EA and Firemonkeys' Real Racing 3 is set to be released later this month, though it is currently available for download in some international App Stores as part of a soft launch to test the system. The game, which is the highly anticipated followup to Real Racing 2, features real cars, photorealistic tracks, online time-shifted multiplayer, and impressively accurate physics.
Unlike previous titles in the series, Real Racing 3 will be free to play. Our sister site TouchArcade explains the freemium mechanics:
There are two currencies in the game, the first of which is a general dollar currency that is dished out pretty liberally during the normal course of play. The amount earned feels tuned just like pretty much any other racing game, giving you enough to purchase upgrades, make repairs, and buy better vehicles as you naturally progress through the massive campaign.
The freemium catch is that all of those actions – repairs, upgrades and new cars – are set to varying levels of cooldown timers, the length of which are determined by what exactly you’re trying to do.
Essentially, after completing races, gamers will be subjected to a short wait before being able to race again when repairs are required. Wait times are also required when installing upgrades and unlocking additional vehicles, and these wait times will increase as the game progresses. TA mentions that wait times are worse when the game first begins as you're limited to one car, and points out that you can continue racing without making repairs, though damage may impact performance.
To alleviate wait times, players are encouraged to purchase gold coins. Coins are bought in the app, but can also be earned through gameplay. Many fans of the series are upset with the newly implemented freemium mechanics because previous games were not freemium titles.
TouchArcade has posted a hands-on video of Real Racing 3 with designer Ptolemy Oberin showing off the gameplay and the realistic visuals.
Real Racing 3 is currently available for download in the Australia, New Zealand, and Canada App Stores. It is slated to be released in the U.S. App Store on February 28. [iTunes Link]