A pedal to the metal, over the top, high speed thrill ride, Asphalt 6: Adrenaline takes rush hour literally.
Throwing realism out the window in favour of furiously fast racing, it's all about buying fast cars, pushing them to the limit, and having fun doing it.
Even if it's cheesy at times and the online multiplayer isn't completely stable, Asphalt 6 revs up racing that tops the previous instalment and speeds well ahead of other arcade tricks like Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit.
Good graphics, fast racing, a lengthy Career mode, and online multiplayer - everything you could want is here, making Asphalt 6 the clear leader when it comes to arcade racers.
The action is best in single-player, where you're tested in a variety of events and venues ranging from standard circuit and elimination races to head-to-head sprints and money-grabbing runs.
In each of 11 leagues, there are five events to tackle. You can earn a total of five stars per event. Placing third, second, or first nets you up to three stars. The other two stars are earned by completing optional objectives such as accumulating a set amount of drift points, eliminating opponents, or limiting the number of times you crash. Earning stars opens up new events, leagues, and most importantly more powerful vehicles.
The career structure is superb, allowing you to tackle any of a handful of events at your leisure. You never feel forced into completing an event and constant rewards motivate you to keep playing.
An enormous selection of vehicles - not just cars, but cycles too - and straightforward performance upgrades play a vital role in keeping you hooked.
Vehicles are unlocked at regular intervals, allowing you to test drive a variety of rides as you build your career, upping their performance with generic upgrades to engine, suspension, brakes, armour, nitro, and more.
The differences among the vehicles in terms of handling is often negligible - maximum speed is usually the clearest distinction - but it's still satisfying to take them for a spin.
You can note the difference between a Can Am Spyder three-wheeler versus an Audi TT-RS, but the distinction is less pronounced between the Audi TT-RS and a Citroën Survolt.
That's just as well because Asphalt 6 is all about speed, cash, and knocking out the competition.
Multiplayer traffic jam
While the game could to without the cheesy narrator that jaws needlessly before each event, the action itself is over-the-top fun. You're bashing opponents into walls, flying off rooftops, skidding down snowy mountainsides, and barrelling through city streets at speeds in excess of 300 miles per hour. Ridiculous, to be sure, but totally fun. It's like Burnout with licensed rides.
It's a shame that fun doesn't extend to multiplayer, where only standard races are offered. No other events are available and options are lacking. You're not able to set the number of laps or restrict the types of vehicles to be used.
The latter is of particular note because it allows for highly unbalanced races. Someone who has unlocked the best vehicles can literally lap players just beginning the game by virtue of having a better car.
Also of note is the shallow experience system. You earn points for winning races, but it yields no reward aside from a level number attached to your Gameloft Live! username.
There's no breakdown of how experience is earned and no rewards for achieving certain levels. At least online play is here and you can always opt for local multiplayer via wi-fi or Bluetooth.
Multiplayer kinks need to be ironed out, but that shouldn't stop you from enjoying the fantastic single-player in the meantime. Asphalt 6 is high octane arcade racing in its purest form, and even if it's best enjoyed solo, the fun is undeniable.
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