Race-Illegal--High-Speed-3D-iOS-Review Race Illegal: High Speed 3D iOS Review

   24/09/2011 at 13:40       Flying_Pig       5 COMMENTS. - Score 2/5
 - Race Illegal: High Speed 3D, Street Racing, Cars, iOS

In a genre as crowded as arcade racers on the App Store, a game has to offer something special or unique to pull ahead of the pack. Race Illegal: High Speed 3D is a game which appears to have been designed by a committee determined to tick boxes; while the majority of genre stalwarts are evident here there is nothing which sets it apart from its peers.

Race Illegal: High Speed 3D is an arcade racing game where you tear around a variety of tracks and environments in a range of (unlicensed) sports cars on a quest for first place. As you progress and win races, you can use the money you win to either tune your existing motor or buy a shiny new model. The car selection itself is fairly limited and uninspiring and petrol heads will be disappointed by the modest amount of generic upgrades you can make.

The racing itself can best be described as solid, but unspectacular and a gripe I have is that first place is the only acceptable result, meaning that only a win will allow you to progress. Added to this is the fact that much of the time you only have one race open to you, resulting in a frustrating position of being unable to move forward because you can’t win a particular race.

Now, I consider myself to be pretty proficient at racing games, but damn this game is really tough. Even on the Easy setting, all too often a perfect race is not enough to deliver a win. The reason for this ‘difficulty’ is actually down to the game’s awful rubber-banding – it’s so tight that if you crash the other cars slow to a virtual stop while you catch up, and equally no matter how well you drive, your opponents are always right behind you and somehow have the ability to cruise past you, even when you’re flat out.

To add insult to injury, the opponent AI is ridiculously aggressive, seeming more intent on driving into you than actually racing, ramming into you at every possible opportunity. This wouldn’t be too bad if it only happened occasionally, but you’re faced with this almost constantly throughout each race.

The rubber-banding and belligerent AI forces you into a simple and effective, yet dull, strategy to winning races – simply invest all of your money in the best car or most upgrades you can afford; boost to the front at the beginning of the race, and hold on to first position. Skillfully working your way through the pack is not really an option, so it feels as though every win is though horsepower, rather than racing ability – eliminating any challenge or enjoyment.

All too often iOS games are hampered by poor controls in the absence of real buttons. Race Illegal actually does very well in this regard with simple, yet effective controls. Steering can be controlled either by tilting your iPhone/iPad left or right, tapping either side of the screen, or using a virtual steering wheel. The first two are both sufficiently sensitive and responsive to give you a good feel of being in control.

The graphics in Race Illegal are much like its racing; solid, but unspectacular. It certainly won’t blow you away, with blocky car models and some occasionally ugly trackside furniture. That said, there are some lovely lighting effects, with really raise the overall graphical bar for this game. This, however, seems to the at the expense of some performance – even on my iPhone4 the game suffers from too- frequent frame stutter, which actually gets worse the further through the game you get.

On the face of it Race Illegal should be a fun arcade racer, and while it certainly has its moments, most of the enjoyment is ruined by the terrible rubber-banding. In the face of such stiff competition from other more established IPs, Race Illegal: High Speed 3D needed to either excel or offer something different. In truth it fails on both accounts, so while the current 69p price point may be tempting, you would do far better to spend a little bit more and get a much better racer.

User Comments:

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TheBoy - on 24/09/2011 at 20:09 wrote:
Good review F_P. I can't think of one iOS arcade racer that I've managed to get on with. Even Real Racing I struggled to get to grips with. It's one genre where a the absence of a real pad totally scuppers me.

HairyArse - on 24/09/2011 at 20:36 wrote:
The best racer on iOS is Revs, simply because the developer made the controls fit. Auto acceleration, tap the left hand side to steer left, the right hand side to steer right.

Flying_Pig - on 24/09/2011 at 22:34 wrote:
Hairy - fortunately Race Illegal gives you this exact option, and is the one I favoured. It's one of the few things the game does really well.

kentmonkey - on 25/09/2011 at 11:25 wrote:
Doesn't Asphalt 6 also give you the exact same option?

Xariton - on 22/01/2013 at 13:02 wrote:
Update is out in the AppStore v1.2.2
• Online multiplayer compatible with Mac
• Local wifi/bluetooth multiplayer
• Game Center 4 players multiplayer
• iPhone 5 and The New iPad support
• iOS 6.x support

5 comment(s) in total.
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