Review: Wreckfest (PS4)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4
  • Xbox One
  • PC

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • DualShock 4 Required (1)
  • Move None
Title: Wreckfest
Format: Blu-ray Disc / PSN (11.2 GB)
Release Date: August 27, 2019
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Developer: Bugbear Entertainment Oy
Original MSRP: $39.99 (US), £34.99 (UK)
ESRB Rating: T
PEGI: 12
A code for the game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
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When the original PlayStation released all the way back in 1995, I would often pop into my local Game store and play the demonstration unit. Among the excellent demos was one called Destruction Derby. I loved wrecking other vehicles and watching the painfully sharp polygons fly off. Funnily enough, I never purchased the game, as the demo was enough and it didn’t seem like there was much else to it anyway.

I haven’t seen anyone go near the Demolition Derby style of game since and always hoped to see a return. Bugbear Entertainment did continue the vehicular destruction by starting the Flatout series of games, but it wasn’t quite the same. That same developer has just released Wreckfest, and it looks crazy and exactly what I have been looking for.

Gameplay:
Wreckfest is all about survival in a crazy, destruction-filled world, well that and winning events. The Career mode features five championships, each being progressively more difficult than the last, and contains an assortment of bizarre challenges that award points, used to unlock the next championship.

It isn’t just cars that you’ll be driving. I don’t want to spoil it, but it’s pretty much anything with an engine. No, scratch that, anything a person can sit on and strap an engine and wheels to is fair game. I’m not always trying to cause damage, as on a few rare occasions I’ve needed to weave and sneak my little vehicle through a David and many Goliaths style of race.

I haven’t bothered trying this game with my Steering wheel, as it seems to be overheating too often and so now resides under the stairs. The option is there, along with a host of settings to get the feeling of the game just right. I haven’t felt the need to adjust dead zones or the field-of-view but love that I can.

The controls are great and the weight of each vehicle is excellent. Taking some turns or slopes at the wrong speed or angle has caused my ride to take a tumble. This hasn’t always meant I’ve lost out on taking first place by the end of the race, as the computer-controlled vehicles are all fighting for the win. This often means avoiding some nasty crashes or witnessing another car being pushed off the track or into an immovable object.

Learning to use the other vehicles as mobile crash barriers has helped me take some turns with more speed than I would otherwise contemplate, although it doesn’t always go to plan, as they sometimes wise up to my plan and either steer into or away from me causing my ride an extra dose of damage or worse, hurtling off the track.

I’ve spent quite a lot of time in the garage, buying and upgrading vehicles, giving them a lick of paint, and tuning them, so they feel just right to then destroy them in a Demolition Derby. Fear not, as they always get fixed up again ready to race another day.

Visuals:
Carnage and mayhem, that’s what many a race or derby ends up being, with tires and pieces of wreckage littering the course. Unlike many other games, the debris doesn’t fade or melt away but stays there on the track waiting for the vehicles to make another lap and even more mess.

The destruction of the vehicles is a big selling point for this game, and while it looks fantastic, overall there are times when I’ve panned around my car and witnessed some strange and impossible distortion. Although, what do I know about how a wreck could look?

Wreckfest is a nice looking game, with tons of vehicles on-screen and destructible barriers. What more could you want? Apart from track deformation, which would only be possible on the upcoming PS5 and high-end computers, I can’t think of anything for a game like this.

Once or twice, the camera has been momentarily clipped by the car behind. It obviously only happens in a particular view mode, and has yet to cause me to mess up or lose my place.

Audio:
I’m not the biggest fan of the music in Wreckfest, some of it is recognizable and it fits well with the crazy action. With an assortment of sliders for every part of the audio, I’m sure everyone can find their sweet spot. Mine was to have my own music playing from Spotify and the sounds of the engine blasting through my speakers.

Online/Multiplayer:
Wreckfest features a few modes of online multiplayer and, more importantly, a Server Browser. I’ve always had a strong and stable connection without any issues while playing online and enjoyed smashing up the vehicles of real players. There is something satisfying about knowing a real person was in control of the wreck that you made.

I believe there is only one multiplayer Trophy, which entails winning twenty events, which doesn’t seem impossible but is still Ultra Rare.

Conclusion:
I didn’t expect Wreckfest to have enough to keep me entertained, but there are loads to do and the online modes are enjoyable enough that I will pop in to have a blast when I can.

With twenty-four cars vying for pole position, the action is crazy in every race and it never feels like the other cars are waiting for me to get near before coming off their racing line as each one reacts to the others around it.

Other racing games penalize me for scraping the paintwork of another vehicle or straying too far off the track, whereas this one rewards me for it and a whole lot more. Wreckfest is a refreshing carnage-filled blast and one that shouldn’t be overlooked. While it isn’t perfect, it is a fun and safe way to rid yourself of that built-up road rage.

Score:

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

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Written by Chazz Harrington

Chazz Harrington

You can find me on everything: PSN, Twitter, Origin, Steam, etc using my universal ID: ChazzH69

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