The wait is finally over. For some.

After weeks of Real Racing 3 developer diaries, employee leaks, release date speculation, and payment plan controversy, EA and Firemonkeys's much-anticipated racing sim is now available in the Australian and New Zealand App Stores.

Rather than wait until February 28th to drive Real Racing 3 out of its virtual garage and onto these two App Stores, Firemonkeys has 'soft-launched' the iOS version of the game in this pair of territories ahead of its global release.

In this latest entry in the Real Racing series, you are given the chance to get behind the wheel of over 45 fully licensed vehicles.

You can then line up one of these high-powered automobiles - including models from Lamborghini, Bugatti, and Porsche - on starting grids of up to 22 cars, and race around real-world circuits like Laguna Seca and Siverstone.

There are over 900 events in which to compete in Real Racing 3. These range from endurance trials and drag races to the classic cup race.

In addition to the standard multiplayer mode, Real Racing 3 features a novel Time Shifted Multiplayer (TSM) mode, which enables you to compete against your friends even when they're away from their devices.

Via a combination of ghost data and AI chops, you can go (cylinder) head-to-head in real time with a virtual car that represents your buddy's best lap time.

Unlike a normal ghost, however, your pal's car is a living, breathing part of the race. This means you can tailgate, overtake, and generally interfere with your nemesis's motor (and, by extension, lap time) while your mate is busy at work or asleep in bed.

A whole new race

Though the game costs absolutely nothing to download, you can fork out for in-game currency to expedite repairs, install upgrades quicker, and unlock new cars.

For a more comprehensive explanation of Real Racing 3's in-app purchase options, check out our Real Racing 3 freemium model breakdown.

Real Racing 3 will be launched globally on iOS and Android on February 28th.

MCV


Updated on February 14th, at 10:02: In an earlier version of this article, we reported that Real Racing 3 was available for download in Canada. Well, it isn't. Yet. It would appear that somebody jumped the gun on that front. Ahem.

Want more? Check out our 39 other Real Racing 3 news stories!