» CSR Racing 2 out now: drag racing, beautiful graphics, and attention to detail

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views: 70 publish: July 12, 2016

Out now on Android, CSR Racing 2 brings graphics that approach console quality, a slew of customization options, and entire garages of faithfully reproduced licensed vehicles.

The game launched last month in certain regions, but yesterday it was released globally to the Play Store and on iOS. Developed by NaturalMotion, a studio owned by Zynga (the once flying-high company you may remember as the creator of Farmville), CSR Racing 2 follows up on theoriginal CSR Racing, which accrued 190 million downloads across platforms. Big shoes to fill, but it looks like CSR Racing 2 can continue and even build on the legacy of the first title in the franchise.

It’s clear from the moment you open CSR Racing 2 that you’re playing a big budget game. That’s visible in the high production value and the impressive graphics. In fact, NaturalMotion CEO Torsten Reil boasted to Venture Beat that the resolution CSR Racing 2 achieves at 30FPS (on an iPad Pro) is higher than what consoles can output. That tells us how advanced mobile graphics have become more than anything else, but we have to give NaturalMotion for creating a gorgeous game that just teems with details.

CSR Racing 2 is a drag racing game, so you don’t get the full 3D freedom of movement you might expect. You don’t even get to steer the car: the only controls are the shift stick and the nitrous switch, while the speed meter makes it pretty easy to land a perfect shift.

The races may be lacking in terms of complexity, but the garage and tuning shop make up for it. You get to choose from 50 licensed vehicles, ranging from everyday rides to super exotics most of us will never get to see on the road, let alone drive. And you have full control over the cars, with customization options including both cosmetic elements and everything that’s under the hood. In a twist on the familiar tropes of racing games, you can even strip down parts from cars you no longer need and “fuse” them to other vehicles to make them more powerful.

The free to install game features a social and multiplayer element, and, as you would expect, it uses an IAP system to get you to pay up for upgrades and such.