Gameloft wanted to break into the racing genre, so theyve gone out and created their own franchise from scratch with Asphalt: Urban GT (formerly known as High Gear). The N-Gage build of Asphalt we saw at Gamelofts E3 presentation revealed a highly polished arcade racer that is chock-full of great car company licenses. Its coming out for a range of cellular handsets too, so you true-blue cell gamers wont have to feel left out for long.
Asphalt packs a graphical engine that is one of the best weve seen on the N-Gage--even during an E3 show filled with impressive new N-Gage titles. Even in this very early build, the dynamic lighting effects are astounding. In fact, we practically flipped our lids when we saw actual tunnel lights reflected in real time in our cars shiny paint job. Furthermore, the game runs at a fantastic frame rate that is probably around 25 frames per second. The car physics appear to be very realistic as well, since our Bentley accelerated deliberately and rocked on its springs around fast turns. In addition to Bentley, Gameloft has also scored licenses from Lotus, Ferrari, and many others from the exotic luxury car class.
The actual gameplay doesnt represent anything that hasnt been done many times before, since it mostly focuses on passing checkpoints while dodging traffic and cops--although players will be able to tune up, customize, and upgrade their vehicles to their hearts contents.
Asphalt will be ready for consumption by the 2004 holiday season.