Apple may be currently taking some flack for its frankly embarassing maps service that renders the UK practically unrecogniseable in some parts on the brand new iPhone 5, but there's no doubting its potential as a mobile game device. Set to be a flagship title optimised for the device, Real Racing 3 looks to set the benchmark for mobile racing on the platform – we're still reeling by how astonishingly close to console quality the announcement trailer looked.
A new developer diary details the painstaking process of modelling Real Racing 3's licensed cars, right down to seemingly minor details such as the modelling of the headlights, interiors and the realistic reflections on the bodywork. Indeed, it's incredible to see the developers applying the same attention to detail to the car modelling as that of a big budget console racing game – it's a testament to just how far mobile gaming has come in recent years.
Real Racing 3 isn't just aiming to innovate with its graphical prowess, either. During a recent live demo, EA unveiled that Real Racing 3 will introduce a new way to play multiplayer in mobile racing games. Known as time-shifting, this system allows users to challenge a player to a race and then play them at a later time. Think of it like racing against a time trial ghost, but with the ability to nudge into each other, thus affecting their lap times.
Real Racing 3's other groundbreaking feature announced at the conference was…wait for it…a rear view mirror. It may not sound particularly groundbreaking considering that avid players of racing games are well accustomed to such a luxury, but it's a first for Real Racing that is all part of developer FireMonkey's strategy to faithfully emulate a console-like racing experience on the go.
It's fair to say we're impressed by FireMonkey's valiant efforts to make Real Racing 3 the prettiest racing game on the mobile market, which makes it a shame to think that the only way to play it will be with finicky touch controls. Pity.
Nevertheless, we'll reserve our judgment on how Real Racing 3 handles for when it launches later this year on iOS, but there's no denying that Real Racing 3 looks to be a positive step forward for realistic handheld racing games.