As the gaming industry’s equivalent to a dude selling knock-off Rolex watches out of his trunk, Gameloft is no stranger to “borrowing” elements from successful game series. Hijacking elements from Ridge Racer, Burnout, and Hot Pursuit, the masters of flattery throw them all together in terrible fashion to create the dreadful Asphalt 3D.
The racer features an XP system, currency bonuses for specific actions, and several race types, but don’t let a few bullet points like that convince you that this game is a substantial racing experience. These bells and whistles can’t distract from the fact that it handles like a nightmare, with glitches and collision-detection issues around every turn.
Like Burnout, Asphalt 3D switches to a dramatic slow-mo camera when you take down an opponent. Remember how that series made your jaw drop with these teeth-rattling, metal-twisting sights? Well, Asphalt 3D’s dramatic camera only serves to highlight the complete lack of collision detection. I saw dozens of crashes during my time with the game, and there wasn’t a single one that didn’t feature a car magically warping directly through another.
Another fun glitch occurred when I got taken down after passing a police roadblock. I spawned behind the roadblock, and this completely freaked the game out. I couldn’t move forward an inch without the entire line of cars scooting down the road in front of me. I tried backing up and carefully weaving around the obstacle, but some invisible wall prevented my attempt to progress in the race.
Jumping off most ramps will cause the perspective to jerk around in an unintentional manner, often causing your car to temporarily disappear. Drifting around turns is technically an option, but using the brake instead of feathering the accelerator feels cumbersome. Most drifts go on either much longer or much shorter than you’d like, and this has everything to do with shoddy gameplay and nothing to do with player skill.
Offering police pursuit races, takedown-focused bouts, and several other modes doesn’t help Asphalt 3D’s cause in the least. It’s a buggy mess, and the controls are awful enough to make it a chore even when the game is functioning correctly. With Ridge Racer also available at launch, there’s no reason whatsoever to play this joke.