Drag racing is something of a niche activity. Next to the twists of rally racing or the precision turning of Formula One, going very fast in a straight line seems a little too, well, straightforward.
That isn’t to say it hasn’t got its own strange appeal, which Drag Racing manages to replicate, even if many are likely to find it too simplistic and repetitive. Pedal of honour
The concept is the same as you’ll find on any street corner at midnight (that’s how these things go down, right?). Two cars go very fast in one direction, changing gears and applying liberal doses of nitrous. Whoever blasts over the finish line first gets the money and Respect Points.
The Xperia Play’s controls are well used in this regard. You have to tap X repeatedly at the start line to try and catch the right moment on your speedometer. After that, it’s just a matter of switching gears with the R trigger or Triangle at the optimum moment, or activating your nitrous with Square.
You start off with just a little cash to buy a car and install a few initial upgrades. There are over 50 licensed cars, from Chevrolet Camaros to Bugatti Veyrons, and all the usual suspects in between. Of course, it will take you repeated play to work up the cash to unlock the best of these.
Take regular brakes
In fact, it’ll take you repeated play to do just about anything. The upgrades cost a lot of both things - money and Respect Points - meaning you have to play multiple game modes that focus on either one.
If you need dosh, you can play head to head against an opponent online in a Face to Face drag race. If you need lots of Respect, you can up against one of the bosses in offline mode or bet Respect against online rivals to win double back.
The thing is, after a while it feels less like racing and more like grinding. The goal is always to upgrade your car's parts until you need to advance to the next model. There’s variety to the cars and a lot of complexity once you get into fine tuning each vehicle, as well as a well-judged focus on multiplayer, but this doesn’t stop the central racing gameplay from becoming a bit limp after a while. Drag Racing, like drag racing, will appeal to some, but it's still undoubtedly a niche activity.