During the course of reviewing Ferrari GT: Evolution, we learned more about Enzo Ferrari than we ever really wanted to know. This isn’t just an officially licensed product, you see… it’s also a huge infomercial for the brand. While we tired of load screens telling us why the Ferrari logo looks the way it does, we loved the game, which is as speedy, elegant and precise as its namesake. We think you’ll have a ball touring the world in your Ferrari of choice.
Ferrari GT Evolution is built on the Asphalt 4 engine, but these are two very different games; where Asphalt 4 is arcade-y and lighthearted, Ferrari is more refined and serious. In other words, you’re not going to outwit the cops or crash your million-dollar Enzo in this game. Instead, you will be trying to adhere to the fastest racing line around corners while snapping out of your drift at the right moment–on-screen displays thoughtfully tell you when you’re drafting, and how far you’ve drifted, while a subtle set of arrows point out the best line to follow. For those familiar with console racing games, it’s a bit like Forza Motorsport.
The game’s tidy heads up display gives you a map of the race with contestants placed inside of it, a lap and race time, a tachometer and a speedometer, as well as your current position in the race. All of this, in addition to the options on the top for controls, camera and menu, somehow manages to stay out of the game’s way during play. There are many, many options available to customize your Ferrari experience, but the most trouble we had was figuring out how we wanted to control the car. Our advice would be to skip the on-screen wheel entirely, leave the accelerometer option aside (even though it works well) and roll with the touch-screen option. That will leave you with two brake pedals on screen, so tapping on them will slow you, while tapping above them on the course steers you.
Once you get the hang of that, drifting turns into an art form. The race gameplay as a whole is pitch-perfect–it’s difficult enough to demonstrate a realistic learning curve, but also forgiving where it needs to be. For instance, flipping your car around will result in the AI correcting you back on track, and slamming into a wall resets your car immediately. That said, after playing for a while the races become a little too easy. We found ourselves aching for more tracks and a difficulty meter to increase the replay value.
Ferrari GT Evolution’s presentation is very, very good on the graphical side, and considerably less than good when it comes to sound. The cars look (appropriately) gorgeous, although they could stand to be even more detailed than they are. While racing, the graphics scale beautifully, generating a fantastic sense of speed and torque. Meanwhile, the techno music is irritating, and we felt that the sound effects should have been much better for such a prestigious Italian racing brand.
Ferrari GT Evolution is an excellent racing game from a technical standpoint, and you’ll get your $9.99 worth of gameplay, but we’d like to see Gameloft offer even more. For instance, the 30-car selection of beautiful Ferraris is great, but there are only 8 tracks; the Wi-Fi multiplayer mode is fun, but we want full online play (which is apparently in the works for an update). Still, all of that is background for the race, and while you’re in the driver’s seat, Ferrari GT delivers the goods.