I remember seeing a trailer for this game a while before it came out and thought that it looked pretty neat. Kind of Burnout 3 esq with some more controlled explosions and not just all about ramming your opponents into the rails to take them out. This game has a slight bit more finesse and strategy to it (A racing game with strategy other than be faster than everyone else?) as you have to time your triggers and be selective of when and where you use them as some of these won’t allow you to use them more than once or twice per race and some are per lap. I love the UI or I guess lack of usual UI. I do really wish it was a little more burnout esq, as in there were loads more ‘original’ maps and other fun mini modes but sadly, there is not.
Overall Score : 73/100
Rent– This game is pretty long and also can be very infuriating. You can easily keep yourself busy especially if you’re a perfectionist and have to get all gold’s on the races and other event types (which for some of the events I still believe is actually impossible *cough*Time Trials*cough*
There isn’t much in the way of story for this game as the only story is really that you’re racing on a show that is about destruction and mayhem with a tournament style of racing (meaning there is a place system based on what you place in that “Episode” and then it affects your overall standinzg.)
I guess this would really depend on if you’re a Perfectionist and have to get all golds and how good at the game/how lucky you are. I’d say it’s a good couple (5+) of hours to go through it without going all golds and such.
The maps in this game although decently well thought out do lack a little bit of creativity for a “game show” type program. A lot of the races are just re racing on the map you’ve already raced like 5 or 6 times on, but sometimes they throw in a little different route instead of going the exact same way every time (Which has definitely been done on a lot of racing games in the past so it’s nothing out of the ordinary.) Some of the neat parts of this same kind of concept is that a few of the levels will let you use the Fully Charged level 3 trigger to make a short cut that will sometimes take you back through a snippet of these other race tracks. It adds a variety that most racers don’t or haven’t done.
There aren’t really bosses so much as there is slightly better AI depending on the race/race type. There are races such as the first few of some of the episodes that are fairly easy no matter what you do (the game somewhat scales cars to what you’re using throughout) but the challenging ones are always the Elite races at the end of the episodes as it seems like no matter what car you use, they are always faster yet always in the same car, these types of races take a little bit of luck mixed with great timing of your takedowns to take out more than just one opponent. The fact that it at the very least seems as though the elite races always scale with your car making it still just as impossible with a really good car and a terrible car is VERY irritating.
Defaults and Customizability-
The defaults follow most racers where the right trigger is your gas, left trigger is your brake or emergency brake/Reverse as there is no other break and the only other two buttons you really have to know for this game is the A/X and the B/O buttons( 360/PS3 respectively as I assume they didn’t change them from console to console) for your level 1 trigger and your level 3 trigger. In general I sometimes encounter controls that feel like a button should be changed for ease of use but it’s really not the case in this game, everything seems to be tested out enough for the simplistic strategy of the game.
Triggers have 2 different levels, the first and second level of the power gauge is really dedicated to the same thing but as 2 charges and the 3rd, red level, is dedicated to triggers that will change the course itself. You build up these charges by doing things such as drifts (longer the better), jumps, drafts (following in the air wake of other racers) and close calls (having something trigger by you and not die). Triggers are usually EXPLOSIONS! There is almost an unreasonable amount of explosions in this game but there are a few really interesting ones such as a few of them after a lap or a few people doing it will drop the top of an apartment building down onto the race track, a level 3 trigger on one map will make a helicopter drag a 797 Heavy Hauler truck around on the track and then finally drop it on the one lane. There are some interesting ones besides the usual mundane ones such as dropping an exploding barrel from a helicopter on your opponents.
I find the camera in this racer is pretty well done. It’s far enough back that you can see your peripherals easy not so far back to make everything to easy to see. You “can” use the right joystick to camera around your car to see what you want such as the decals you get from achievements and such but I still think it’s more just for kicks if you know you’re about to win on a straightaway more than to actually use or be useful in the duration of the races.
The in game graphics are what you would expect from a new racer that is made for systems that have been out for years. You won’t find any NES Mario graphics here but you still won’t see completely life like graphics which I think is a thing they did on purpose and a thing that I somewhat agree with. The more life like you get the more people might do something stupid and even though they did put a warning to basically, “Not try this at home you idiot” you know someone just might. The cars they use in game are all made up cars but man do they look sweet, there is some cars that look just amazing and you can tell that someone really put a lot of effort into these models.
The cut scenes (not including the start mini vids that are a few seconds long at the start of some races) that precede all new episodes are pretty slick, you can tell it’s by no means real but they are definitely pretty cool looking. Seeing cars race under a big tanker boat as it explodes and sends the propeller flying is pretty cool and usually it’s a “This is one of the level 3 triggers” that you can watch for when you race on that track.
The Bad and Annoying
One thing that does drive me a little nuts is that when either I’m taken out or I take someone else out and their burned up corpse of a car is laying about on the road, when someone hits it I figure it should take someone out as well as hitting a burned up car is still somewhat solid metal and the slightest bump will sometimes crash you if you hit a guard rail or a random piece of protruding map.
The final elite race mid as well be impossible as far as I’m concerned. I’ve spent like 3 days trying to get this race done and I’ve been in first place for most of the one try and then one little random crash and I lose cause every one of my opponents is apparently one car length behind me.