CSR Racing first launched back in 2012, and since then we have seen a spin-off, tons of knock-offs, and an acquisition. Now, there’s CSR Racing 2 from NaturalMotion under the Zynga umbrella. CSR Racing 2 maintains the style of the original, allowing you to drag race on your iOS device with one touch control. The 3D graphics were a stand out aspect back in 2012, and the graphics engine has definitely been taken up a notch to be a stand out in 2016. The car modeling, backgrounds, and weather effects look absolutely gorgeous in depicting the fast paced drag racing.
A game needs to do more than look good, and that’s where CSR Racing 2 spins its wheels. The sequel is very similar to the original with the major differences coming down to new game modes and new cars. The actual drag racing still comes down to tapping at the right time to rev your engine off the starting block, and then to shift gears as you accelerate. That is literally all there is to it, and the most racing success is dependent upon car upgrades, rather than skill. That skill is only timed tapping, so it leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to engaging gameplay.
CSR Racing 2 does feature live online racing, a new edition of the street racing campaign mode, as well as new daily races. There are a lot of ways to start the same drag racing set-ups. The live online multiplayer is with random opponents though, rather than specific friends. Through all of the different modes though, you can escape the fact that each race is a few taps that rely on the car you have going in. You can play a race, upgrade your nitro, and then win the race with the same tapped timing in each race. The biggest distinguisher in the sequel is a new tuning system that lets you slide a scale to change your intro burst, tire pressure, and transmission grip to suit the upgrades on your car. For example, you can have your full nitro blast out quickly, or have the nitro boost at a smaller amount over a longer period of time. Those are changes made pre-race, and going into the idea of new upgrades determining success and failure. Each game mode even shows how tough it will be on a four point scale, and you can buy upgrades until it’s in your wheel house.
As expected, CSR Racing 2 is free to play just like the original. The gas tank is still included, which limits you to ten races in one session. It seems to replenish quicker in this installment, and honestly the gameplay pushes you away more than the gas tank. Everything is designed around the upgrades, and you can pay to speed up the process. With that said, you can still play quite a bit for free, though it seems that will lead to a sharper pay wall once you’re more invested in the game.
CSR Racing 2 (Free, Universal) delivers more of the same overly simplistic drag racing that will have your attention for about as long as a drag race.