Gameloft’s incredibly over-the-top, incredibly fun arcade racer Asphalt 8: Airborne (Free) has just received its first content update since launching back in August, and it’s also now gone permanently free-to-play. The fact that Asphalt 8 is now free-to-play shouldn’t be surprising; its meager 99¢ original asking price was a hell of a deal for how much game it offered, and it contained the typical free-to-play infrastructure in terms of upgrades and an in-game currency system. Not necessarily in a bad way either, the game was quite generous in what it offered and never required that you pay anything in order to play the entire game. The fact that it’s now free just means the barrier to entry is completely removed.
As for the actual meat of the content update, there is a brand new vehicle, the Renault Clio R.S., and it sounds like more new cars will pop-up in the shop at any time and rotate out. So if you’re into buying new vehicles you should probably keep a close eye on what’s available at any given time. There’s also new limited time Cup events which will let you earn credits, upgrades and exclusive cars, and a new multiplayer World Series with 7 reversed tracks and improved matchmaking. There are also new per-event consumable boosters you can buy to help you get a leg up in certain races if you desire.
Finally, Asphalt 8 now includes the ability to customize the controls and place them however you like on the screen. Strangely, the update originally included text in the description that the game now supports Apple’s gamepads, but the description was quickly updated to remove any mention of it (the original update text can still be seen on AppShopper). We’ve seen similar things happen before where a game mentions iOS 7 controller support in its description but later removes it, likely at Apple’s request. So what gives? Does this mean controller support is still a ways out? Why is Apple being so weird about even the mere mention of official controller support when it’s something that was announced way back in June?
Whatever the case, we’re anxious as all get out for the curtain to officially be unveiled on the whole controller thing, but in the meantime be sure to check out Asphalt 8‘s new update and see what others are saying about it in our forums. And if you had hesitated on pulling the trigger for the game before with its 99¢ price tag, now you have no excuse not to at least download and check it out as it’ll be free forever from now on.