Asphalt 9: Legends was released by Gameloft (Barcelona) earlier this year in February for Android, iOS, Windows Phone as well as PC platforms.
I’ve read quite a few reviews giving this game very high ratings.
So naturally, I had to download Asphalt 9: Legends to give it a proper whirl.
At first glance, this game offers impressive Cinematics and in-game graphics. Especially impressive on mobile, where graphics are usually tuned down quite a bit to preserve battery life.
Let’s see if gameplay can hold up to these promising precursors.
Asphalt 9: Legends Review
The game started me of by loading, for a very long time.
When I say long, what I really mean is brewing yourself a nice cup of espresso, making a quick “pit-stop” and giving your wife a kiss before she leaves for work.
Once my phone finally started to become responsive again I was greeted by a quick sign-up process, you’re asked your age and gender (I assume to be able to better target the in-game ads).
After about 7-10 minutes I was then able to finally get my first round of racing, in the form of a quick tutorial, started…
The tutorial let’s you drive one of the rare cars you can obtain later in the game. I believe it’s a “Ferrari FXX K“.
The tutorial teaches you mainly how to drift, quickly change lanes and how to use your Nitro booster.
Your First Car
After successfully completing the tutorial, you’ve earned your first car.
New cars come in the form of collector cards, each card has a label according to the car’s rarity in the game.
The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution is a car of “uncommon quality” and comes with 5 Blueprints attached.
Blueprints are needed to unlock new cars, for example a bit after your first car you’ll earn the “BMW Z4 LCI E89” but cannot unlock it right away because you need a certain number of Blueprints.
Blueprints, as mentioned, are needed to unlock cars. Each car has a different number of Blueprints needed to unlock it.
Generally, the more powerful and rare a car is the more Blueprints you’ll need.
You earn Blueprints in two ways:
- Buy Card Packs
- Earn as reward for completing races & different modes / challenges.
Card packs cost tokens, which can either be obtained by using credits or buying token packs.
In-App Currency & In-App Purchases
Unsurprisingly, Gameloft implemented a well though-out process of having to purchase in-game currency to advance faster.
Tokens are the currency of choice that is needed to upgrade cars, purchase packs or “star out” your cars to make them “Legendary”.
Alternatively, many of these can also be purchased by in-game “Credits”, which is a free in-game currency, obtained by completing and winning races.
But as you probably already guessed, you will hit a point where it’s either purchasing Tokens, or waiting and / or building more Credits.
Prices for tokens range from USD $1.99 – USD $99.99 (Which ironically is labelled “Best Value”).
Tokens can then also be used to purchase more Credits, which in turn can be used for everything from upgrading cars to fill your tank to be able to continue racing, without waiting.
Earn Free Tokens & Credits
There are a couple of ways to earn tokens & credits for free. But honestly, not in a way that would be sufficient so that you can play uninterrupted without being tempted into buying for real-world cash.
Namely those are participating in as many races as you can.
Choosing races and modes that offers the most flags, like career races for example.
Then you also have daily events that when completed, earn you X amount of credits and tokens.
For tokens specifically, you can complete missions, if you plan your whole gameplay out according to missions you’ll probably earn a fancy amount, but I think this also diminishes the fun of playing this game in the first place.
The races on it’s own are action-laden and visually very pleasing.
While racing you pull off a few stunt maneuvers which are great to knock out the competition like in the screenshot above.
Double-tab your joystick on the left side of your screen, which causes your car to drift 360 degrees and wipe out any competitor that happens to be right beside you.
On the right side you’ll have the Nitro booster, tap it once and your car will speed up and shoot flames from it’s exhaust.
Tap it once more when you see the arrow in the nitro bar being in the blue area, for a huge speed boost that will last for a few seconds.
Drifting with your car is easy, all you have to do is tap & hold your joystick and swipe in the direction you want to drift.
No skill needed.
Which brings me also to the final point of this game, the racing mechanics.
As nice as the graphics are, and as spectacular the stunts and crashes can be. The steering of your car, happens pretty much automatically.
You can almost drive hands off, the car will simply take turns on it’s own, it’s very hard to crash unless you drive head-first into an obstacle.
This really dampens the fun you could have in the game as there is literally zero skill required to maneuver your own car.
Asphalt 9: Legends is a game with great graphics, spectacular racing scenes and beautiful track locations.
And that is it.
In my personal opinion, the game is simply an advertising vehicle for Gameloft. It’s made specifically to maximize revenue, not with the player in mind.
It tries to distract from this fact with visually stunning graphics, and gameplay that makes anyone feel like Michael Schumacher, with just one goal:
Obtain more speed, better parts and faster cars to hopefully spend as much money as possible to keep shareholders happy.
I wouldn’t recommend the game to anyone, and have swiftly deleted it again from my phone.