An updated version of the classic arcade racer with plenty of new cars and tracks
Windows 10 / Windows 8.1
Asphalt 8: Airborne is a wonderful mobile racer that holds up well on Windows 8 PCs.
Asphalt 8: Airborne by Gameloft is a popular racing game for mobile devices that's also available for play on PCs with Windows 8, as well as other Windows OS versions. The game supports touch controls, keyboard controls, and game controllers. Touch control is surprisingly good for a racer, but using a controller is where this game really begins to shine. The control that provides takes it to another level.
One of the great features of the Asphalt series is its impressive 3D graphics, and Asphalt 8 continues with that tradition. This is a full 3D experience that requires strong mobile hardware, and a decent PC can make those visuals look even better. The game is locked at 30 fps, but the smoothing technique is quite effective. There’s also no noticeable input lag, so everything is precise as the action unfolds.
Another way that the Asphalt series has always impressed is with its car selection. Here we get 47 cars overall, and 80 percent of those cars are completely new to the series. These are all real-world vehicles, including cars like the Chevrolet Camaro GS, Datsun 280Z and the 25th anniversary Lamborghini Countach. Cars are categorized into five classes: D, C, B, A and S. As you win, you’ll purchase better cars and rise up the ranks to competitions featuring higher classes.
Asphalt 8: Airborne also provides many circuits. This time there are nine destinations, and all of them are new to the series. These include London, Monaco, and Tokyo. Each circuit has a number of different layouts as well as shortcuts and other hidden features. You can race all of these in a quick race mode that can be set to classic, elimination, infection and three other modes.
The game also features a long and complex career mode that spans eight seasons across 180 events. If you really get into the career mode, there’s a lot of enjoyment to be found here in building yourself up. If you want to test your metal against others, there’s multiplayer as well. The game can matchmake you with up to eight other players online. Perhaps where multiplayer shines most is local multiplayer. Sitting around the living room or the table in the school cafeteria and racing is just tons of fun every time.
Asphalt 8: Airborne is an excellent game. It’s fun and refined, and it outperforms expectations for a mobile racing game. That said, there haven’t been many under-the-hood changes since Asphalt 7. The graphics engine and physics model are the same. They’re quite good, but it’d be nice if enhancements were made to take advantage of the most powerful mobile hardware released since Asphalt 7.
Another issue is the economy. This is a free-to-play game, and the developer makes money by selling players in-app purchases, such as cars. Those cars are also available for free in-game, but that requires a considerable amount of grinding. That’s not a big issue if you love the game and play singleplayer, particularly career. The issue is multiplayer where much of the community will be racing the best cars available on day one.