Alarm für Cobra 11 – Crash Time 5: Undercover Review

Generally games that manage to reach their fifth iteration tend to have a decent following, a reasonable amount of quality, and a lot of its issues ironed out over the course of its production. Crash Time 5 does the opposite of all of this, and it beggars belief that this one was actually made at all.

Where to start? You are two cops whom alternate between being undercover, driving street vehicles and being a criminal, and your standard beat cop whom tries to stop the criminals your partner is in with,. Your aim is to climb up through ‘The Organisation’ and make the organised crime network a little less.. well organised. Car chases, explosions and adrenaline are all promised on the box art. Frankly the box art is more exciting than the game is, and, based on the quality of this game, it is unfathomable what the German TV show it is based on, is like. The plot has been whittled down to a few sentences on a loading screen , as Crash Time 5 doesn’t really like doing cut scenes. Ben and Samir, are the erstwhile heroes whom manage to make driving fast cars about as exciting as filling up a swimming pool with a water pistol. Voice acting is terrible, terrible, terrible, and sounds like they dragged two random people from the street whom were severely hung over.

How a game manages to make driving cars at a manic pace boring  ,is beyond me. There is absolutely no sense of speed whatsoever, cars handle like bricks, whether at 60 or 130 miles per hour, and braking seems to do very little whatsoever. Crash Time 5 attempts to introduce Mario Kart/Blur type power ups that allow you to take out your enemies; all are useless and uninventive rip offs that further highlight how budget this game is.

The whole scenario is pitched as an arcade game, but shoots itself in the foot by making each mission a complete mess. Enemy vehicles wait for you until you catch up and there is often a hint of elastic band syndrome which defeats the chase aspect of the game completely. Inventive use of any of the tracks is pretty much barred by how ridiculous the handling is and every car tends to feel the same. An interesting dynamic, one of the characters chases the other in a cop car so he can get noticed, becomes a cake walk of a mission that loses any of its appeal when Ben and Samir start talking again.

Graphics are below what par was for gaming consoles, five or six years ago. Everything is the same bland greys and greens, and the potential excitement of racing around the Autobahn at top speeds is quickly diminished when everything looks like the back alley of a council estate in East London. Music is repetitive, crashes concurrent ,and made more infuriating by a slow mo cam that allows you to see in minute detail how rubbish everything looks and game play features are essentially non existent. Longevity is a highlight, with plenty of missions to choose from, though your own longevity  which will be further  increased when this disc no longer has a home in your Xbox 360.

No one outside of Germany seems to want to play this game, so do not expect a saving grace in terms of multiplayer; the thirty or so times I tried to play, only one came to anything and that lasted all of 15 seconds. Bargain bin, dirt cheap or handed out for free; this game is not worth any of your time. Its box art promises lots whilst the actual product gives nothing; achievements are not worth this kind of boredom nor is this game anywhere near a valid use of your time and well earned cash.

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