Live Out Your Road Rage Demolition Day Dreams
Who hasn’t thought about trading paint with the four-letter-word driver that cut you off while they were texting? Or being stuck behind a slow driver in the fast lane and imaging ramming it out of the way, and glancing back as it spins like a top behind you. I can’t be the only one!
Racing simulators like Forza, Gran Turismo, and Dirt allow us to prove something all of us think:
“I could totally be a race car driver.”
Then you have arcade racers like Mario Kart and Burnout that bring a sense of Saturday morning cartoon delights to racing video games. What the developers at Bugbear, published by THC Nordic, have done with Wreckfest is a fine balance between both these gaming experiences.
Not their first attempt, as they are the banger minds behind the Flat-out series and Demolition Destruction. Wreckfest started out titled a the Next Car Game during development that took the better half of a decade to finish and this is the end result. Its a demolition derby racing game that allows you to use violence, revenge, and a motorized sofa, to release the tension of today’s self-quarantine.
Wreckfest Drive to Survive
It is a pretty straight forward racing game. Career mode where you work your way up through several championship series. Each one offering various challenges, races, demolition derbies, and special races. You win cash for aftermarket parts and unlock other cars, etc. The secret to Wreckfest’s playability is its soft-modelling crash effects. Crashes, rollovers, jumps, all feel satisfying as the vehicles crumple into scrapyard cubes.
The handling makes it feel like your driving in a 1970’s Hollywood car chase. You drive hard, fast and loose in four-wheel drifts through figure-8, rallycross, and dirt tracks. There are also some creative tracks straight out of Hot Wheels. The vehicles range from muscle cars, JDM hatchbacks, and sedans to wacky offers like RV’s, a bumper car, school bus, and a Harvester.
Online racing adds to the chaos as opponents quickly turn into rivals. Drivers who are hell-bent on slamming you into the wall. Doing whatever it takes to total your car even if it means waiting for you to lap them or simply driving the wrong way. The handbrake is your only friend in Wreckfest.
The game isn’t perfect. The music is terrible with not a single hard rock song. A major missed opportunity in a game that feels like the intro to AC/DC’s Thunderstruck. In career mode, you do have to deal with “rubber-banding” AI drivers. When rivals someone, always, gain a burst of speed in the final lap of a race just to add bane to your existence. Nevertheless, Wreckfest delivers an engaging, dramatic, racing experience. Every race is a dog flight, and vengeance is sweet when it T-bones your enemy at 90 mph.
Wreckfest is available for Xbox One, PS4, and PC.