Game: Asphalt Injection
Spend a few minutes playing Asphalt Injection and you’ll be impressed with what the handheld racer has to offer. The title is packed with plenty of modes (including online races), a decent selection of cars, and even the handling seems to be decent. However, unfortunately, extended play reveals it to be quite the average, dull racer with no real unique selling point.
After a playing few events you’ll realise that every single car handles pretty much the same, even with upgrades and customisations applied. This, along with the very noticeable rubber banding, pretty much kills any sense of progression the games tries to build. It makes events, especially races, less about skill and more about how you cope with the game’s shortcomings. Even the Vita’s gyroscope can’t help spice the handling up a little, as it feels sluggish and no where near as responsive as using the left analog stick. The most interesting use of the system is applied to gear changes using the rear touch pad, and it works really well. Hopefully developers of future racing titles on the Vita take note, as it would great to see the feature utilised in a simulation like Gran Turismo.
To its credit, Asphalt Injection is jam packed with content, with the single player consisting of events such as races, drifts, takedowns and cop chases. The amount of cars is quite impressive too, especially when you take into account 52 of them are licensed. It’s a shame then that the content isn’t backed up by an exciting handling model that would’ve made events so much more fun. Online multiplayer works well via wi-fi, but races and other events suffer from the same issues as the game’s single player facet.
On the visual front, Asphalt Injection doesn’t exactly set the handheld gaming world alight, but still manages to look decent nonetheless. Textures aren’t of the highest quality, but car models and backgrounds do their job nicely, without ever impressing too much.
Whilst Asphalt Injection features plenty of content, the racing experience on offer feels bland and scripted. Unless you’re a huge fan of the series, with the likes of WipEout 2048 and MotorStorm RC available for the Vita on launch, Asphalt Injection is a racer that’s extremely difficult to recommend.