All out mayhem is the best way to describe a demolition derby in real life. Metal crunching, engines roaring and crazy drivers going full tilt into other objects is just pure craziness to watch. Ever wondered what it’s like to participate in a demolition derby or a race with no holds barred. Well, now you can thanks to the folks at Bugbear Entertainment and THQ Nordic. Wreckfest provides you mayhem and carnage in the privacy of your own living room. Smash cars in a derby, race across various landscapes and take on various challenges in this arcade driving game.
Let’s start out with the visuals. The game looks fantastic with parts of cars flying all around the track as drivers smash one another into oblivion. The environments are varied and detailed with plenty of destructible items to lay waste to or even shove your opponents into. You will notice some small graphical hiccups like funky clipping issues or weird alien like arms of the people watching you on the podium. There are also some weird pixilation issues that take place in the menu screens. These do not take away from the gameplay and ae purely cosmetic, but I do hope they get addressed in a future patch.
Wreckfest is truly about taking your driving skills and putting them to the test online, but let’s talk about the single player for a bit. In career mode you’ll be able to earn credits to buy parts, unlock new vehicles and level up your profile. There are five Championship series to participate in with each Championship becoming a bit harder than the previous offering up new challenges and new vehicles. You’ll earn points from participating in the challenges which accumulate towards a grand total needed to unlock the next Championship series.
Things like Demolition Racing, Demolition Derbies, Lawnmower Races, Banger Races and specific vehicles challenges are ready for your skills. Each of these events offers up a total point score that can be earned as well as bonus stars. There are figure eight tracks, tracks that have traffic coming from opposite directions and then standard lap tracks. Keep and eye out for shortcuts. I can honestly say there is enough variety in this game to keep you busy.
You can also create your own custom events. Set the up everything you want from the types of vehicles, tracks and event style to the difficulty of the AI and even what they drive. You’ll only be able to use the things you have unlocked so far, but this is definitely a good way to boost achievements for certain things. But really, you’ll get the achievements pretty easily with some normal playing time.
There is a garage option that allows you to go in and purchase parts and then install them onto your currently owned vehicles. Beef up your engine or go with some armor. The choices are yours but be aware everything has both a negative and positive effect on your car. For example, armor will decrease the speed of your vehicle due to its weight. I am sure there are some perfect combinations and that will be revealed in online forums and fan-sites as time goes by.
When you are ready to take your game online there are plenty of option at your fingertips. Participate in a quick match which will drop you into a lobby of ay type where there is an open spot. Join a racing server and just race for that top spot, but be aware this is not clean racing by any means. Prepare to be smashed around. Join a demolition derby or and event that uses special vehicles only like a good ole harvester combine tractor. And then there is the mixed events which is a hodge podge of all the different types of events you can participate in all in one lobby.
The game does have a few issues I would like to address. First off, I hate rubber band AI and its very prevalent in this game. Regardless of the difficulty you set, the AI will always be racing with you regardless whether you run a perfect lap or not. You’ll pass them quickly with ease but then you can never seem to pull away. If you do happen to pull away a little and screw up even the slightest they’ll be right on top of you again. The camera can get out of whack at times too clipping into opponents and blinding your view for a bit which can make it difficult to drive. One other thing to mention is the loading times are a bit sluggish. They seem better than they did pre-patch, but they can still be ridiculous at times.
So, my thoughts are this. Wreckfest is a ton of fun and it’s a racing game that you should have in your library if you are a fan of the racing genre. Its all out fun and mayhem from start to finish whether you are playing online or offline. Yes, the AI can be a bit annoying and that does detract from the game. At least for me it does. But I still have a blast playing this and love watching the pieces fly when smashing into other vehicles. I recommend this title completely because its worth every penny.