Eat Your Heart Out Whacky Races –
This party racing game can compare to the big names while being far more bang for the buck.
There is a staggering number of racing games in history, but not very many can satisfy the many needs of all gamers. With a long career mode with unlockable bikes and characters, great multiplayer modes, cool graphics, power-ups like guns and boosters, and a coop mode that just begs to played with friends, this racing title seems to fit anyone who plays it.
Of course this is not the only party racing game in town, like a certain one featuring a well-known plumber and his friends. Where it differs is in the gameplay itself, because there is no brake, and it focuses more on survival than true racing due to active weapons like guns that need to be aimed. There might be less attention on taking a turn well, but this has the effect of making everything much more even among the players. That equality leads to much closer races between everyone, and makes a local game with friends come alive.
Good party games have lots of different combinations of tracks and cars that make each match a new and interesting challenge. With 16 different cars, 3 main gameplay modes, and tons of different tracks and trophies for each, that is definitely the case here. With its use of weapons and boosts, it plays similarly to Twisted Metal having to aim the car well, but with a much faster pace and shorter time limit. Having these quick games makes it easy to setup and play, but not miss any of the party at hand, making it very convenient.
Visually, the backgrounds are cool, and the tracks can be pretty interesting to get around, especially with the survival mode where a giant rolling spike is chasing you. The only real flaw to this track layout is the camera. It has to keep track of all the players at the same time in one frame, instead of everyone having their own quarter screen to focus on. This makes for awesome close quarters combat, but when it focuses on the leader the trailing cars get left out of frame, and then “transported” back into frame just to make sure they can be seen again. This really breaks up what would be a fantastic game because it throws off the timing of everyone playing since you can’t even see car on screen. Normally this wouldn’t be so bad with a mode like career where it’s only focused on you, but since this game is mainly built for coop or multiplayer online, this becomes a much bigger issue.
If this was on a console only, I could see where it could be lost in the sea of great games that are currently out (by the time this review is posted the PS3 should be available). This kind of genre being available on the PC really changes that dynamic though, because they have found a need that is not being met in PC world. The list of party games on PC is lacking, and certainly ones that focus on racing. There are of course games that do either racing or parties, but almost none that can do both so well. But even with its flaws this is a definite check out, or possible buy because you could buy copies for ALL of your friends and still not be equal to one of its more famous alternatives.
Similar To: Twisted Metal
Also Try: Trackmania Nations Forever
Written by: Adam