t need to purchase anything if you don’t like to.

      you can buy money of course if you want to buy a new car, but you dont have to.

      but there’s something new in rr3: cars can get damaged and you have to repair. each repair needs some time and so it’s possible that you have to wait about 5-6 min to finish the repairs so that you can go on racing.
      if you don’t want to wait you can use coins (i dont remember exactly the name) to accelerate the repairs. you earn these coins by winning cups etc. or you can purchase these coins in the app.

      and that’s it.

      • http://www.facebook.com/liamsagooch Liam Googolplex Merlyn

        Oh I know I don’t have to, I was just curious as to what in-apps there are. Thanks for that. It’s kind of annoying having to wait for repairs, reminds me of that CSR game.

      • phatmanjr.

        Yeah, there are in-app purchases for CSR too. But, it’s harder to make progress if you don’t want to spend any money.

      • seyss

        EA holds your game purchases hostage for a long time. you must pay EA to get your purchased goods back

        you call that “not needing to purchase anything” ?

      • http://djterm.de/ Robo Term

        I just gave a little explanation to a simple question after some minutes of game play. And I really dunno wtf u r talking about. Hostages? Pay EA to get back???
        Calm down and write EA but keep in mind that I m not responsible for your problems.

      • seyss

        I’m using IAPfree.. so I don’t have any of the problems you hope I have

      • http://djterm.de/ Robo Term

        I hope you have????
        Wtf?
        Is this the usual iDB fanboy conversation? If so, I will stop reading iDB because I got better things to do than talking with piracy fanboys like you.

    • http://twitter.com/NerFTed Jason Duong

      You can purchase,
      (R$ is the in game currency).

      R$ 50,000 – $1.99
      R$ 140,000 – $5.49
      R$ 300,000 – $10.49
      R$ 700,000 – $20.99
      R$ 2,000,000 – $51.99
      R$ 5,000,000 – $109.99

      You can also do surveys to earn more gold or you can purchase them for:
      (Gold is the premium currency in this game).

      Gold 10 – $1.99
      Gold 30 – $5.49
      Gold 65 – $10.49
      Gold 150 – $20.99
      Gold 400 – $51.99
      Gold 1000 – $109.99
      _________________________________________________________

      You can also purchase booster packs.
      (Boosters packs are to unlock cars, maps and gold).
      Umm…. I used iAP Free to buy them all, now they only say purchased. LOLS.

      FYI, I would’ve been more then happy to pay $10’s for this game.
      _________________________________________________________

      Street Spec Booster Pack – about $5
      1 Car – 2008 BMW Z4 M Coupe
      3 Series Unlocked – Street-Spec Skirmish, Road Car International and Prime Production Match-up
      Gold 5

      Race Car Booster Pack – about $5
      1 Car – 2010 Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR-X
      2 Series Unlocked – Accolade Open and V10 Grand Open
      Gold 65

      Racing Spec Collector – about $10
      3 Cars – 2011 Nissan JR Motorsports GT-R GT1, 2010 BMW M3 GT2 ALMS and 2009 Lamborghini Gallardo
      5 Series Unlocked – GT1 Grand Tour, Global GT Clash, Accolade Open, GT3 World Series and V10 Grand Open
      Gold 10

      Supercar Booster Pack – about $15
      1 Car – 2006 Ford GT
      2 Series Unlocked – Pro.Am Supercar Club and V8 Performance Brawl
      Gold 30

      All Classes Pack – about $20
      3 Cars – 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8, 2013 Audi R8 V10 Coupe and 2010 Porsche GT3 Cup
      6 Series Unlocked – Performance Rumble, V8 Muscle Hustle, Supercar Masters Series, V10 Showdown Series, GT3 World Series and East/West Throwdown
      Gold 5

      And then there’s one more pack sneaked in,
      Currency Pack – $5.49
      Gold 20
      R$ 100,000.

    • http://djterm.de/ Robo Term

      Btw: you receive a push msg that the repair is finished if you left the game during car repair. Even on the lock screen.

  • http://twitter.com/cheeyuyanggg Chee Yu Yang

    cant wait for it come out in the US store !

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=540767290 Andrieux Querido

    NOOOOO FREMIUMM NOOOOO

    • phatmanjr.

      Yeah, I’d rather pay 5 dollars for the game.

    • Eric Su

      WHAT HAVE YOU DONE EA????

  • http://twitter.com/MLGJeanmarc JeanMarc

    The game is good, but the in app purchases are annoying.

    • smtp25

      1,000,000 or so dollars is 64$. 124$ for 500 gold or something like that… Mega expensive

  • seyss

    as some guy said in the 1st RR3 iDB post:
    (im usually against this but in this case… making us WAIT for getting the item we paid REAL MONEY for? FU)

    “just confirmed: IAPFree 3.3 (from insanelyi repo) works with RR3… get all the “gold” and cash you need.. lol good riddance IAP whore companies”

    • Ádám Váradi

      How can U use it? For me it does’t work.

  • Erven

    Will be available on 3gs?

    • http://www.facebook.com/liamsagooch Liam Googolplex Merlyn

      I believe the 3GS can run iOS6 so it should work, albeit pretty badly

      • beachdude

        No, it will not be available for the 3gs. You can check from the new zealand app store. Its available right now in there.

      • beachdude

        I’m glad to tell you guys that even though the game is not mentioned in the supported devices in NZ app store, I did install it anyway and the game is running on my 3gs just fine.

  • Ádám Váradi

    lol, firemonkey instantly deleted my post on theyr website…

    • http://www.facebook.com/liamsagooch Liam Googolplex Merlyn

      What did the post say?

      • Ádám Váradi

        That this game is a bad idea. The game is good but thanks to EA it has been ruined. :-)

      • http://www.facebook.com/liamsagooch Liam Googolplex Merlyn

        Wow and they deleted that? It’s like living in Korea. God damned communism

  • http://twitter.com/Chattownwes Wes Bennett

    The visuals are amazing. Never thought games could look like this on a mobile device. Btw a simple google search could fix the problem with the in-app purchases dilemma….wink wink.

    • Damian W

      yes, it did very well. Now I owe 200 million and same for gold :)

  • Damian W

    shame this game is so expensive. Thank god there is a way to bypass it :D

  • http://www.facebook.com/Nasser1510 Nasser Cedeño

    Jeff Is A good Driver lol…

    • http://twitter.com/NerFTed Jason Duong

      There’s brake assist, and steer assist in the game.

  • http://twitter.com/Zeq2Mapper Zhane’o Newbold

    LOL I’ve got Real racing 3. Its SO amazing! Someone cracked it already, where you have 25Mil dollars and 20k Golds. I’ve bought so many cars etc all of them are fully upgraded thanks for the crack :P :P But everytime i exit the app, NOTHING saves,,,ANY IDEA WHY?

    • Falk M.

      Sounds a lot like you answered your own question there, buddy…

      • sambuzzlight

        this.. +1

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

    um did he really just demo the best looking IOS game on a non retina crappy ipad mini????? WTF?? dude could you use the ipad 4 for this please..

    • Jeff

      You wouldn’t be able to tell from a video anyway, and the screenshots above are from the Retina version.

    • John156

      Oh no he showed the best looking iOS game on a non retina crappy iPad Mini! Go cry about it.

  • http://twitter.com/AlanJLucero 〖✞ɑʟɑɳ♚〗

    Meh… I’ll be fine just sticking to my need for speed most wanted (:

  • Damian W

    One word for this greedy case. Iapfree

  • http://www.youtube.com/RocketSledder77 Michael Noriega

    I cannot find it on the App Store.

  • 4p0c4lyps3

    I’m willing to bet tht there still is no option to shift gears manually. So f’n LAME. Nothing more unchallenging than racing an automatic gearbox. Simply pathetic. I’m hoping I’m wrong, but I’d bet the bank there’s no manual gearbox.

  • iPhonelover

    How does it run on 4s? On my 4s the graphics are horrible and the game is laggy, not even close to smooth.. Is this problem only on my iPhone? Do you guys think it’s normal?

  • disqusted

    When will this be available on Sega Genesis and/or Sega CD? I need something new, I’m growing tired of Altered Beast and Night Trap.

    See, you probably need to be in your early 30’s or so to fully appreciate that one…

  • ElXlR ELXLR

    Remove the spaces and help yourself , i may be Bned dang!!

    http: //bb s.wei phon e. co m/job.php?action=do wnloa d&aid=4550638

  • Eddyededdy

    Id be carefull to use this awesome Game guys.
    Read the privacy rules that you Must accept to Play.sounds to me like they want to know alot of your private stuff. Also says there is an anti fraud Software in use to monitor you Using Cracks and Bugs like iapfree.they Even collect Data about your Other Apps/Games youre using.
    And Since you allow them in Order to Play they can exactly know who you are trying to steal iap stuff.think twice Maybe guys.
    Cuz with accepting the eula…
    They Gotcha by the Balls

  • haris Ali

    Again that Freemium crap!
    EA What have u done !!!!!!!!