If it ain’t broke‚Ä¶
Gameloft’s GT Racing 2: The Real Car Experience comes packed with a sense of familiarity. As I sat down to play my first race, I caught myself ignoring most of the tips and guides. I hardly read anything while navigating the menus because everything was laid out in the way I expected. When the game was walking me through my first car purchase, I breezed through it because it felt like I had done it all before.
In fact, I had done it all before. In sports, coaches usually operate under the idea of “if it works, we’ll keep doing it until it fails.” With GT Racing 2, Gameloft has shown commitment to that plan, and everything works the way it’s expected. Right from the start, if you’ve played any other recent racer, such as Real Racing 3, you’ll know what to expect. In some cases, such extreme familiarity can lead to a game’s demise. GT Racing 2 is polished and fun enough to overcome this obstacle.
Despite the constant feeling of familiarity, GT Racing 2 doesn’t assume you’ve played any other mobile racer. It does a fine job walking you through the start without becoming overbearing or boring for those experienced with the genre. I never found myself growing impatient with the tutorial or grumbling about not being able to skip it. I only wanted to keep racing, and I was in luck.
Obviously, racing is a key component to GT Racing 2, and on that end, it excels. The numerous control schemes all work well, though the default tilt control feels like the way the game is meant to be played. There’s braking and steering assistance, which can be disabled at the start of every race. The heads-up display is standard fare, complete with a speedometer, lap and position counters, and a mini-map. The one unique feature is the guide line. As you drive, you’ll notice a green line on the road. This is Gameloft’s idea path for players to take, thus optimizing their performance.
The campaign is about what anybody would expect. There are numerous circuits available, many of which require a specific car. As you win races, you’ll earn stars and gold. Gold can be used to purchase upgrades and new cars, while stars will unlock more challenging circuits, including those that are not model-exclusive. Again, nothing about this feels original, but it’s a system that works.
Upgrades and purchases bring nothing too new to the table. There are a ton of cars available, ranging from a Volkswagen Golf to a Lamborghini Sesto Elemento. Before races, you can purchase slight boosts to help your performance. Between races, you can purchase permanent upgrade that increase abilities like speed, acceleration, and turning. There will be the occasional long wait due to limited resources, but there’s always the option to use premium currency to instantly finish upgrades.
Multiplayer is the typical setup of racing against other players’ vehicles. There are both standard races and pro challenges, which remove the steering and braking assists. Multiplayer doesn’t feel like anything special, but the Platinum Series will tempt serious players. If you own the appropriate car, you can test your ability in a series of difficult races. Earning enough stars can land big prizes, including a classic car. The Platinum Series is GT Racing 2‘s timed event, and it’s a great idea for hardcore players.
If you’re strongly attached to another racing game, switching to GT Racing 2: The Real Car Experience will be a hard sell, despite its lack of price tag. For those open to a new racing experience, this one is well worth a shot. I can’t promise it’ll grab your interest in the same way other great mobile racers have, but it has all the elements and polish that those titles do. It may not be anything original, but it’s a lot of fun.