There’s something oddly satisfying about wrecking vehicles, while I’m quite happy playing pure racing games, hitting corners perfectly passing other cars in a sportsman like fashion, it’s good sometimes to just plough straight into the side of the car infront, and taking off in a haze of smoke and debris to take the chequered flag.
Wreckfest is gloriously good fun, with surprisingly realistic physics. There’s a vast array of vehicles you can get behind the wheel of, from a variety of ordinary looking cars to the more bizzare buses, semi trucks, ride-on lawn mowers and even double stacked cars.
There’s a singlelayer career to get stuck in to, here there’s 5 championships that unlock as you progress through earning points. You’re free to tackle them in any order you wish, as long as you own a vehicle set within the rules to compete, and some a little later where you need to uccrue enough points to access them.
There’s 2 main event types, Banger Racing and Demolition Derby. Demo Derbys are pure mayhem. there’s 2 variants of this event in career. Last Man Standing and Deathmatch. Last Man Standing is pretty obvious, be the only car left running at the end, where Deathmatch takes into account your KD ratio, or vehicles wrecked to how many times you’ve been wrecked.
Banger races are just straight up races where anything and everything goes, and trust me it does. I love the way the AI react in races they do like to let you know they’re there, and become even more aggressive as the race progresses. They’ll start to brake less in corners relying on the impact with your car to stop them enough for the corner and take you out in the process. This of course works both ways, and should you get back into the race quick enough, it’s so satisfying to get your revenge a few corners later.
It’s not just a single player game, there’s multiplayer shenanigans to be had too, with dedicated servers offering up a variety of mixed or specific events, playing with other humans is double the mayhem than anything you will experience in singleplayer. The few games I managed to play pre-release with full lobbies of real players (the game back fills empty slots with AI), ran pretty smoothly in the graphical sense. Though there’s a slight framerate drop when lots of collisions are happening at the same time, which also occours in singleplayer (playing on Xbox One S).
There is a little more to just picking a car and smashing them up, as there’s the option to upgrade them too, using your winnings to do so, with more upgrades unlocking as you level up, it’s also worth mentioning that the levelling system is a joint effort between singleplayer on multiplayer.
Visually the game is great, the way the cars crumple and explode as they crash is just great, take the time to check out a replay though and you can really appreciate some of the finer details that you probably wouldn’t notice during play. Things like chunks of concrete barriers breaking away as cars smash into them, and other track-side objects that get obliterated and stay that way throughout the entire race. The game recieved an update just before writting this review which overhauled the menus for the better, however this introduced a strange graphical glitch in the menus, nothing major, just a little annoying.
Audio, is great too. Each vehicle has its own engine sounds and the bumps, crashes and bangs of twisting metal and breaking glass as cars collide is just as you would expect. There’s also a decent soundtrack that plays both in the menus and during play, though I found I preffered to turn the volume right down.