Tag Archives: RACING

Gravel Review

One of the biggest problems that Gravel faces, particularly on the Xbox One (which is the version that this review is based on), is that it’s always going to be compared to the Forza Horizon series. Which is really unfortunate as Gravel is a very good driving game, albeit without all the bells and whistles that you get with Playground’s masterpiece series of titles.

Gravel is developed by Milestone, an Italian team who have a good track record (sorry) in the driving game genre, having previously been responsible for the Moto GP and Ride games. They also used to develop the official Rally World championship games before it was passed to BigBen and Kylotonn. Having played and reviewed the disappointing WRC7 last year, my view is that an official rally game in this engine would be pretty darn impressive.

Although Gravel and the Forza Horizon series share a lot of similarities, the presentation methods are very different. Gravel ditches the open-world setting and instead goes for an edgy, Xtreme sports TV theme, called the Gravel Channel. Before races you are treated (or endured) to a commentator telling you just how awesome the upcoming race will be, and then afterwards you are told how great the race was, and to be honest this does become tedious and stale after a while. There are also some incredibly ridiculous lines of dialogue, my favourite being “If you didn’t faint whilst watching this race you’re used to strong emotions.” Wow. Although these lines of dialogue are repeated they are easily skipped and didn’t detract from my overall enjoyment. In the multitude of options that are available it can also be turned off, much to my pleasure.

So, with the open world setting not present it’s up to the menus to provide the jumping point to individual races. There are of course a number of game modes to choose from, the main one being Off Road Masters, and there are also Multiplayer, Time Attack, and Free Play modes to pick from. At this current time there are also Weekly Challenges which require you to beat a certain time in a set race.

But Off Road Masters is where most players will start. It is split into sixteen themed episodes, with each of the episodes featuring three to five individual events that will either be a single race or a small three race championship. Each race or championship has three stars up for grabs, with the whole three awarded for a win, two stars if you finish in the top three positions, and the measly one star if you manage to just complete it. Once you have enough stars you will unlock the next episode, so at times you will need to revisit earlier events for some easy stars! Amongst these episodes are special events, which are head to head races against the famous fictional drivers set in the Gravel world. There are no stars on offer here, but you will need to win the episode in order to progress.

As you win and progress your in-game level will go up and you will also unlock new cars and liveries. There are no purchases needed, as everything will be unlocked via your progression, however there is a menu option for DLC, which currently only contains a Porsche pack and a free “Bowler Bulldog” car. Obviously there is scope here for the addition of paid DLC in the shape of car packs, but as previously mentioned, there is nothing pushing you to spend real money in order to unlock cars.

There are seventeen different locations to race around, and from the beaches of Namibia’s Gold Coast to the city streets of Las Vegas these are truly a high point of Gravel. I fondly remember the first time I played the arcade version of Ridge Racer and being mesmerized by the background visuals, and Gravel gave me that same feeling. The locations are gorgeously created, whether you’re racing through sand dunes before bursting onto a beach and splashing through the water, or competing in the Florida stadium in huge trucks with fireworks exploding as you race through checkpoints. The weather and environmental effects are very impressive also, whether its water splashing up on your viewpoint as you race through the sea’s edge, or the faithful representation of that horrible muddy murky stuff you get on your windscreen in real life on a winter’s rainy day.

The driving mechanics are pretty spot-on as well. With a game mode called ‘Off Road Masters’ you will be pleased to know that you will spend most of your time sliding cars sideways through mud, grass or snow. This is achieved without too much skill and you will soon be sliding and drifting around corners with a huge smile on your face! The AI can be tough, as races can resemble stock-car races at times, and the collision detection never feels unfair. For example if you cut across the front of an opponent it will put you in a spin that will put you at the back and will be hard to recover from. Forza fans will be pleased that the rewind function is included, so any mistake can easily be rectified.

There are a number of different races to take part in. Lap Races and Checkpoint Races are standard eight car events, Time Attack is a single player blast to get the fastest time possible, Smash-Up is a single player lap or checkpoint race where you have to knock down targets as you race around, and Elimination is a survival race where the player in last position is eliminated every 30 seconds. All of these are fun except Smash-Up which I didn’t like at all. The targets you need to hit either have red crosses or green arrows, and if you hit the crosses it causes your car to slow down. Even if you hit the green first but then the back of your car brushes the red cross afterwards it still slows you down. I found these levels the most tedious to play as the fun factor was removed.

Unfortunately I did encounter some gameplay bugs. These ranged from slight graphical glitches, especially on maps which feature a large amount of water, as the shadows and reflections seemed to take a while to load in. On one occasion I finished a Time Attack race in first position but when I proceeded to the scoreboard I had finished in third. I also witnessed the opposition cars go missing from the minimap, and on one Special Event the opponents car disappeared from right next to me and suddenly was ten seconds back. Again these are not game breaking but did put a slight dampener on my enjoyment. I played Gravel on an Xbox One X and so far it is the only game to cause my console to become very loud, just like the in-game car revving. I also tested it on the One S, and it did appear to have a few more technical issues, including the race starting with my driver sitting in mid-air!

Despite the occasional bug I absolutely loved my time with Gravel. Overall, it took around 13 hours of gameplay to finish the Off Road Masters on medium difficulty, and I still have around 60 stars to go back and collect, which I plan to do. There is also an achievement for reaching Level 50, and I’m currently at 37, so there is still content left to do, including the multiplayer. The Forza Horizon games are notable for their vast amount of content, and at a recent game event, their studio head discussed whether or not there is too much content, and Gravel is much shorter, and at full price you may need to question the game’s value for money. But the major reason to go and buy this right now is that it is really, incredibly good fun. As you are sliding around corners or bombing down a beach you will be smiling, and that’s a good enough reason as any to make this purchase. If you only have room in your life for one off-road racing game then Forza Horizon 3 is probably the one to go for, but this is a very credible second place for me.

Thanks to Xbox and Milestone for supporting TiX

Gravel season pass and DLC announced

Milestone is probably one of the most experienced developers when it comes to racing games.  Today Milestone have released details about the season pass and DLC updates about their off-road racing title Gravel.

Season Pass

For those ready to go beyond their limits, Gravel Season Pass will include 5 DLCs, which will give access to additional 12 new vehicles, 10 check point tracks, 4 new Wild Rush circuits and 2 new Off-Road Career Events with the aim of satisfying even the most demanding off-road racing fans.

Gravel Season Pass and Gravel Special Edition, including the Full Game and Season Pass, will be available to pre-order from 27 February 2018 on PS4, Xbox One.

In addition to the DLCs included in the season pass, new content will be available completely free, letting players broaden their car portfolio with new exclusive vehicles. The first two freemium DLCs are Gravel Free car Bowler Bulldog and Gravel Free car Acciona.

For all four-wheel enthusiasts, this DLC gives access to the first exclusive free vehicle, available for download from 7 March.
Straight from Great Britain, here’s one of Bowler latest creations, the Bulldog, a concentration of power which makes the off-road experience even more thrilling and engaging.

Details on all other DLCs will be disclosed later on.

Gravel will launch on 27 February on PS4, Xbox One, and PC/STEAM.

Project Cars 2 review

The racing genre is nowhere near as saturated as it used to be, at least in regards to the sheer amount of titles out there. However, finding a gap within the genre to focus on is more difficult than ever, with the majority of racing titles covering every aspect of racing so thoroughly as to narrow or entirely eliminate most gaps. Project Cars 2 has therefore concentrated on delivering a true simulation for players to enjoy; covering a large variety of different disciplines but keeping the experience as realistic as possible. Still, the competition is strong and the timing of Project Cars 2’s release may limit its overall appeal.

Indeed, Project Cars 2 improves on the original by stepping up its realism to an impressive level. The huge variety and amount of cars each offer a unique set of handling challenges to master, making every aspect of a race a thoughtful endeavour. Simply pulling away from the starting grid requires forethought: do you gun it or ease into it? Where’s the sweet spot for traction and acceleration? What’s the turning circle like at different speeds? How does the weather affect the handling? All of these questions are thrown at you. You are driving in a simulation of immense realism and it therefore requires deep consideration.

It’s exhilarating stuff. There’s a mastery to conquer for each car and for each discipline that keeps you busy and engaged for countless hours. Learning how to drive through streets is a very different lesson to driving on a raceway, even if the cars are the same. Meanwhile, rally driving, etc. offer entirely different challenges for you to suss out. There’s so many things to learn, and with Project Cars 2 offering such as a wealth of cars, tracks and disciplines, the potential fun is endless.

Of course, this fun is only the case if you’re a driving enthusiast. Project Cars 2 has a niche market in mind. If you own and regularly use a full steering wheel setup, then this is definitely the title for you, otherwise, this focus on simulation driving is going to frustrate you hugely.

It’s a fight from the very first race. The aforementioned wealth of things to learn is an overwhelming burden on the average player. You’ll spin out simply from trying to pull away quickly from the start. Meanwhile, the dynamic weather can turn a clear day, with favourable conditions that you’ve mastered well enough to finish in a respectable position, into a wet or cold day, sending you flying off the track due to a misjudged corner or overtake. It’s a punishing game where each overtake is hard fought, each corner is an obstacle to be studied, and your car’s handling is best analysed through experience. Indeed, if you mean to master Project Cars 2, it’ll cost you considerable patience and time.

However, for some this exhausting and comprehensive schooling will certainly be worth it. There aren’t many titles quite this dedicated out there right now, or indeed even planned for the future. This is a title that you might otherwise expect from Codemasters, for its excellent attention to realism and detail. And even the likes of the imminent Forza 7 can’t quite compete at this level of authenticity. But of course, this is also where Project Cars 2 is likely to fail. Forza 7 will be far more welcoming to all levels of racing players. Project Cars 2 is purposely niche, and so its player base is specific, and you may very well not be their target audience.

For those that do live and breathe driving; that own steering wheel setups that put their actual cars to shame, and for those that drive not only to compete for position but for the love of mastering the machines, then Project Cars 2 is right up your alley. Moreover, you’ll be able to enjoy a remarkably attractive simulator at that. The vehicle models are exceptionally well detailed and realised, with equally well imitated cockpits to boot. Meanwhile, excellent lighting and weather effects brings the terrific variety of tracks to life, whether they’re the real raceways or fabricated ones. Additionally, the engine sounds almost force you to bite your lip in anticipation for the horse power you have the privilege of driving. However, the AI does occasionally let it down, with some odd behaviour when cornering creating an, often comical, sense of unpredictability, as well as the AI switching suddenly between aggressive and passive driving styles. Otherwise, Project Cars 2 does a marvellous job visually and audibly, bringing the experience of driving these cars in these wonderful locations to your living room.

There’s also plenty you can do outside of racing. Tuning your cars to suit your driving style, the raceway, or the weather you’ll be fighting against, is a considerable pastime in itself. Fortunately is very easy to do, with everything explained to you in plain English. In fact, that’s something Project Cars 2 does very well: explaining things. Each new screen greets you with a short, narrated explanation to help you on your way, and thanks to a clean and accessible UI, you’ll be diving into the career or playing quick races offline or online, with tuned or stock cars, swiftly and without confusion.

Project Cars 2 is aimed squarely at driving simulation fans, to the point where playing it without a steering wheel setup feels somehow sacrilegious. And it recreates the thrill and expertise of driving super cars, rally cars, F1, and multiple other disinclines exceptionally well. It is, however, also a difficult game to play, highly inaccessible to those less practiced with simulation driving. Meanwhile, Forza 7 is also about to be released, a title that will feature many of Project Cars 2’s strongest features with added accessibly, making this already niche title an even harder sell. If you’re a driving sim nut, then don’t hesitate to pick up Project Cars 2, otherwise, best stay clear.

Thanks to Xbox and Bandai Namco for supporting TiX

Thrustmaster TS-XW Racer Sparco P310 Competition Mod review

That price is £650/$699 – So it certainly isn’t for the casual gamer, however, if you can afford to this steering wheel is highly recommended. The Steering wheel itself is a 1:1 replica of the P310 steering, famous across the racing tracks of the world. Teaming up with Sparco has ensured that the wheel is essentially identical to its real life counterpart. The pack also comes with the pedals also, which we’ll talk about a little later in the review.

As I first got my hands on the steering you can notice immediately that this is quality product. The aluminium frame is covered with a comfortable material will take the wear and tear from some frenzied driving by myself over the past week. The shift paddles behind the wheel are solid and comfortably within reach, while on the wheel are the A, B, X & Y buttons plus a small joystick to allow you to navigate the menus from the Wheel.
Setting up the wheel is very simple, thanks to the quick release system that Thurstmaster have created for all of their racing products. All you need to do is slot the wheel into place before twisting the plastic behind to lock it place before using a screwdriver to tighten up wheel. The pedals plug into the back of the Servomotor then the whole thing plugs into your Xbox One or PC. When it first powers on the wheel calibrates, so don’t be shocked as it spins like mad! The set also comes with a toroidal-shaped Turbo Power supply with a finless design, for optimized power efficiency. Everything you need to attach the unit to a table safely are all included and again it’s all very easy to setup, of course you’ll need a bit of space for everything so it’s worth taking that into consideration.

The first game I loaded up had to be Forza Horizon 3, I jumped in my 2016 Aston Martin and hit the road. Immediately you could feel every bump in the road, and as soon as you came off the tarmac the force feedback had you fighting with the wheel to keep the vehicle straight. What is clever about this wheel is that it uses a Power Band to control the wheel via rubber pulleys which are connected to two motors. In simple terms it will give you a fantastic racing experience.

The Pedals are mounted a plastic box with rubber feet that will ensure they don’t slip away from you when you are trying to accelerate, the metal pedals themselves are very responsive and give you much greater control over you speed, the brake has a conical rubber brake mod, which again gives you much greater control over your braking, which in turns adds to the experience.

I really enjoyed using the paddles to shift the gears, and being able to use all the buttons to activate DRS in F1 2017 certainly helped me improve my driving. It took me quite a while to adjust to the different cars I raced in, let alone the different games. Slamming into the gravel on the first corner at the Australian Grand Prix, really shocked me as I’d driving perfectly well in Forza Horizon, but of course, every car handles differently and the P310 reacts amazing well to each car.

As I mentioned at the beginning, you are going to need to be a bit of a hardcore driving fan if you are thinking of picking this up, but if you do, you are getting once of the best racing wheel setups around. PS4 Users are out of luck currently but Xbox and PC fans will be most pleased.

Thanks to Thrustmaster for supporting TiX

Need for Speed Payback announced

With a familiar Fast and Furious theme to it, the visuals of last year’s title but with some sunshine, collectable classic cars to find like in Forza Horizon, the crash sequences of Burnout, and a little of the track events last seen in Split Second, Need for Speed Payback looks to be incorporating some of the best elements of car racing films and games into their latest entry in the series.

At the EA E3 conference, Need For Speed Payback was shown off, treating us to some of the high speed racing, traffic dodging and pursuits we can expect come release, November 10th. A section of it’s story mode was highlighted, showing a stunt seen multiple times in the Fast and Furious franchise of films, where one of the three protagonists you’ll play as jumps from a high speed car onto a truck, before stealing the sport’s car within and driving off. It was exhilarating to watch, and we here at TiX towers are pretty hyped.

We look forward to seeing more, but for now, there is a reveal trailer:

Table Top Racing World Tour review

The idea of tiny cars racing around a real world environment isn’t a new one. Micro Machines was probably one of the first way back in 1991.  Table Top Racing World Tour puts us right back into the action with an added sense of nostalgia, after all, it doesn’t seem that long ago since I was racing toy cars around the ketchup at the dinner table.

Table Top Racing World Tour has been around for a while, but on other platforms. I’m not sure why there was a delay on an Xbox release but it I’m glad it finally has been put out there for us to enjoy. There was a small amount of hype for Table Top Racing World Tour because one of the developers was responsible for the high octane futuristic racer WipEout. With that being said, this game does not come anywhere near what WipEout was, not by any stretch of the imagination.

Table Top Racing World Tour

You know the score, you race you collect weapons and you take out the opponents, simple, however, Table Top Racing World Tour offers just a little more than that with various modes such as knockout and best lap challenges. The racing environments are good at best but you don’t really take much notice, do you, when you’ve got a clock to beat. Do you? In total there are 8 themed locations 1 of which is a Yo! Sushi restaurant which apparently is somewhere the developers liked to eat. There are a total of 32 circuits to blast around, so it doesn’t feel like you’re plodding around the same track over and over again.

Table Top Racing World Tour

The cars, in my opinion, are brilliant, as there are various types of vehicles and come in all shapes and sizes. The large wheels and cartoon style is quite quirky and you have the added option of buying different rims and paint designs as part of your upgrades. That upgrade system is simple enough and each vehicle’s main attributes can be upgraded at a cost although to be honest it isn’t that hard to get your car up to top spec. Be warned, however, the other cars also upgrade with yours making it quite frustrating at times.

Table Top Racing World Tour

The weapons you collect around each course are quite common. You get ones that slow your opponent down and the ones that…well, slow your opponent down. There aren’t many different types of weapons and one disappointment came when I shot a rocket for the first time expecting a huge explosion and the target to be thrown into a spin never to reach the podium, however, that did not happen at all. The car simply slowed down slightly and kept going making for a photo finish.

Table Top Racing World Tour

There are the obvious short cuts around the tracks and more often than not there is a coin placed on the shortcut that will give you bonus rewards at the end. These offer a nice touch, but more often than not you’re fighting for first place and don’t really have time for trial and error. Each track has a 3-star system so it will probably benefit you to obtain the 3 stars then go back into each course and gather the collectibles, if you can be bothered that it is.

Table Top Racing World Tour

Table Top Racing World Tour is a slow game overall and doesn’t offer the high octane experience you might expect. The cars handle nicely and it can be said that it is quite an easy game to finish. Sometimes though, the opponents do like to give you a little nudge and that can send you slightly off course but this still doesn’t offer much of a challenge. The soundtrack is pretty good and the music suits the game. It would be fair to say that TTR:WT hasn’t left its mobile roots behind as this game is better enjoyed in short sharp bursts, but doesn’t really offer any longevity. The multiplayer aspect would be better enjoyed with friends and could potentially offer some funny moments, but with games like Rocket League out there then TTR:WT doesn’t stand a chance in the multiplayer universe.

Thanks to Playrise Digital and Xbox for supporting TiX

 

 

New screenshots of Micro Machines Word Series

I loved the Micro Machine games back in the day, and I am very excited to see it returning this year. And to whet my appetite a little more, Codemasters have released five new screenshots of Micro Machines World Series.

These screenshots have been described as “created in the game engine using in-game assets” so whilst there may be in-game representations of the visuals, they aren’t necessarily representative of the game in action. Still, they look good and certain get my motor running.

Steep review

Steep needs no storyline. It needs no larger than life characters or fantastical course layout. Steep is to SSX what Skate is to Tony Hawk. It’s about finding that perfect ski line and smashing the medal targets for each course. It’s about dominating your friends during an online session. And most importantly. It’s about losing yourself in the open-world of the Alps.

If you hadn’t figured it out by now, Steep is a far throw from the antics of SSX. It’s about the winter sports of Skiing, Snowboarding, Paragliding and Wingsuiting, and for that, it manages to create some of the best alpine escapism I’ve experienced in a game, and if you really want to immerse yourself, there’s a first person mode, which looks great, but made me nauseatingly dizzy.

Starting off simple, you’d be forgiven in thinking that Steep is just a leisurely slide to the bottom of each course. Sure, this is the main crux of the game, but it gets pretty hard pretty quickly and it does it so perfectly. The pace of ramping up the difficulty is wonderful, that is, if you don’t rush off to the more advanced mountain ranges. By the time you progress to the harder courses, you can fly your wingsuit through a craggy cave and tight holes (steady on Greg) and you’ll do so with the greatest of ease. OK, so I’m being kind. It’s bloody hard, but Steep nails that ‘just one more go’ mechanic.

steep-1

There are a variety of events to take part in, and for the most part you can choose to tackle them in any of the four sports. Each course and challenge is built around getting to the bottom in the fastest time possible or by scoring enough style points. There are some zany ‘Stories of the Mountain’ which inject some humour and a bit of narrative to the game, but Steep rarely strays from that real-world experience.

Rather than hide events away until you’re a high enough rank – although there are prerequisites for some – events must be found by exploring the mountain. Stumbling across them as you blast down a slope, or stopping at key points in order to whip our your binoculars to scout for hidden base camps is all part of getting lost in the wilderness of the Alps.

steep-2

Some events are so open that you can navigate to the finish line via any route you see fit – with the exception of hitting checkpoints – so it’s quite easy to get lost during each course. Thankfully there’s a helpful white line guiding you roughly in the correct direction – it is only a guide though – following it will rarely reward you with a gold medal.

Travelling around the Alps is easy. There’s a 3D mountain map that allows you to jump to new events, which are labeled so you can see where you need to go next. First you need to scout each new location or unlock them by accruing enough XP. Scouting is done by pulling out your binoculars to search out areas that look like they could be drop zones and then you simply get close enough for them to unlock – it’s a more manual version of the towers of Far Cry and Assassin’s Creed. You can also use your binoculars to fast travel to any location that you see.

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The map can be a pain in the ass though. I constantly wrestled with navigating the mountains to find where I should head next. It desperately needs the option to flick through each event rather than aimlessly dragging your pointer about. There’s also no filter option. Ubisoft is hardly a stranger to open-worlds full of things to do so it bemuses me as to how they’ve got the map of Steep so wrong.

The map is far from useless though and the most useful mechanic is the ability to display trails, either your own or ‘trails of the day’, you can then warp to any part of the trail – ideal if you made a wrong turn.

While there are opportunities to bust out some tricks, they are relatively safe and far from the over-the-top antics of SSX. Each trick could easily be performed by a pro. As you trick and zoom down the mountains at speed, you must constantly battle G force, hit a rough patch of snow/rock/ice or land a trick wrong and you’ll be exerted to extra pressure that will, if continued, throw you off your skis or board and ragdoll your rider down the mountain.

steep-6

Taking to the air via wingsuit or paraglider, you can scope out each mountain to spot new events or hidden basecamps. There are also some activities, but these are damn tough and will take perseverance if you want to master them. Wingsuiting is particularly fun and fast, the hard courses are exhilarating as you fly close to the ground and through cave networks. Paragliding on the other hand (even after you work out the flying mechanic) is just rather dull.

Similar to larking about online with mates on Forza Horizon 3, Steep is equally as much fun, although setting challenges for others wasn’t something I had much interest in, so unless a mate was about, I pretty much played on my own which rendered the need for being connected online useless, and yet you need to be connected to Ubisoft’s servers all the time – if they’re down, then you won’t be able to play.

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Other than visual customisations, there’s nothing you can do to change your rider. There are no stat boosting equipment or skills to equip as you gain XP – the clothes and skis you start with can take you from the easiest slope to the hardest – it’s all about finding that perfect line and having the skill to navigate down the slope.

While stopping short of a full simulation, Steep captures the alpine life of hurtling down a ski slope without the expenditure (and more importantly) the risk of breaking a few bones in the process. It will certainly appeal more to those who holiday in the snowy regions of the world.

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Paragliding is the least intuitive of the sports. Only by straying from the white guiding line and having an understanding of how the wind manipulates the parachute, will you be able to conquer this mode. Even when you do, it’s the weakest of the four sports – with fussy controls and a slow pace – if you mess up you will be in for a long haul back through the course.

Rather than snuggle up to SSX for warmth, Steep has instead jumped into bed with Skate, which if you enjoyed, you’ll sure find comfort in the icy embrace of Steep’s many slopes. No over-dramatisation, no over-the-top tricks, Steep is just pure fun.

Thanks to Xbox and Ubisoft for supporting TiX

Gas Guzzlers Extreme review

There has been a glut of racing games lately, with a good number of them featuring some form of battle element. Gas Guzzlers Extreme falls most definitely into that last category. Imagine, dear reader, a race series where the aim of the game is to destroy the other racers. Will Gas Guzzlers have the fuel economy of a 5-litre V8, or a sleek Japanese hybrid?

The aim of Gas Guzzlers then is to climb the leaderboards of the three championships that you can enter. As with most games of this nature, you start off with a meagre amount of cash to choose and buy one of the initial two junk piles that you can afford. Buy carefully though, you’ll need to leave yourself enough readies to upgrade various bits and pieces on your rusty steed. Don’t worry at this stage, you will have the opportunity to buy a new car, but we’ll come to that shortly.

Upgrade the car to what you can afford then and launch yourself into the first challenge. After what seems to be an eternity of loading, you’re ready to race. If there’s one thing that’s missing from the game initially, it’s some direction. The triggers are used for acceleration and braking, you find that out soon enough, but I was a little confused by the lack of firepower to begin with. All was answered soon though. Each track has an amnesty zone at the start of the race where none of the firepower you’ve invested heavily in will activate. Think of it like the DRS in F1, it only activates after a certain point in the race.

So, the fun starts after you pass the Fire Zone sign. Be careful though, you’re not safe camping behind some cars, ploughing it full of lead. There are some weapon upgrades that offer reverse firing, so you’ll take some hits wherever you sit on the track. The tracks themselves have multiple routes to drive, so sometimes, even finding your opposing racers can be difficult. Each car can have a small indicator above it during the race, so if you keep an eye out while trying to avoid course obstacles and scenery, then you can usually spot them and use the Nitro on the car to catch up.

Gas Guzzlers

Nitro, ah yes. There is a small boost available on the car, by tapping the A button, and this seems to reset as you cross the start/finish line, so use it wisely. This can also be topped up along the way with on-track power-ups. These include more ammo, yes, you really can run out of lead, nitro, mines, smoke bombs, oil slick barrels and repairs. Pick your power-up carefully on the pass, it’s no good grabbing a mine if you’re about to become another footnote on the nearest scrapyard’s stock-list.

Being scrapped isn’t the end of the world, however. What is does mean, in the long term, is that you could be losing places in the championship. You can, in the garage, choose one of the repair options to fix your battered vehicle. As you progress, you’ll get the opportunity to buy new cars, which will need certain parts upgrading again. Thankfully this does not include the armament, which is transferrable between cars. It’s strikes me as a little bit of a disadvantage being able to afford a new car, but not being able to afford to pimp it up well enough to compete, even on the easiest difficulty setting. In the garage you can also spray your charger to your liking, unless you choose to be sponsored, in which case, you’re stuck with the sponsor’s paintjob.

The cars themselves handle fairly well, but there’s definitely a feeling that something has been sacrificed to try and squeeze some more frame-rate out of it. I’ve seen worse graphics, but only on older games. The garage visuals are good enough, never quite reaching the heights of other racing games, though. For the racing side of game, the graphics blur quite well as you speed past. I’m not sure if this is down to the poor quality or some clever coding. I have a hunch on the answer to that, but I can’t put my finger exactly on it.

Gas Guzzlers

The driving mechanics are executed well enough, the car points generally in the direction that you’re trying to go, but the physics seem just a touch off. The collision detection is fair to OK, with you having the ability to knock some of each car’s health armour away by ramming them. Be careful with this, as you might end up smashing yourself to bits too.

As well as the weapons, there are some other hazards to watch out for. The mines you can drive over are not easy to spot during the race, and the stun grenades simply paint everything in white as you try to remember the track direction you needed to go in. The less said about the smoke effect the better.

The game is accompanied by a soundtrack, and an alterable commentary track. I’m not sure why this is included, as half the time you can’t really hear what’s going on with it. The weapon noise and engine whine is enough in my opinion, and the addition of commentary seems just a little on the extravagant side when the visuals and gameplay could’ve done with a little more in the way of attention.

Gas Guzzlers

Gas Guzzlers Extreme has a good selection of race types to drive, offering Power, Classic and Knockout initially, with sponsor-run Deathmatch and Capture the Flag on the first championship. Later on in the game, they introduce Last Man Standing too. These offer some challenge, especially the Team Deathmatch, as you’re never quite sure if your team is winning or not, but ultimately, the frustration comes from the controls and frame rate issues. Oh, there are zombies too, in the included Full Metal Zombie pack.

The one big thing that seems to have been left out is Multiplayer. It was rumoured to be included, but seems to have been removed from the game description on the Xbox Store. This is probably the biggest missed opportunity for Gas Guzzlers Extreme. Whether it will be included in the future is another matter, and would in all honesty add an extra point or two on to my score. As it is, the game is initially fun and has a decent difficulty curve to start with, getting progressively more difficult to earn the cash you’ll need to buy better cars and more upgrades. The lack of multiplayer is the game’s Achilles heel though.

Thanks to Xbox and Iceberg Interactive for supporting TiX

Gas Guzzlers Extreme powers it’s way to Xbox One

Do you like cars? Do you like guns? Do you like racing? Do you like explosive action? Do you like cars shooting guns while racing and blowing things up? If you answered Yes! or Hell Yes! to any of those questions then the perfect game for you just made it’s way to Xbox One.

Gas Guzzlers Extreme is a high-octane racer from Iceberg Games. You start with a bog standard car and race your way to an armed to the teeth epic motor. Gas Guzzlers Extreme is set to offer massive explosions, the ability to upgrade your beast and a ultra fast racing experience…oh and Zombies, lots and lots of Zombies. What’s not to like.

 

  • Combat racing at its best, featuring a blood pumping single player campaign with over 12 hours of gameplay.
  • Fast-as-lightning multiplayer tournaments with 7 different modes (classic race, power race, battle race, knockout, deathmatch, last man standing and capture the flag); with up to 4 teams available in team play mode.
  • 350+ miles of road across 40 tracks, 8 arenas and 7 different environments.
  • 12 unique weapons, on-track bonuses and power ups.
  • 18 customizable cars (12+ upgrades, color, rims, stickers, etc.).
  • Multi-path tracks and sponsored events.
  • Instant play with vicious AI Bots populating your multiplayer match while other players begin to join in on the fun.
  • Beautifully displayed high definition visuals with extensive vehicle damage, motion blur effects and custom paint jobs.
  • Full force feedback controller support as well as keyboards, joy pads, joysticks and racing wheels.
  • Packed with tons of unique humor and personality.

You can purchase Gas Guzzlers Extreme now on the Xbox Marketplace HERE.