GT Racing 2: Hands-on preview

When it comes to comparing Gameloft’s GT Racing 2 to EA’s Real Racing 3, Gameloft is already revving its engine with stats.

GTR2 features 35 manufacturers compared to RR3’s 16, 13 tracks compared to 10, 1,400 events compared to 1,300, 4 weather/time conditions (day, night, twilight, rain) compared to just 2, and 67 cars at launch compared to the 67 cars RR3 now features after 3 updates.

And that’s just the beginning, as the moment you turn on your tablet and start playing GT Racing 2, you realize you’re in for one wild ride. Licensed cars include everyone from Ferrari to Audi, and Gameloft has signed an exclusive deal with Mercedes to include some never before seen whips in a mobile game, including the GT3, pimped-out in extreme (and extremely shiny) detail.

In fact, the racing features seven tiers of cars, starting you out with some low-level beaters, then working you up to cruising around the streets in Lamborghinis and souped-up muscle cars. But it’s not just the car that will win you races, as GTR2 is also really big into customized engines, enabling you to fine-tune your ride — from top-speed to handling — exactly the way you like in order to win races against the big boys, even if none of your digital competitors originally gave your jacked-up Nissan a shot at winning the race.

And while the game is free-to-play, you’ll be able to skip ahead and buy better cars and superior engine modifications off the bat by spending real money in the store, as opposed to grinding your way through the game and earning your rewards through skill.

Asynchronous online multi-player is also included, enabling you to race against your friend’s ghost cars while competing for the best time on each track.

And I have to say, first time I took control via the tablet tilt, I was hooked. Right away, you can touch the screen and turn on or off assistance for both steering and braking. It simply pops up on the right side of the screen, you hit your preference, then you’re on to the race. Gas is on at all times as you drive, and an arrow is painted on the road ahead displaying the best line in which to tackle the course (everywhere from Laguna Seca to fictional tracks). It’s all about braking at the right moment, then figuring out the timing in order to steer into those turns, whipping your way around corners as you pass computer-controlled cars in your way. This isn’t Asphalt 8, however, as GT Racing 2 is Gameloft’s attempt at simulation racing, and the company hopes that race fans will think of their game along the lines of a Forza for mobile (instead of Burnout).

Graphics-wise, the cars feature 20-times more polygons than the original GT Racing, not to mention a physics engine that was built entirely from scratch. Crash your car into an opponent and you’ll see real-time damage that includes everything from bent fenders to slammed front ends. Should make for some cool pics as gamers will be able to snap shots of their cars to send to friends, showing off their new Mercedes Gullwing, with hopefully, not too many scratches to go along with it.

Look for GT Racing 2: The Real Car Experience to hit multiple mobile and tablet platforms worldwide this fall.

All images via Gameloft

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