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Wreckfest Review

Wreckfest, A festival about wrecking things, particularly cars, developed by Finnish game developer Bugbear Entertainment was originally released on the 27th of August 2018 for PC and is now available on consoles. Cars, wrecks and total destruction come both online and offline in this game as it brought back the fun and entertaining experience of demolition derbies onto our generation of consoles. With its self-explanatory title and slogan ‘DRIVE HARD. DIE LAST’, even if this genre is not of particular interest to you, it creates intrigue as to the level of chaos that can be caused in this game.

What Is It About?

Wreckfest seeks to bring back the fun of aimless car carnage and players going all out to destroy each other, and obviously being in the age of online gaming, the game includes both online and offline modes. It contains different events, such as circuit races, on ingenious tracks, like figure 8 racing tracks or demolition derbies, with lots of different AI or online racers making wrecking cars both challenging and enjoyable as you partake in the painless act of destroying each other down to the core of your engines. With a roster of cars to buy and use, upgrades, paint shops and tune ups, this game rewards your passion for destruction, speed and always looking to be number one in any match-up that you find yourself in. Wreckfest was a new territory for me to explore, and with me being used to games such as Need for Speed and Burnout, this game only appealed to me in the sense that cars were involved. Demolition games have always seemed quite aimless to me, but this game made me realize that sometimes it is good to have some aimless fun.

The Good

I really thought I would already know how to play this game the moment it finished downloading. I always believe car games are something I can learn quickly and master over time. How wrong I was about this one, and that is exactly why I enjoy this game. The mechanics are really different from your standard car game because they actually feel real and difficult to handle. Entering my first race and having my car skid around and crash into everything was infuriating yet refreshing because it proved to be a challenge for me first playing the game, and a challenge in these types of games is something I have not had in a while. It also shows how the terrain plays a part in how vehicles move in the game, and that bit of realism just makes the game that more enjoyable. Another positive from this game is the lack of narrative. For such a game, having a narrative would have been forced and unnecessary, so instead the game just allows you to play at your own pace with no specific missions or side plots or character developments. It really sticks to the slogan on the cover: ‘DRIVE HARD. DIE LAST’, which this game lets the players do in abundance with one clear objective: WIN.

Multiplayer is fun: filled servers, interactive players, and demolition derbies. Having many players come together to cause each other harm is just something gamers are always looking to do, and with Wreckfest fueling the fire of carnage inside players, it just makes the game that much more entertaining. One very particular yet overlooked element in most games are the spectators. There is just something about being able to hear the murmur or the screams of spectators in video games when you are doing well in the game or doing something big within the game, it is almost like added motivation from the NPCs to do well. This is honestly just a personal feature that I enjoy in most sports games, like FIFA and the 2K sports games, and adding it into Wreckfest is something that I can appreciate.

One more feature I appreciate when going through the motions in races is the work that was put into showing vehicle damage, particularly in demolition derbies where cars need to be wrecked in order to win; vehicles are stripped down bare in these cases. Engines exposed, tires locked into dented parts of the car, panels and bumpers flying off the car, leaving it as nothing more than a driver on four wheels. It was not overdone, and yet seeing opponents in that state just gave a sense of progress towards their destruction that fueled me to keep going until I saw that word: ‘WRECKED.’ Playing this game made me realize how much I enjoy causing chaos, and I will continue to have fun with it whenever I want.

The Bad

Playing with online players makes any game more enjoyable, but the only thing truly better than that is playing with your friends in the same room. To be fair, split screen has been phased out by gaming companies and developers for a while now, and recent attempts to keep co-op gameplay alive, like A Way Out and the Borderlands series, have received mixed responses from gamers. Wreckfest seems like a game that should have incorporated split screen because it is really a game that I would have loved to play with my friends who do not have consoles or copies of the game.

Overall

Mayhem, carnage, radical. Words I could use to describe this game. It is an unexpected experience that Bugbear Entertainment created for those that wish to have fun. The destruction of cars all whilst looking to win races and finish first is motivation enough to put effort into this game, but winning that championship or finally coming first on any online race or derby feels more rewarding in this demolition game. Wreckfest, a spectacle about wrecking vehicles beyond repair, spectators watching the destruction of cars for their own amusement and racers damaging each other’s engines and tires to lose control of cars. It really is harmless and aimless but stress-relieving and fulfilling, and if that was the aim of the developers when making this game, then they have done a bang on job.

Developer: Bugbear Entertainment

Publisher: THQ Nordic

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

Release Date: June 14, 2018 (PC), August 27, 2019 (PS4, Xbox One)

Do you agree with our review of Wreckfest? what are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.

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