Unlike other top down racing titles, Real World Racing is to emulate real life aspects instead of fantasy themes. Playstos, the game’s developer, intends the title to capture different city environments to allow players an escape to another place in the real world.
The concept of a top down racing simulation might be a bit stretching, but the idea of using satellite maps to incorporate raceways is one way to promote realism. And beyond that imitation of the environments, the developers are enhancing the existing landscapes with 3D effects. With this being said, level design and environmental development seem to be the strongest aspects of the title.
However, the struggle that can be noticed is the environment versus car realism. From the top down view, cars appear to look very similar with few differences aside from color and length. Although possibly hard to implement from a top down standpoint, the cosmetics should be altered to make vehicle models differ from one another more-so than by color definition. In correlation with the environment, the vehicles lack realistic texture.
At this point in development, races can become glitchy at moments. Playstos openly admits that they are actively working on improving performance issues with game rendering. While some frame-rate stuttering is noticeable during the preview, I can expect these bugs to be fixed in its beta stage.
One aspect that Playstos can take to heart is their ability to design a sleek interface. The UI design for the garage opens a visual apparition of each car the player owns as well as individual statistics. Even beyond statistics, players can interchange and visualize different color appearances for each car type. I like where the user interface is at the moment, but I would like see some more advancements with vehicle part customizations along with a separate options menu.
Musical interlude for main menu and garage/stage select screens is provided as a crescendo tempo that can be noticeably recognized as a simulation geared theme. Beginning very light the background music becomes louder and tiers into multiple sequences similar to the intensity of the racing environment. However, only a single track is noticeable at the alpha stage whereas multiple tracks could enhance the player’s “between stages” gameplay.
During the preview, the cities of Rome and London opened their streets to this maniac. I felt that the vehicles should be decently destructive once acquiring 200 mph. Yet ramming into side buffers yields no damage to the vehicle and depending on the collision glance off the blow. Rounding corners and slamming into the side rails may reduce speed by 30 mph leaving the car untouched. Unless your vehicle has horrible handling, there should be no need to even touch the break key.
What did I like about the current state of the gameplay? Car statistics actually come into play. Players will have to choose a car that has amicable characteristics to fit their needs. An example of this would be to wisely choose a vehicle that has high handling and acceleration in a city with many corners. Instead of relying on having the top speed, vehicles that have high acceleration and handling will be better to ride the corners and maintain decent speed at the same time. On the other hand, races that have long stretches of straight roads will demand a top speed vehicle.
I noticed that Playstos did not implement all of the games features as of yet which dumbs down some of the gameplay. An example of this is the exclusion of drifting races which is in the developmental process. Drifting could be one of the major selling points of the title – more so than racing online! However, it is hard to tell only in the alpha stage. Right now the simplicity of normal races offers little compared to zanier titles with cars that have attached rocket launchers. Another instance that I am on the fence about is the levels of difficulty. It seems that no matter what difficulty you are in once you wreck it is hard to emerge from the bottom ranks unless you are in a 10 round race.
A top down racing simulation might be a hard genre to sell due to more realistic and visually appealing racing games already on the market. However, I can see a few aspects that will work in its favor. Real World Racing is providing real world environments for players to race on then enhancing them with 3D effects. Another promoting factor will be the cost effectiveness of this title. Playstos has already mentioned to the public that Real World Racing will be very affordable to the public and hopefully even more-so if “greenlighted” through Steam. Lastly, the game is only in its alpha stage. Real World Racing is still in its premature stages and has a lot more features to be added before release.
I would like to wish Playstos the best of luck in making this title become a success. I have seen glimpses of such success with the crisp implementation of the user interface, and I would like to see more of that potential spread throughout the rest of the game. To identify yourself with the game better, head over to the Real World Racing website (here).