Wreck­fest AP­PROVED


TechLife Australia - - DISCOVER -

AS CON­SOLES HAVE be­come more ca­pa­ble tech­ni­cally and gam­ing has be­come a far more se­ri­ous af­fair, the idea that we might play just to have fun is fad­ing and, in­stead, it seems we’re al­ways re­quir­ing some imag­ined rea­son to press start. Rac­ing games have suf­fered the most in that re­gard. That’s in part what makes Wreck­fest so re­fresh­ing. This game doesn’t ig­nore the fact that the av­er­age rac­ing game player is look­ing at op­pos­ing rac­ers not as ri­vals to by­pass but as tools for ric­o­chet­ing their own car around a sharp bend without slow­ing down. It harkens back to a time when De­struc­tion Derby was the game to beat.

The star of the show is the physics sys­tem. This adds weight to the driv­ing it­self, and as you’re ca­reen­ing around the track, col­lid­ing into things, you’ll cer­tainly feel it. Too many shunts and you’ll find you’re steer­ing ever so slightly to one side. While hit­ting im­mov­able ob­jects does seem to pun­ish you ex­ces­sively, for the most part, it is well bal­anced es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing the avail­abil­ity of var­i­ous ve­hi­cle up­grades that of­fer up a lit­tle pro­gres­sion.

Ad­mit­tedly, that is where the game suf­fers a lit­tle. A se­ries of un­in­ven­tive menus are all that tie the dis­parate cir­cuit race or derby events to­gether, and while the Drive­club- style bonus ob­jec­tives pro­vide enough within each race to get you play­ing in a cer­tain way, they mostly feel tacked-on. For a game that’s as cel­e­bra­tory of the chaos and ex­cite­ment of this breed of rac­ing, a set of staid menu clicks and un­o­rig­i­nal in-event ob­jec­tives and XP gains shouldn’t be all that’s used to push pro­ceed­ings along. We’re not ask­ing for much, but Dirt 2 es­chewed its suit­able X Games vibe mas­ter­fully — even that would have been enough to tie ev­ery­thing to­gether. In­stead, it be­comes ap­par­ent that this is just an­other racer where all you’re do­ing is go­ing through the mo­tions: tick­ing off ob­jec­tives, fill­ing up ar­bi­trary bars and col­lect­ing cred­its for un­locks. Me­chan­i­cally, there’s a great racer here and one that is well worth play­ing, but four years of early ac­cess hasn’t re­solved a dull pro­gres­sion sys­tem and its lim­ited con­tent holds Wreck­fest back from be­ing en­tirely worth its price tag.

It’s cer­tainly got the clout to look great on any sort of ma­chine, with a good amount of va­ri­ety in the stages.

Noth­ing beats the vis­ual thrill of col­lid­ing (pur­pose­fully) with a stack of tyres.

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