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Asphalt Overdrive lands on WP, Android, and iOS and is disappointing.

News by Luke Jones on Friday September 26, 2014.

software news · luke jones

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Asphalt Overdrive
Asphalt Overdrive

While many hard-core gamers scoff at mobile gaming (what, no physical controls?), there was a very serious gaming industry building around smartphones and tablets. Gaming is at last generation console levels in some cases, but it seems at some point the mobile gaming industry took a left turn to crowd pleasing territory. This is best summed up by the new Asphalt game, a title that comes from one of the best racing game series on mobile.

At some point, developers and especially big publishing companies realized that the hard-core mobile gamer would only bring in so much revenue, so they reached out to everyone else instead. The result of that was the abhorrent freemium model that simply seeks to make money and offer a fleeting gaming experience. Worse than the freemium model though is the thought that mobile gaming needs to be watered down crap.

Sure, there are a lot of exceptions to keep the hard-core gamers happy, the GTA series, BioShock, Knights of the Old Republic, the LEGO games, and multiple high class "indie" efforts. However, increasingly we are force fed games that have the sole purpose of dragging money from the consumer, so they are lowest common denominator and shut out the real gamer.

The problem with Asphalt Overdrive (the latest title, although admittedly a spin off) is not that it is a freemium game, but that it takes a few steps back in terms of ethos and quality. Done well the freemium model can be okay, and this game is a decent effort in that respect, but the game has been dumbed down to being a 3 lane retro racer. If you ploughed hours of your youth into Out Run and Road Rash like me, you may think that's okay, and in fact it actually is. I will be publishing a full review of this game soon, but needless to say it is a polished title that looks good and is entertaining, to a point.

The problem is, despite always being firmly in arcade territory, the Asphalt series has been one of the best and most progressive racing titles on mobile. It had the graphics, the cars, and that something special that made you want to pick it up and play it again. Now it is nothing more than another in an endless stream of basic racers, even if it does have the aesthetics of big budget backing. It's utterly lazy, but Gameloft has been announcing it, so we thought we spread the news... get it because it's free, delete it when you're quickly bored or prompted to pay money, because it's not free.

I will spend more time with the title over the weekend and give a full review on Monday, perhaps it can change my mind.

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About the author

Luke Jones
Luke Jones is the Managing Editor at MobileBurn.com and is the person you need to speak to about the content on the site. Luke studied creative writing at degree level before carving out a reputation as a freelance tech writer. He settled here at MobileBurn, where he reviews devices and contributes to the news, as well as overseeing the site's content and direction.

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