Game essentials: CSR Racing 2
We take a closer look at the App Store’s must-play games.
CSR Racing 2
2020’s Real Drag Racing Game!
In this hyper-polished sequel to the original drag-racing phenomenon, it really is all about the cars.
Even as they whizz by at eye-watering speed, it’s clear the vehicles in CSR Racing 2 have had an inordinate amount of attention lavished upon them.
But it’s in the downtime between races that you’ll come to appreciate them all the more. Each one has been recreated to a staggering, almost photorealistic degree. As the camera glides around the garage, taking in those sleek curves from all sides, they all look exquisitely shiny and showroom fresh.
Tap on the bonnet and you’ll pop the lid to see the engine, once again rendered in immaculate detail. You can open the doors for a peek inside at the plush interiors. And in the new augmented reality (AR) mode, you can bring them into the real world, as you tilt your phone and zoom in for an even closer look.
That attention to the finest of details is everywhere in CSR Racing 2. In the races themselves, it’s the details that can make the difference between a narrow victory and a sobering defeat.
Like the first game, you need to feather the accelerator to find the sweet spot just as the timer hits zero for a quick start. Then you’ll shift up a gear when the needle hits the green, and then again - with a well-timed nitrous injection hopefully boosting you ahead of your rival.
You’ll need to keep winning to earn the respect of the gangs who rule the street-racing scene. That respect brings notoriety, and you’ll soon find others keeping tabs on your progress. Eventually you’ll earn the right to face a local leader - beat them three times and you’ve got a chance to win their vehicle.
Successive races get tougher unless you’re upgrading your car at the same time. But there are plenty of ways to earn money for parts, with player-versus-player events and ladder races that see the prize purse increase as the challenge ramps up.
Tweaking and tinkering goes hand in hand with the improvements you’re buying. You can adjust the balance between a higher top speed and faster acceleration depending on who you’re racing and where, and import parts to fuse with existing upgrades to achieve peak performance.
Fine-tuning for specific events is important, too - you’ll naturally need more tyre grip in wet weather, for example. It’s a triumphant moment when your behind-the-scenes efforts pay off, and a photo-finish reveals you nudged ahead of your opponent on the line in a race you expected to lose.
CSR Racing 2 is an expansive and generous sequel. It’s fast and furious, sure, but it’s also been put together with real finesse.