A game for petrol heads and ca­sual gamers alike

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - ENTERTAINM­ENT -

IF you have ever had the good for­tune of play­ing and en­joy­ing the madly bril­liant, beau­ti­fully bugged and wholly un­fin­ished rac­ing sim­u­la­tor Beam NG Drive, then Wreck­fest will feel like you’ve fi­nally caught your white whale.

Wreck­fest has all of NG Drive’s fab­u­lous physics and dam­age sim­u­la­tion, as well as its com­mend­able han­dling me­chan­ics, but also feels like a com­pletely pol­ished and fin­ished ar­ti­cle. In a time where rac­ing games have veered to­wards the cut­ting edge of sim­u­la­tion without any of the whimsy, Wreck­fest feels like a much-needed com­pro­mise be­tween se­ri­ous rac­ing and all-out fun.

Wreck­fest is, at its heart, a de­mo­li­tion derby game. But don’t be de­ceived by its metal-rend­ing trap­pings - un­der the hood there is a se­ri­ous racer that has been de­signed by peo­ple who are se­ri­ous about car rac­ing.

Where the tracks and ve­hi­cles them­selves are bonkers, the un­der­ly­ing mech­a­nisms are sur­pris­ingly nu­anced for a game of this type. Amer­i­can mus­cle cars and ar­tic­u­lated trucks will bat aside op­po­nents like flies, but feel hulk­ing and slow, whereas their nim­ble Euro­pean and Asian coun­ter­parts will dart around, al­beit while posess­ing a much lesser de­gree of phys­i­cal in­tim­i­da­tion.

This mar­riage of all-out-de­struc­tion to a very highly re­fined driv­ing model makes Wreck­fest a highly re­playable game. The es­chew­ing of ar­cade me­chan­ics def­i­nitely makes for a game that feels a lot less throw­away when com­pared to Wreck­fest’s contempora­ries, with the ob­vi­ous one be­ing Burnout.

While the nu­anced take on the driv­ing half of Wreck­fest is im­pres­sive, the driv­ing is just that - only half of the game. Luck­ily, the other half - the smash­ing - is equally as im­pres­sive and a great deal more ex­hil­er­at­ing. Even the small cars have a def­i­nite weight and the de­vel­op­ers have clearly done their best to im­press upon you how much dam­age even small cars can wreak upon their foes.

The soft-body dy­nam­ics means that your lit­tle Es­cort MK2 (not ac­tu­ally called that in the game but is an un­mis­take­able fac­sim­ile) can be beaten so far be­yond recog­ni­tion that you wouldnt be able to tell it from a Mini Cooper.

Wreck­fest is an ab­so­lutely bril­liant game, and one that is equally ac­ces­si­ble for petrol heads and ca­sual gamers alike. If you like de­mo­li­tion derby games but can’t stand the bom­bas­tic ar­cade shtick, then this may well be your game.

If you like de­mo­li­tion derby games but can’t stand the bom­bas­tic ar­cade shtick, then this may well be your game.

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