By the time of Asphalt 7: Heat’s release in June of 2012, smartphones were ubiquitous and their share of the game market was exploding. With the seventh installment, Asphalt continued towards its goal of using cutting edge technology and licensees to deliver THE premium mobile-racing experience. Now, however, the technology was moving at a pace that enabled the most dramatic leap forward since the move to iPhone.
Relive all of your Asphalt Memories with us.
After the success of Asphalt 6: Adrenaline, Gameloft was keen to continue the franchise’s advancement. So, Asphalt 7: Heat sought to push the series arcade action to its limits courtesy of 2012’s smartphone technology allowing for greater speed and visual fidelity than ever.
There were 60 prestigious cars from 24 manufacturers available in Heat, a full 18 more than Adrenaline. This variety resulted in a clear division between car types. Legendary vehicles were a prime example of these class distinctions. These iconic machines were instantly recognizable – and certainly powerful. However, they lacked some of the most modern racing refinements to really squeeze the most out of their raw horsepower.
Legendary cars sat in contrast to Sports Coupes, Super Cars, and Hyper Cars. These represented increasing levels of modern technology pushing performance to the limit. By the time racers were climbing behind the wheel of a Hyper Car, they could be certain that every drop of gas was being converted to pure speed. But these cars all had one thing in common - fulfilling the wish of every driving fan to own and race the car of their dreams.
But, while Asphalt 7 continued to add incredible dream machines, where it broke new ground for the series was at the other end of the scale, adding more “entry level” rides like Hot Hatches. These were still beautiful cars with good performance and handling. But they were not out of the reach of real drivers. Now players could live a very different dream, traveling to exotic locations in order to race in cars they could actually own.
Plus, with Asphalt 7: Heat the cars looked better than ever. With almost twice the number of polygons now available for every machine, the team began reproducing rides with meticulous accuracy. The result was stunning. Now, I could explain how the detail, lighting effects, and reflections made the cars look incredible... or you could just watch this video.
A whole new world (well some new world)
Asphalt 7: Heat’s visual flair was not limited to the models of the 60 licensed cars, it was also clearly visible in the game’s 15 locations. 11 of these were returning from Adrenaline, and made up an interesting variety of environments. Included among returning locations were the snow-covered landscape and snow caves of Reykjavik, the neon nights of Tokyo, and even the sun-kissed beaches of Havana.
But, along with these 11 returning tracks, four new ones were also added to the game’s world tour. These took racers from landmark filled, historic cities like London and Paris to the stunning vistas of Rio, Hawaii, and Miami.
The cutting-edge technology of the time allowed for multiple improvements. First, there was the pure power of the new devices allowing for more polygons onscreen at once. We have already seen how this improved car detail, but it also allowed the tracks to feel full and alive.
Higher fidelity textures and lighting improvements were now possible. This provided additional realism to the world as you sped through it. Now, the sun was able to alter the color palette, giving a more natural look to landscapes. Landmarks were also able to be recreated in even greater detail, making you feel like you were truly in the city.
The result of all this wasn’t just visual – the arcade racing action also benefited. Nitro now felt faster as the volume of scenery whipping past increased. Smashing into other cars resulted in more stunning crash sequences, with more debris and deformation possible. Similarly, jumps became even more impressive as the distance of the leap and density of the obstacles grew. And, finally, even more shortcuts hidden through these environments resulted in more dynamic and dramatic races.
Intense arcade action
Six different game modes were featured in Asphalt 7. Four of these were returning modes or slight variations on standard racing, such as the Normal Race which just demanded you finish in the top three. However, there were two new modes that certainly mixed things up.
The first of these was Paint Job, a mode that demanded precision driving. The goal was pretty simple, finish the event with your car in the same condition as it started. That meant not riding too many curbs, trying to avoid taking out streets signs, and NO CRASHING! Every time you did bump into anything you lost points from your total. It was an exciting and tense mode that explicitly prioritized precision in a way other modes did not.
The other addition was Check List mode. These events would split the track into five zones, each with their own challenges to complete. Some of these would need you to reach a particular top speed, while others may demand a certain length of drift, or litter the track with obstacles to avoid. It proved a varied and divers mode that quickly changed up the action to keep things fresh.
Multiplayer remained relatively unchanged in Asphalt 7: Heat. However, there was a new dimension added by Facebook and Gameloft Live connect. This connectivity allowed players to challenge themselves with a whole world of statistics and times to test their talents against.
Using these connected features it was now possible to easily invite and compete with friends. You could also generate challenges to send others when you wanted to mix things up. Or, players could choose to post their achievements and results online and matchmake with other players.
We are fast approaching the end of the road with our Asphalt Memories, with Asphalt 7: Heat bringing us to Asphalt 8: Airborne. However, Asphalt 8 is a very special case for the franchise. It is a huge, evolving title that has truly set a new standard in mobile racing – and it is still growing. But that’s for next time.
Let us know your A7 memories in the comments. Plus, remember to come back soon for our Asphalt 8: Airborne memories.