Mantis Burn Racing is a top-down racing game from VooFoo Studios. It features local & online multiplayer modes as well as a single player career in which you can upgrade your vehicles with an RPG style upgrade system. Does Mantis Burn Racing take the chequered flag, or is it a non-starter? Read our review to find out..
There’s been a couple of top down racers released on Xbox One this year, but none have really hit the spot when it comes to replay-ability. Mantis Burn Racing definitely makes a change to this, as not only does it feature local and online modes, there’s also the vehicle upgrade system which, as long as you have the parts, you can constantly keep changing until you get the vehicle feeling right for you. You can get new upgrades from levelling up, you can level up by earning XP in either career mode or online. XP is given for numerous things throughout the race such as drifting and overtaking, you will also earn XP depending on your finishing position. After each race you will see an XP progression bar and upon hitting certain milestones, you will be rewarded with different upgrades. You can also get upgrades by completing certain races in career, some will be at the end of a ‘branch’ of races, others will be surrounded by a set of races and all of these will need to be completed to unlock the upgrades.
Vehicles come in different classes and weights, There’s 9 in total and can be managed from the main menu in ‘Garage’ here you can spend in game currency to purchase new vehicles and perform your upgrades, if you equip all available slots on a vehicle with upgrades you are given an option to ‘level up’ the vehicle for a chink of in-game currency. If you do so, you will receive a visual upgrade to the vehicle as well as an expansion on the amount of available slots to equip even more upgrades.
There’s a total of 8 different race types to get to grips with, all are available from the get go in local and online modes, but show up progressively throughout career mode. Race modes range from standard races, Knockout, Overtake and Time Trial to name a few. The races are set within 2 main locations and you’ll see yourself hitting the city streets of New Shangri-la or the dusty dirt roads of Sand Town, some tracks even cover both areas. There’s plenty of variation in the track layouts too, from right-angle turns to long sweeping inclines and hairpins.
You’re not just restricted to vehicles you own when racing in multiplayer, you can loan a vehicle if you wish, although you won’t be awarded any XP for doing so, but it does give you the opportunity to try out new vehicles before purchasing them. I managed to get a few games in of the online portion pre-release. They’re very easy to set up, and although there wasn’t a full lobby the connection was pretty good. There’s also a weekly challenge leaderboard that you can easily start directly from the main menu. I’ve seen 2 so far and have consisted of lapping an AI car 4 times in the fastest possible time, and travel as far as you can within 8 minutes.
The overall gameplay is great, you can see a definite difference in the vehicles when you’ve made changes to the upgrades, Career mode does seem a little easy to begin with, but as you progress into the later seasons the AI do become a lot more competitive. Controls are very easy to get to grips with, and it doesn’t take too long to master the cornering. There’s a few variations in the camera views, although they’re all top down. it does give you a few choices. the main one being the ‘Micro Machines’ style camera that stays fixed to the circuit.
Visually Mantis Burn racing is highly detailed, there’s some really nice touches such as the dust clouds that billow out from behind vehicles as they race through the dirt tracks. The audio track is somewhat fitting as it features some adrenaline pumping tracks, that have been specifically made for the game.