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PlayStation Vita  header logo

Asphalt Injection

For: PS Vita


Product: Asphalt Injection | Publisher: Gameloft | Format: PS Vita | Genre: Racing | Players: 1-8 | Networking: wireless (network) | Version: Europe
Asphalt Injection PS Vita, thumbnail 1
If you take away anything from this review, it's simply that you absolutely should not pay money for this game.

Gameloft has managed to make a title about driving fast in highly desirable vehicles in exotic locations dull, largely through terrible execution upon the core idea.

The main thrust of the title is the Career mode, which features a staggering number of tournaments to beat as you climb through the ranks. But number of tasks to complete does not equal wealth of content, and the 20 tracks soon start to repeat themselves.

Yes, Gran Turismo involves repeating the same courses over and over, but those courses are based on a diverse selection of actual circuits that have been designed by professionals.

Each course in Injection feels similar, only the odd large jump, rare sharp turn, or tunnel section providing any sort of a break from the monotony of super-long straights and gentle corners. The roadside environment changes, of course, but these are aesthetic differences and little else.

Rust bucket

On the subject of visuals, this is not the Vita's brightest moment. Car models are rudimentary, textures are rough, and when the majestic Northern Lights suddenly spring into view due to some horrendous pop-in you know this isn't a graphical showpiece for the device.

Looks aren't everything, of course. It's what's inside that counts. And what's inside Asphalt Injection - i.e., the gameplay - is also rubbish.

There's no sense of speed until about a third of the way into the campaign, even though you're hitting hundreds of kilometres per hour regularly. Rubber-banding is present and painfully obvious, and the fully licensed cars stick to the tarmac no matter how fast you're travelling.

Until you try to drift or brake, that is. There's no middle ground in Injection. Attempting to decelerate transforms your tyres from glue-laced rubber into ice, making for the most useless oversteer system I've yet to witness in a video game.

Squeeze the brake and you'll quickly find yourself smashing into the scenery. There's a whole race type dedicated to this aspect of the game. Fun.

Other modes include the obligatory standard races, one on one duels, token collection exercises and elimination rounds where the racer in last position is knocked out. For all of it you'll need to ensure you're collecting the Boost pick ups that fill your Adrenaline meter for a short burst of increased velocity.

The multiplayer is atrociously designed and slow to set up. When you host a match, you first pick a track, then you create a lobby of up to eight with no way to force a match to start other than an arbitrary and unseen timer.

If the connection holds – it rarely does – and you finish a race, you're stuck racing the same course, unless you quit the lobby entirely. It's arduous to get online and the achingly long load times from the single-player compound this issue.

Black flag

And there's more. You can receive Speed Tickets during races, though the effect of them is still an absolute mystery to me. The game will snap a picture of you at momentous occasions, though these are seemingly random and cut out the woeful dance soundtrack with a loud click effect.

The announcer before and during races is annoying and just won't shut up. You can take down an opponent just by trapping him against a wall. The chases with cops are always weighted in the law's favour.

Asphalt Injection may just be the worst game of the Vita's launch line-up. 
Asphalt Injection
Reviewer photo
Peter Willington | 1 March 2012
Ugly, unfair, unenjoyable: Asphalt Injection should be headed to the wrecker's yard, not your Vita's memory card
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