The PS Vita’s line-up of launch titles was quite vast to say the least, as we were treated to everything from small touch-based games, augmented reality games, and even an Uncharted adventure. Amongst any set of launch titles will always be the game that scratches that racing itch.
The Asphalt series has been prominent on the mobile and portable platforms for quite some time, and (with no disrespect to mobile games) one can see that the emphasis and ambition of mobile game developer, Gameloft, was relatively simplistic.
Due to this, Asphalt Injection is a straight down-the-line arcade racer. Nothing really stands out and nothing is particularly bad, it just doesn’t do anything out of the ordinary.
Players can choose from over 40 officially licensed cars, such as the McLaren MP4-12C, Audi R8 and BMW M3, and race around a number of international cities (even Cape Town is included). The vast selection provides an impressive visual variety, but the vehicles tend to all handle and race in the same manner, leaving the car roster as more of an aesthetic option as opposed to different stats and abilities.
The tracks are all distinguishably unique, each with a style of its own, but there are some issues with the collision detection on a lot of different walls. Players may find themselves clipping corners that don’t really seem to be there.
Despite these shortcomings, the racing itself is pretty fun (barring some rubber-band AI). The races feel smooth and organic and the inclusion of a Cop Chase mode adds a familiar yet always entertaining ‘Need for Speed’ element to the game.
The gyroscopic motion controls of the PS Vita are available as a control option, but the rotating and angling of the handheld isn’t responsive enough for the pace of the game.
Injection looks smooth and fluid on the Vita’s gorgeous screen, however it’s definitely not up to the standards one would expect from a handheld game in this generation. The cars are modelled with detail and care, but the way that they move and animate with the tracks resembles a car participating in an ice-ballet.
Asphalt Injection is what you’d expect from a launch title developed by a mobile game specialist studio. While it is a fun detour as you get to take some licensed cars on some colourful tracks, it finishes all aspects of the gameplay very averagely. Nothing is worth telling your friends about and even some other Vita racing games, such as the underwhelming Ridge Racer or better Wipeout 2048, can offer a little more in the gameplay department.