Published on November 12th, 2013 | by Joseph Saulnier0
Air Race Speed
By Joseph Saulnier
Qubic Games takes a swing at a genre that never quite “made it” with its aircraft racing downloadable: AiRace Speed. And you know what… it is actually somewhat enjoyable.
In AiRace Speed, you pilot a futuristic-looking vehicle in an effort to get through the course as fast as you can. This means that the game is focused on time, and the structure makes for a solitary experience of you and your reactions against the course and its hazards. However, there is still some interaction with the general populace as once you finish a race you can go online to compare your scores with competitors around the world.
As you might expect from an aircraft, you can increase and decrease your altitude, roll to the left, roll to the right (sounds like a dance, I know) and control the yaw. Handling can be a bit… twitchy at times, but once you become comfortable with it, this sensitivity actually becomes a blessing in disguise. Chalk this up to your maneuvering being constantly tested.
One thing I was grateful for, is that you do have access to unlimited boost/turbo, which you will absolutely need to in order to achieve the fastest times on the course. But be wary in your early stages of playing the game as one wrong move and you will collide with the environment which can mean instant death (or just restarting at the most recent checkpoint).
While there are multiple routes that you can take through the levels, each of which offers a different course completion time, there are not many levels to choose from. Nor are there many game modes to choose from. There could definitely be a better offering here.
The tracks, if you can really call them that, are deserted. There are no people cheering you on, no spectators at all… just automated machines conducting mundane tasks. But even though there is this notable absence of life, it is far from dull. Tracks stretch out into the distance and then start to twist and turn, driving the claustrophobic up the walls as the tunnels narrow in on you. It’s just too bad that major sections of the courses are recycled, nor is there a sense of identity to each track. They all seem to blend together and be just an extension of the same course. For the most part, the game engine does a decent job of rendering the world and the craft you fly in. The framerate jumps all over the place when large objects appear on screen, but it consistently remains smooth.
AiRace Speed, to me, is a great “time-waster” game. Not to say it isn’t good, but it’s one of those games when you need to kill about 5-minutes in between appointments or, say, while waiting for your partner to finish work. It’s definitely worth checking out if you are a fan of the WipEout series, or if you are just a racing fan in general. There could be a lot more content for the price, and the controls take some getting used to, but this is otherwise a very enjoyable, very unusual spin on the racing formula.
3.5 stars out of 5