One of the most (if not THE most) visually stunning top-down racers available on the iOS platform, Reckless Racing 2 recaptures all of the mudslinging fun of the original, but adds a tremendous amount of new content in the form of 24 different track layouts spread across 6 distinct locations (on mud, blacktop and everything in between), 17 selectable characters, 12 Career Mode Cup challenges, each of which consists of three to five individual races, an arcade mode, online multiplayer, and three different modes for single-race play.
Aside from the fact that Reckless Racing 2 is a universal app (YAY!), one of the greatest additions that players get this time around is the ability to tweak, tune and customize their vehicles through a series of upgrades which can be purchased with your race winnings. Whether you are unlocking new cars like the top of the line Tector V2-R or adding a new transmission, tires or coat of paint, there are over 15 different upgrades to be purchased (per vehicle) to add to the speed, acceleration and handling components of your ride.
To control the action, developer Pixelbite has once again included a multitude of fully customizable control schemes (five to be exact). These range from a series of turn left and turn right buttons to tilt controls and half/full wheel options. I tried out all these choices and struggled a bit with the responsiveness of the wheel controls, I finally settled on my favorite…the tank controls.
The graphics once again look phenomenal! The reflections and shadows, little minute details from split oil on the track to skid marks look so detailed and vivid, especially on the iPhone 4/4S’ Retina display. Seeing as the EA-published original Reckless Racing title came out in separate platform-specific releases, I never had a chance to experience the game on an iPad, where I think it truly shines. The bigger screen allows you to really dive into the action. There is also a very cool (optional) race line feature which shows you the correct path take around the track as you are driving, a neat little addition, it is a perfect way for new players to learn the (sometimes confusing) track layouts.
The one area of the game that is still a bit lacking is the Online Multiplayer. Unfortunately it suffers from much of the same lag and matchmaking issues that plagued the original. Allowing you to race against 3 other players online, you can often waste 5 minutes or more just trying to get a race going because one player won’t select “ready” and there is no way to boot them from the lobby. When I did finally get online matches going they were always hampered ay some point by a crippling amount of lag. Hopefully these issues get resolved soon.
Reckless Racing 2 is a great sequel to the original with an amazing Career mode and an awesome new vehicle upgrade mechanic. Once again the shortcomings of the somewhat laggy multiplayer, are fortunately overshadowed by the game’s solid single player experience. This in one good ole’ time that is not to be missed!