Asphalt 9 Legends Review: “Touchdrive till the end”
It’s been a good 5 years since the last main title in the long-running series of Asphalt games made its debut. The game was a runaway success making way to spinoffs of the game, and also a lot of counterfeits. Asphalt series has been known to provide great graphics combined with good gameplay and some neat cars. But there was always a need for a true-blue successor of the legacy of the Asphalt series. Asphalt 9 Legends fits the role.
For 2018 Gameloft has heard your demands and released a new Asphalt 9 title called Legends. But does it have what it takes to be a true successor to the smash hit Asphalt 8, or is it just another run of the mill racing game which falls into the trap of innovation lag? We have played the game intensively and we may have just the right answer for you.
So right of the bat I have tell you that Gameloft has been really creative in giving names to its titles in the Asphalt series. 6 was named Adrenaline, 7 was Heat, 8 Airborne and 9 has been aptly named as Legends. The game debuted on July 25th across Android and IOS platforms after a brief soft-launch period in the Philippines. The game has a download size of about 1.4GB for Android and 1.5GB for IOS.
Note: The game may or may not show up when you search for it, that means that your phone model is not yet currently supported. Don’t get disheartened though, Gameloft is constantly adding new devices to support a wider range of audience and yours will run sooner or later.
The Asphalt series has been known for its breakthrough graphics for mobile devices and the Asphalt 9 is no different. The graphics of the game are refined and do seem upgraded and more realistic from the last generation.
Although not groundbreaking, the graphics change is definitely visible and will definitely be different from the other games in the segment. A refreshing addition is the distance meter and the new upgraded map on the left, both are minimalistic and are just enough to convey what they need to.
The game has a completely rehashed loading screen and the home screen is also strikingly different from what we have seen in the last few generations. The game also has a few added locations such as the beautiful Himalayas or the breathtaking Cairo.
The thing that will make this thing stand out will be the graphics and the visuals which are significantly better than the last generation and will give you a reason to upgrade. The colour theme has also differed from the last game, the Magenta/Pink underlying theme is just enough to make a difference but not too much that it gets into your face. The sometimes cartoonish visuals of the Asphalt 8 also seem upgraded.
This is where things take a drastic turn. Through this game, Gameloft has completely redesigned the way the this racing game was played. Asphalt 9 Legends features a new driving feature called “Touchdrive”. Aptly named, the feature feels a lot like the swipe to turn we have seen in the Temple Run days.
This feature works in a simple way, you accelerate automatically and now turn also automatically, but if there is a new way or an object to collect on one side, the game gives you an option to swipe and select that, which does changes things up quite a bit. The driving has been made relatively easier and you can turn the feature off if you don’t like it and go back to the same old controls.
I tried playing with and without Touchdrive and interestingly enough, I came second with the feature off and first when it was turned on which is fascinating. The way to earn money and tokens has also been simplified this time, you get a lot of money for winning a race. Unlocking a ride only requires blueprints that you can buy or win in races. Changes made this time make it an interesting upgrade that has a lot of new things to offer.
There were a lot of things I actually liked about the game and a lot of new features make it very appealing. But what is a game without its flaws? The first thing I did not like about the game was that the multiplayer modes and events were locked until I complete some in-game assignment. You have to play this game for a while to be able to qualify to play with friends which is a letdown according to me.Another thing I didn’t like is the lack of any story or a plot. I know I might be expecting a bit much from a mindless racing game, but maybe Need For Speed is to blame for that. The stakes are never real, you don’t have a police car to escape from, or revenge to serve. Its plot like these that make you engrossed in the game and I think it’s high time Gameloft included it in the series.
So, is the Asphalt 9 a worthy upgrade over the hugely successful Asphalt 8? Yes, it definitely is. The game takes the best elements of the last game and builds up on them, adding some great new features and improvements along the way. Overall, I feel Gameloft has a winner in its hand again and I hope they get it even better in the next iteration that hopefully doesn’t take them 5 more years to develop.