Review – Asphalt 9: Legends

My experience with the Asphalt series of games has been very limited, but somewhat positive. I own the original game for the DS (funny to think the mobile-centered series started as a DS launch title) and Asphalt: Injection for the Vita, one of my favorite games for the system, believe it or not. I never cared too much for the other games released on mobile platforms because I can’t be bothered to play hardware-demanding, battery-consuming titles on a phone screen without buttons, but I decided to give Asphalt 9: Legends a shot, mostly due to the fact you can play the game on your PC (it’s available on the Windows Store). I liked what I saw, but Asphalt 9 didn’t exactly blow me away.


I can’t imagine these visuals lasting for long on a mobile screen. They must suck the phone’s battery dry

Right from the getgo, the thing that impressed me the most was Asphalt 9‘s visuals. Even though this game originated on cellphones, I was actually impressed by its graphics. The cars are very detailed, the lighting effects are top notch, and the framerate is excellent. You also don’t need to have a powerful PC in order to run this bad boy on maximum specs. My mid-tier laptop got the job done without ever needing to scream through the cooling fan. The soundtrack was also pretty good. I don’t know if the songs are licensed tracks from other artists or actual original tunes made for this game, but they are pretty decent overall.

Artistic-wise, Asphalt 9 is a treat, but there is a big caveat. Despite the fact I’m playing a PC version, this is still a mobile game at heart. The controls are extremely simple and the thing every single gosh darn mobile game is filled with is present here.

The controls are . . . unconventional. If you have ever played a racing game on a phone you already know the cars accelerate on their own, and all you have to do is steer with the accelerometer and maybe drift every now and then. Asphalt 9 is no different. While the developers have added controller support and the ability to manually steer the car in order to drift in a more organic way, you can accelerate on your own. It’s interesting for casual players, for people who want to play a very easy-going racing game on their keyboard (the easy controls allow for a simple keyboard scheme), but if you’re looking for an alternative to Forza or Burnout, keep waiting.

Finally, there’s the issue regarding lootboxes and microtransactions. Asphalt 9 is a mobile game at heart as previously mentioned, and that means it’s free-to-play and chock-full of in-app purchases. Granted, Gameloft allows you to block the access to microtransaction stores if you want to (and please do), but that will only mean you’ll have to play even more than you should in order to unlock everything Asphalt 9 has to offer. Granted, it does have quite a lot of content, especially when comparing it to the other two games I’ve previously played in the series.


Those ramps aren’t practical, but damn they make me look cool

Asphalt 9 is a good racing game without a doubt, but it’s obviously catered towards a mobile market. It might be available on PC, it might accept actual controllers, it does look a lot better than your average Google Play Store asset flip garbage, but this was tailor made for a much more casual audience, people who want to enjoy this game in short bursts and aren’t completely against buying a bit of loot every now and then. This game would have been a perfect fit for the Switch if they ever bother to develop an actually paid version with no microtransactions to the system. We can’t live off Gear.Club Unlimited forever.


Graphics: 8.0

Even though the game’s visuals originate from mobile devices, Asphalt 9 does look pretty good on a PC screen, and it boasts a very high framerate.

Gameplay: 6.5

The controls are very responsive, but Asphalt 9‘s gameplay is best suited for mobile screens, not an actual gaming PC. You can’t accelerate on your own, for instance.

Sound: 7.5

The menu soundtrack is decent and the car engine noises are pretty good. Nothing amazing, but it gets the job done.

Fun Factor: 6.0

While the races are fun and the amount of content is impressive, Asphalt 9 is still a mobile game. It’s slightly shallow, it’s filled with (blockable) microtransactions and it’s best suited for short bursts.

Final Verdict: 7.0

Reviewed on PC.
Asphalt 9 Legends is available now on PC, iOS, and Android.