Time to burn some rubber
Race illegal high speed 3D, a catchy title? No, not really, but it won’t matter if the game is good. Do you like arcade style racing? Beating your way up to the top? Tuning your racer, feeling the soft leather on your hands (!?), then read on, because apparently this game has it all.
Story and Gameplay
You find yourself in a corrupted city where street races are supposed to be illegal, but the government decides to tolerate them for a fair compensation. The top dogs from the Raven clan are ruling the streets. As a newcomer you are joining the Lightning clan, but your brother suffers a terrible racing accident and ends up in the local hospital and it’s up to you to get the necessary money and pay the expenses…
The career mode is divided in two parts, street racing, where you meet new contacts and the championship mode. You will keep switching between them as you progress through the story since you need to make new contacts in order to unlock the next set of tournaments.
There are total of three car tiers and each cup requires you to have the appropriate tier car already bought in order to race. You can paint or upgrade your car in the garage. While painting is optional, upgrading is not. When you start to struggle to keep up with the opponents, it is time to upgrade. Upgrades (or tuning as the game likes to call them) include speed, steer, acceleration and turbo and each of them have five levels of upgrade. That’s about it, there is no micro management of the installed parts, or fine tuning your tires. There are total 20 tracks and 9 cars at your disposal.
Tracks are not very hard to master, corners are wide and the minimap does excellent job showing you the next one. Opposing drivers are a different story. I have never seen any of them bumping each other (or crashing in anything for that matter), until you get close to someone or try to overtake him. Then they go crazy. Even if you intend to to a clean takeover with reasonable distance, the CPU controlled driver will try to crash into your car in order to stop you, while other drivers are passing by unnoticed, but when you crash into something, they will politely slow down.
The turbo bar is somewhat suspicious as well. I couldn’t find out how on earth does it recharge. Overtakes, risky maneuvers, or oncoming traffic will leave it empty, but it will fully recharge when you do something stupid like hitting a palm tree. On the bright side, Race Illegal: High Speed 3D supports the recently introduced Android achievements system, offering total of 30 achievements for you to chase for.
Graphics, performance and Sound
Race Illegal’s graphic engine screams arcade. I must admit I do enjoy cartoonish graphics with strong saturated colors, so I did find this game pretty to watch. Yes, the cars are blocky, scenery is a bit boring, hills lack polygons, but the lighting, the bloom, the colors and the tiny details on every map are simply compensating for all that. Now, here is the problem. All those effects are hitting hard on your CPU and GPU. The game can be slow. You will most likely have to turn off motion blur and bloom to make it run smoothly, unless you have some really high-end phone or tablet at your disposal.
The sound in Race illegal high speed 3D is mediocre at best. The sound effects are decent, however the music tracks are terrible. You have couple of genres at your disposal, like “Light Drum”, “Electronic”, “Rock”, but I found all of them annoying and more importantly distracting.
There are three possible control schemes in this game, accelerometer tilt, screen tap and virtual wheel. All of them support sensitivity adjustment. The tilt mode is the only mode that offers manual acceleration, and it works pretty decent. The screen tap scheme tries to simulate analog input as the inner part of the screen makes the car turn slightly and progresses more as you move your finger toward the outer edge. I found the screen tap to be most adequate choice for me. You can also combine screen tap and virtual wheel with your accelerometer to improve sensitivity and precision.
The game is ad supported, unless you pay the asking price to remove them. They generally do not get in the way unless you play in the drift mode, where the ad covers the score part of the screen. Fortunately they disappear and reappear all the time, so you are permitted to take a peek at your current score now and then.
Furthermore, there are micro transactions. To access all the modes in quick race, without fully playing through the career mode first, you will have to pay. Exceptions are decals that can only be unlocked by buying them, however those are only visual enhancements.
Where Race Illegal fails, it makes up with the great multiplayer mode over the internet. You can host your own game, or join one from the lobby. The connection was stable and I didn’t notice any lag or dropped connections even while playing over 3G.
Race Illegal: High Speed 3D is an arcade racer, the kind we rarely see on any platform lately. Even with all the cons taken into account, the game can offer some pretty decent gameplay. As the initial game is free, give it a try, if you like story driven high speed arcade racers you may just like it.
|Arcade racer||Terrible AI|
|OVERALL SCORE 6.0|