There’s not much pizzazz going on with Ultimate Racing 2D. From the bare bones UI to the minimal audio and basic visuals throughout, first impressions of the title are not overly great. Unfortunately, things don’t improve much from there.
There are at least a lot of options on offer; 300+ cars, 45 tracks and various game modes to use them in. Solo players can take on a Championship, Season or Career mode. These do exactly what they say on the tin; though again there’s a disitinct lack of excitement going on. Pick your car from the list, pick your track and the race starts. There are basic objectives to fulfil in order to unlock the next tier of competition, though achieving these is easier said than done. There are also races to accumulate coins in order to purchase further classes, though the miserly amount gained if you don’t come in the top 3 makes this more or a grind than it needs to be.
By default races are set to 2 laps. This is a bizarre choice for two reasons. Firstly, 2 laps was probably wise because even by the end of the second I was already becoming bored with the race – not a good sign. Secondly though, to actually achieve anything in a race you’ll need a damn sight more than 2 laps. In a race with a full 20 competitors I found I was barely able to reach single digits by the end of the second lap. The settings are customisable though, so you can increase lap counts, change the weather and tyre sets for a more thorough experience. Whatever car you choose appears to get a massive boost compared to the AI, so it literally is a matter of time though until you can work your way up the ranks.
Unless you get nudged off road. The penalty for skimming the grass or wall is extremely severe, to the point that no matter where I was in the pack, I’d find myself right at the back in no time. This is especially egregious in tight corners where the AI will have no trouble knocking you off course even though they appear to be impervious to retaliation. Using them to guide me around bends became a favoured tactic, though hardly a reliable one.
It’s clear that a lot of effort went in to offer up variety, with all those cars looking and feeling different. They range from classic F1 racers, through Drift cars to slight oddities in Limousines and Forklift (sadly, no sailors were to be found) varieties. The 300+ is a bit of a white lie mind, as each type has several colours to choose from that appear to have been factored into the count. There is still a large range to choose from mind. The tracks don’t fare so well, with each one looking pretty much identical, at least in aesthetic – all green’s and greys. And the less said about the sound, the better. All of the cars have unique, droning engine noises that irritate quickly. Outside of this, there’s barely any audio at all either.
Multiplayer has some potential, though it’s limited to local split screen. Here we are at least put on an even playing field, with other players able to succumb to being knocked about the place as easily as you are. Again though, the lack of any real excitement soon drains any enthusiasm. The whole affair feels like Micro Machines going through a depressive mid life crisis – it manages to function, but all spark and charm has gone out of the window.
The title – Ultimate Racing 2D – sadly belies the actual experience on offer here. While there’s an impressive number of vehicles and tracks, the actual racing part feels flat, uninspiring and, quite frankly, boring. Multiplayer could be good for a laugh, but even that will wear thin before long. Racing fans may be able to eke out some more enjoyment, but for others just looking for a fun little run around you’re best off steering clear of this title.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox One. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by the publisher.Want to keep up to date with the latest Xt reviews, Xt opinions and Xt content? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.