Review: Ultimate Racing 2D

Sometimes when you play a racing game, you just get this feeling. It’s kind of like being in the zone, but you experience the flow of a perfect corner, the breaking/acceleration perfectly timed. Following an opponent and out breaking them into a corner – all of these things are hallmarks of a great racing game. I’m really pleased to say that Ultimate Racing 2D nails all of these things.

You expect – or certainly hope to get all of these things from a racing game. What you have also come to expect are amazing graphics. Not there. Not that they’re bad however, as the name suggests, Ultimate Racing 2D is 2D. Top-down to be exact. Do not assume that this relates to a lack of complexity however. Ultimate Racing 2D does indeed try to be ultimate. Things that not all modern racers manage to include, are in here. Dynamic weather and tyre wear.

Depending on the weather, you may need to consider changing your tyres. So yes, pit stops are also included. There are no pit crews radioing to you to tell you that the leader is pitting, or you should consider pitting, so it is down to you to judge. A weather incident helps to tell you the forecast and if it is getting wetter or dryer, and tyre wear indications also help you gauge whether or not you should think about getting your wheels changed. Soft and Hard compounds exist to help inform your strategy.

Options over all of these things exist, ranging from how quickly the tyres degrade to how dynamic you want the weather to be (through chance of rain). Number of laps, qualifying – all customisable. But the real variety comes from the actual vehicles and tracks.

There are a lot. And I mean loads. Formula racing, go karts, speedway bikes, stock cars, trucks, Indy cars, ATVs. This barely scratches the surface. The amount of tracks are crazy too; simplified versions of famous race tracks are here. Australia, Silverstone, Monaco. There are ovals, dirt tracks, go kart tracks, ice speedways. There’s a lot to race.

There’s a large number of ways to play too. Career mode gives you objectives to meet in order to earn cash to sign with a better team. The closest to a story mode is a progressive trek through the classes available. Or you can enter buy mode, where you can unlock various classes and teams by winning races. There’s a lot and you can select number of tracks for championships, choose any particular ones you want as well as length.

Ultimate Racing 2D really is ultimate racing. In 2D. Let’s be picky – the menus look fairly barebones. The sound is functional, engine noise, generic music. But this is ultimate racing, and the racing is brilliant. There is no damage model, so it’s just a case of bouncing off sides, other racers or going onto the grass. With no penalty system in place, you can take shortcuts but these do a good enough job of causing you to slow down by going off circuit that I’ve not yet found one that’s worth the effort.

Local multiplayer is supported but sadly no online play. None of these things stopped me from enjoying or wanting to play Ultimate Racing 2D. It’s a brilliant racing game, and I would highly recommend checking it out.

Reviewed on XBox One

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