CSR Racing 2 is NaturalMotion's second edition drag racer, and it's just launched on the App Store. If you thought the first version looked incredible, your mind is going to be blown when you see what they've done with CSR Racing 2.
Just like the original, the development team has gone to the extreme to create painstakingly detailed, super realistic cars. With four years of advancements in mobile gaming technology at their disposal, NaturalMotion has turned virtual car collecting into art.
We've taken CSR Racing 2 through its paces and have the definitive guide to getting the most respect and gold to put you into a collector class all your own.
- Your first car
- How to race
- Solo racing
- Online racing
- Gassing up
- Joining a Crew
- Car collecting
- Final Thoughts
Your first car
One of the biggest features of the CSR Racing franchise is the beautifully detailed cars. There is a level of precision that is unmatched by any other car-related game. We're not just talking about cool reflections and shadows off of the hood. Each car is officially licensed by a real manufacturer. So, the cars are designed as if they were real, all the way down to the stitching on the interior. And, yes, in CSR 2, you can open the doors and trunk to get a good look inside at the dash, seats, and inner lining.
You're gifted 130 gold to help you buy your first car. This is just enough cash to choose one of seven Tier 1 cars: The Cooper S, Golf GTI, Hundai Veloster, Dodge Dart Mopar '13, Scion FR-S, Ford Fiesta ST, and Abarth 500.
All of the starter cars have similar performance specs, so your choice is based more on the make and model you prefer than anything else.
After you choose your first car, it's delivered to your garage, and this part is awesome. Instead of the car just appearing in its spot, the doors roll up in your virtual garage and it slowly drives in, with the camera view switching from side to top-down, so you can really get a good look at your new ride.
Spend some time looking at your car. Drag your finger across the screen to see it from different angles. Tap the door to open it up and look at the interior. Don't forget to pinch-to-zoom in. You can't get inside the car yet, but you can get a pretty good view of the detail work. Pop the hood to check out your engine. You'll be impressed with how real it all looks.
You can take screen shots, and even real-time video of your sweet new ride using Replay in the game.
Once you've given your new car the once-over twice, it's time to hit the streets.
How to race
Just like the original CSR Racing, this is a drag racing game. You fly down a straight street at speed far above 100 MPH, pitted against a single opponent. Races are less than a quarter-mile long and usually take about 15 seconds if your slow.
At the starting line, tap on the gas pedal to rev your engine. Keep a perfect balance of light tapping to stay in the green as you rev. If you are in the green when the countdown ends, you will earn a Perfect Start reward. This updated starting mechanic is much better than the previous game because you can see on the gauge when you are in the green and when you've gone over or under into the red.
Shifting is similar. As soon as the gauge reaches the green zone, tap the pedal to shift. A Perfect Shift will also earn you some extra cash. Most races are so short that you'll only shift three or four times.The shifting mechanic is also much better than the first CSR Racing game because you can see on the gauge when you are getting closer to the perfect shift and how much leeway you have to be off.
Don't forget to use your nitrous. Even if you think you are way ahead of your opponent, he can overpower you in a split second by deploying his N20, so be ready for a quick speed jump. Tap the nitrous button on the left side of the screen to really hit maximum speed.
The campaign races, or Crew Races, will earn you the biggest payout and most respect points (RP), but are the hardest to win. This is where the storyline takes place, as well. Jerry, the Crew manager keeps getting cars stolen from his garage and needs your help catching the criminals. As you help him by beating Crew Races, he will work to get you in good with the top racers in Tier 2.
The Daily Battles let you get behind the wheel of a rare sports car. Each time, it's random. You won't know what you're driving until you are behind the wheel. The fun part of entering a Daily battle is that you get to see how different cars perform, some of which you may never get to own because they are cost prohibitive, even in the game.
The Ladder puts you up against progressively tougher opponents each time you race. The higher you get, the more cash you earn. These races are great for earning big bucks when you are desperate to upgrade your ride so you can hold your own in Crew Battles.
Regulation races are straight forward races where you don't earn a whole lot, but as long as you have gas in your tank, you can earn some quick cash. They are great for working in a new car that needs a lot of upgrades. Drive the rookie races until you've gotten better parts.
Various Cup Events are added all of the time. You can earn RP for your crew in the Prestige Cup or get rare fusion parts in the Fusion Trials. Cup Events are limited time restricted races that have some requirement for you to to enter, like a specific car or stock parts.
This is where NaturalMotion's collaboration with Zynga really shines. Live Races are where you compete against real players for the biggest RPs. When you enter a Live Race, you'll be able to choose an opponent, which will be a person in real life waiting on the other end for someone to race against.
When you join a crew, you'll be able to compete with your group against other crews. Once you reach Tier 2, you'll have to drop the clutch manually in Live Races.
You can place bets on Live Races with your "Soft cash," which is really easy to earn in the game. You won't be able to bet with gold.
You can go on what's called a "Winning Streak." For example, if you win three Live Races in a row, you'll win special keys, which can help you win special cars. These rare cars are so special that they aren't available to purchase with gold, only with Rare Import keys.
Just like in the first version, your gameplay will be limited by the amount of gas you have. Your 10-pip tank will last about 20 minute (more at the beginning of your game). You can earn pip refills for watching an advertisement or inviting your friends on Facebook to play. You can also refill your tank for 20 gold pieces, but it might be better to just set the game down for a couple of minutes. New pips refill every five minutes.
Once you start earning cash, you're going to want to put every penny of it into upgrading your car. You can upgrade seven different engine parts: The body, tires, transmission, engine, turbo, intake, and nitrous. Each part can be upgraded by five stages and some can be tuned or fused with rare parts.
Once you reach a certain stage for nitrous, transmission, and tires, you can tune those parts.
Tuning will allow you to tweak the performance, ever so slightly, of a part. For example, if you tune the nitrous, you can adjust how much of a boost you will get and for how long. You could make it last longer, but give less of a speed boost, or go all-out at once, but only for a short burst.
If you really want to be competatve in the multiplayer races, you'll need to be constantly tuning your parts to make your car just a hair faster than your opponents.
Some parts can be fused with uncommon, rare, or epic parts. These special parts are won as prizes. When you upgrade to a certain stage (Stage 3 or higher, at minimum), you can use these unique additions to significantly increase the stats of the parts of your car.
Sure, you could just race with a stock colored car, but why would you want to when you can get loud and crazy. You can customize four sections of your car: The paint job, interior, livery, calipers, and license plate. Some customization options have additional sub-customizations. For example, when you change the livery, you can choose which panels get the custom painting or you can add racing stripes. You can even choose from some unusual looking pattern skins or woodgrain, if that's what you want.
Customizations are relatively cheap. They will cost you about $2,500 for an entirely new outfit.
Joining a Crew
After you've won a few races, you'll be able to join a crew, which is a group of real life players that are all on the same team. Joining a crew gives you extra chances to win rare parts and new cars by entering races you couldn't do if you weren't in a crew.
Crews can chat with each other in real time, but they can also pin chats so that crew members that aren't online at a specific time will be able to see important information later. Your pinned chats can be sent out to crew members as notifications so that everyone gets an alert when it's time to meet up for multiplayer races.
Crew events require that members meet certain requirements. For example, there may be a crew event race that requires an Abarth 500. Crews can earn a lot of prestige or cash for competing, so they will want all of the members to get that specific car in order to help out. A little in-game peer pressure never hurt anyone.
You can work together for perks, which could be such things as RP boosts in races and cash boosts when winning prizes. Being a part of a crew is a major part of playing CSR Racing 2 and your team's progress in the game is directly influence by how well you work together as a team.
Of course, the game developers at Natural Motion wouldn't have dedicated so much time to making their virtual cars look so realistic if they didn't know you want to collect them.
When you go to the show room, you can choose from about two dozen car manufactures and select one of their cars. For example, you can select Ferrari and choose from the 488 Spider or the F12berlinetta (the others are only available to win). You can then pick the stock paint job, interior, rims and calipers before you buy. Then, it will be delivered to your garage.
Some of your car options include the ability to drive with the top down. If you race on a rainy day, your hood will pop back up so the interior doesn't get ruined.
You can collect top-of-the-line sports cars from Chevrolet, Dodge, Ford, Hundai, BMW, Audi, Fiat, , McLaren, Mercedes-Benz, Cooper, Nissan, Scion, VW, Subaru, Bugatti, Austin Martin, Bentley, Ferrari, Jaguar, Hennessey, Koenigsegg, Lamborghini, and Pagani. So, as you can see there are a lot of fine cars to add to your garage.
CSR Racing is far and away the biggest jump in gaming technology from one title to another that I've ever seen. It's clear that NaturalMotion has spent the past four years honing their craft and perfecting the look of the game.
They've also made some fantastic changes that make the gameplay more interesting and engaging. I played the original title a handful of times when it first launched and never picked it up again because it was difficult to progress without having a lot of time and money. In CSR Racing 2, there are a half-dozen games going at once. So it is rare that you run out of money and have nothing to do.
The added social elements of being part of a crew and the multiplayer aspect makes CSR Racing 2 something that fans of drag racing games can play for a long time without getting stumped by paywalls.
The amazingly detailed car renditions make CSR Racing 2 a virtual playground for fans of collecting sports cars, as long as you don't mind laying down big cash for the super rare stuff.
CSR Racing 2 is available for free on the iPhone and iPad and it looks the best on the iPad Pro. I asked NaturalMotion's CEO Torsten Reil if there were any plans to port the game to Apple TV and he gave an unenthusiastic "maybe." Hopefully, tvOS 10 will impress him enough to bring the game to our television sets in the near future without needing AirPlay.
Have you played CSR Racing 2 yet? What are your thoughts on the game?
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Lory is a renaissance woman, writing news, reviews, and how-to guides for iMore. She also fancies herself a bit of a rock star in her town and spends too much time reading comic books. If she's not typing away at her keyboard, you can probably find her at Disneyland or watching Star Wars (or both).
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