Gas Guzzlers Extreme is an over the top combat racer, featuring 12 game modes, 42 tracks, and 12 arena over 8 environments. There’s also 21 cars that you can customise and upgrade with various paints,parts and weapons. Is Gas Guzzlers Extreme extreme enough? Read our review below..
The racing genre has been quite saturated with games that lean more towards simulation as of late, even Forza Horizon 3, though billed as an arcade racer has elements of simulation. Other than the attempt by Carmageddon: Max Damage earlier this year, Gas Guzzlers Extreme tries to bring back some of that nostalgia when racing games were not as serious. To me, it feels like a mix of Rock N Roll Racing (1993) and Destruction Derby (1995). From the off you can tell the game doesn’t take itself too seriously. With character voice overs that are soundalikes of Duke Nukem and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and A.I. names such as Luke Likesheet, Hugh Mungus and Alotta Fagina (Seriously, I didn’t make that last one up). From the main menu you can either start the campaign mode or jump straight into a quick race, although I would recommend getting some of the campaign mode under your belt first, as you’ll need to unlock cars and tracks there first before you can use them in quick race.
Starting the campaign mode, you are loaned a car to give you a taste of what’s to come, and to get you a bit of cash in the bank to buy your first car. Which, as you would expect is at the lower end of the scale when it comes to performance. The first two available cars are lookalikes of the Reliant Robin and Fiat 500, with cars at the higher end that look like Lamborghini and Ferrari plus a few in between (Lancia Delta and DeLorean to mention a couple) You start out in the garage, acting as ‘the hub’ of campaign mode. From here you can purchase new cars, upgrade and customise your current car and perform repairs. once you are ready you can select the last option on the menu to go and get stuck into the action.
At first you can participate in 3 events, Power Race, this is the standard event that focuses more on the racing and winning than actual combat, although you can still smash into other cars and pick up drop-able weapons and boost tanks to give you an advantage. Battle Race, starts out like Power Race but once you reach the “Fire Zone” board weapons become available and all hell breaks loose, there’s the same pick-ups as Power race with the addition of ammo and double damage. These races are won by either coming first after completing the set amount of laps, or being the last man standing before the race is complete. Knockout races are an elimination style race where the car in last place each lap gets knocked out of the race.
You can play any of these races in any combination with the objective being to make it to the number one spot on the rank list. Once you make the number one spot you’ll be invited to take part in a cup event. in these you have to complete each race in order to finish the event. If you make enough of an impression you’ll be offered sponsorship deals, these offer you a credit bonus for performing well in races, though if you under perform, you will lose the sponsorship. Sponsors will also offer sponsor events from time to time these vary and you will be provided the car for the event. As you progress through the campaign other race types become available such as Deathmatch and Last man Standing.
Other events can be found in quick race such as Capture the Flag, Dominator and straight up Destruction Derby. Here you will also find Defend the Base and Survivor modes. These were DLC in the PC version, but are included in the base game for Xbox One. Both of these events are a horde style which see you either defending your base or just surviving hordes of Zombies (including Zombie buffalo and hyenas), Trolls and giant mini-gun wielding alien type creatures. Both Survivor and Defend the Base consist of 10 waves of ever increasing size, take into account that you need to refuel as well as keep your ammo well stocked it can become quite an intense game.
I definitely had the most fun in these 2 game modes but it was short lived simply due to the fact that the Xbox One version of Gas Guzzlers Extreme has no multiplayer.. This I think is quite a mistake, this game screams multiplayer, and its omission lowers its replay value somewhat. There’s only so much fun you can have with bots, where as if you had a game full of your friends it would be a blast, whether coordinating over a game of survivor, or just simply laughing at each others misfortune. The same fun cannot be had while playing alone.
An area in which the game has some flaws is its visuals. while the vehicle models are somewhat decent along with the different environments, it does suffer from performance issues, namely environment pop-ups, occasional screen tearing and frame rate drops during times when a lot is going off on screen, especially in the zombie modes. The audio is pretty standard, a generic rock track plays throughout the game with the cars sounding on the whole ok, with the explosions and gunfire being what you would expect. The best of the game’s audio is in its voice overs which are quite hilarious to begin with but become a little repetitive after an hour or so.
On the whole the gameplay is pretty enjoyable, with the cars controlling really quite well and are a notch above what I would deem to be basic arcade physics, the destruction of the vehicles is well done too, as they become worse for wear the more damage they take. Loading times are a little too long and often, although there’s plenty of unlockables and options throughout to keep you hooked into completing the 10+ hours long campaign.