Sorry for the language but I was really looking forward to Real Racing 3, although Real Racing 2 got good reviews it is not compatible with any of my devices and I have been looking for a good racing game.
First off, the graphics in Real Racing 3 are pretty good, cars look amazing but tracks are a little on the bland side and there are jaggies everywhere even on a Nexus 10. The controls and actual racing in RR3 feel pretty good too, I found myself in a little bit of awe when jostling for position with other beautiful cars with great music pumping out at me.
However, getting on to the substance of this post and the reason I find it really difficult to enjoy RR3… The way they have monetized the app is nothing short of disastrous. When you first start up RR3 you buy a car and are left with little cash left over, after that cash comes in trickles. I have currently completed most of the first tier of races and played some of them 2 or 3 times and still do not have enough money to buy a new car yet and only just unlocked the ability to buy a new engine. That isn’t so bad on the face of it, I can choose to buy some money from them and get some upgrades sorted but I would have preferred just a little more money.
If the monetization had stopped there I would not have had a problem, I would have replayed some races or maybe, just maybe bought some money. But then the next stifling F2P horror rears it’s head. Every race depletes five different parts of your car by a certain amount: Oil, Engine, Brakes, Suspension and Tires. When any one of those is depleted completely you have to service it for a charge AND it takes 5 minutes at least before you can actually race again. So forget having a blast for an hour or so without depleting your resources and having to pay. The worst part about this is that when all of your levels get quite low it means you will race, repair, race, repair, race and repair again. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that they have to make money but this is absurd. The cost to skip one repair is 2 gold (around £0.30) which means if you want to play uninterrupted you could end up spending around £1.50 within half an hour or so just to skip these repairs as they come thick and fast. Once you have skipped them of course you will still have to pay to skip them in the future.
The timed feature also extends to upgrading car parts and even buying cars. You can buy a new car but it takes X minutes to deliver unless you pay and pay and pay. Paying to get a car straight away even though you have purchased it can take pounds!
The final nail in the coffin for me and the thing that coupled with the other aspects of the F2P nature of RR3 makes me really sigh is that the games races themselves are geared to make you pay. You see the first elimination race starts in a straight line and there is really little input needed from the driver, once I got to the first corner I was still behind and was eliminated before the corner had even finished. This seemed like an impossible race to me, how could I move faster in the same car? Oh wait, buy some cash from the shop and buy a new car maybe?! I guess that’s an option, but I decided to run the race 4 times in total, on the fourth run apparently they decided to give me a break and this time I shot ahead of the competition instead of them shooting ahead of me… What changed?! I gather this is to do with time shifted multiplayer.
So in conclusion, the problem I have with Real Racing 3 is not that they want me to pay money, because if I enjoy a game I will pay money via in-app billing or on any number of F2P games that I ENJOY. That’s the focus for me, I will pay to buy a game or make in app purchases if I enjoy the game. But how can I enjoy a game which basically railroads you into paying over and over and over just to play. A game that puts every possible obstacle in your way.
Can’t you just let me buy a fucking game and enjoy it?
Update: After further investigation it seems the problem only gets worse the further into the game you get. To purchase some of the top cars and upgrade them fully could cost you over £70, for just one car! I just cannot fathom why anyone in their right mind would pay this kind of ridiculous money on a full blown PC or Console game, never mind a mobile game. Play NFS most wanted for a few £ for any other racing game or pay hundreds of pounds for a few cars in RR3?
Once you have one of these epic cars, fully upgraded there is also no guarantee that it will even help you win races. Because of the “time shifted” nature of every race you can run the race once and almost win, upgrade your car with all that moola and be pitted against another bunch of drivers who may be even better, with better cars. So you can end up paying around £70 to get the best car fully upgraded and it may not even make a blind bit of difference.