Asphalt 8 Airborne Review

Are you looking for an Asphalt 8 Airborne review to help you make an informed decision? Asphalt 8: Airborne is the latest in mobile game juggernaut Gameloft’s extremely popular series of fast-paced and action packed arcade racing games. Since the release of the first game all the way back in 2004, Asphalt has been wildly popular. But how does the latest entry in the long-running series stack up against its increasingly stiff competition in the racing game scene? Let’s find out in this Asphalt 8 Airborne review.

Type of Game Racing
Developer Gameloft
Platforms iOS and Android
iTunes Download Page
Google Play Download Page
Free Yes

Your Mission

Much like other games in the series, Asphalt 8 Airborne is an arcade racing game without much to get in the way of the racing. There is a complex, but thankfully intuitive and addictive system of upgrades and additional cars to earn, but most of your time will be spent on the road. The game focuses on action packed and exciting racing over any sort of realism, a choice that allows it to deliver some of the most thrilling game play of any racing game, mobile or not.

Design and Graphics

Any Asphalt 8 Airborne review has to dedicate time to talking about the graphics. Graphics have always been integral to the series. But much has changed since the release of the original Asphalt game in 2004. Phones have become increasingly powerful, and mobile gaming has turned from an extremely simplified time-waster into a full grown market whose games can rival console games in terms of graphics and gameplay.

Gameloft has led much of this charge with its collection of extremely well-made, visually stunning games, and Asphalt 8 Airborne continues this legacy. On high end devices, Asphalt 8 is simply stunning. The game’s graphics engine pushes phones to their limits, resulting in a game that looks as if it could have been released on consoles. The game still manages to run extremely well, ensuring a smooth play experience. Thankfully, this smooth play experience isn’t limited to those who are using higher end phones.

Gameloft’s smart optimization ensures that Asphalt 8 Airborne runs smoothly on any number of phones, and while not all phones will be able to achieve the graphical clarity seen on the highest end phones, all of them will still be playing an extremely visually appealing game. Graphics aren’t everything, but they certainly are an important part of every game, and Asphalt 8 Airborne succeeds in achieving some of the most impressive mobile graphics ever seen.

Bonus read: Need for Speed: No Limits Review

Main Characters

In this Asphalt 8 Airborne review, we are taking all things into consideration. This applies even to aspects of the game that may seem minor in comparison with the overall experience. As such, it is important to discuss the interesting decisions Asphalt 8 Airborne makes with regards to its characters. Namely, the decision to exclude them almost entirely.

The game does have characters that players interact with on the menu screens, which helps the menus feel more vibrant and alive. Additionally, other drivers are encountered every race, and although they are not developed characters, they are more than enough to make players feel that they are racing against real people. The stiff competition helps Asphalt 8 Airborne to feel tense, engaging, and exciting.

However, the game makes no attempts at developing any named characters. This is a smart decision, as it ensures the focus isn’t on a poorly told story or unengaging characters, but on the Asphalt series’s signature brand of visceral racing. Whereas many other games may fall into the trap of attempting to instill a misguided sense of purpose into their racing games, Asphalt 8 Airborne understands that racing is its own purpose, and doesn’t attempt to pad its length with poorly done character development. This focus helps the game hugely.

Story

Much like was discussed in the previous section of this Asphalt 8 Airborne review, the game intelligently understands what is about. Asphalt 8 Airborne makes a smart decision with regards to its story. Many racing game franchises have increasingly become bogged down in their attempts to tell a story, something that is often at odds with their gameplay. Major games, from Need for Speed to Forza, have lessened the time their players get to spend racing in attempts to tell complex and often poorly written stories.

Asphalt 8 Airborne harbors no such illusions with regards to its focus. The game’s story is almost non-existent. There are minor attempts at justifying what the player is doing and why, but the game always ensures it stays out of its own way. Gameplay is never sacrificed for story. Time is never wasted on lengthy cutscenes or text boxes.

Gameloft clearly understands what they set out to do, and that is to make the best, most exciting mobile arcade racing game possible. To shoehorn in a complex story would be to waste the player’s time, and Gameloft knows better than to do that in a game that is about immediate and visceral action. By skipping out on writing a story, Gameloft ensures that Asphalt 8 Airborne is the best racing game it could be.

Additional Versions

Asphalt 8 Airborne saw release on both iOS and Android, ensuring that both Apple and Android fans are able to get their fix of fast paced arcade racing. The game additionally saw release on the Windows store, making it playable on Windows phones, tablets, and even computers.

The Windows version is the same as the iOS and Android versions, with the same price point (or lack thereof) and the same set of content. Though one might think that a mobile racing game such as Asphalt 8 Airborne might have trouble competing on an extremely competitive market like the PC, Asphalt 8’s fantastic gameplay, graphics, and lack of a price have made it an extremely compelling choice on PC as well.

Final Thoughts

It would have been easy for Gameloft to put in a minimum amount of effort. It would have been easy for them to sit back, content that they had reinvented mobile racing games several times over. Instead, they decided to do it again with Asphalt 8 Airborne. They decided to release what is quite simply one of the best racing games available on iOS and Android, with a Windows version forming the icing on the cake. The gameplay is addictive, the graphics are stunning, and the focus is tight. Asphalt 8 Airborne is a must play for anyone and everyone. Have you been enjoying the game? Has this Asphalt 8 Airborne review encouraged you to play it? Share your thoughts with us!

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