Wreckfest is finally out of early access on Steam after almost 5 years. Find out how well the former FlatOut developers did in our Wreckfest Review!
|Release Date||June 14, 2018 (PC) / November 20, 2018 (PS4/XBO)|
It’s not often that a game stays in Steam Early Access for 5 years and actually makes it out, in fact, has that ever happened? I don’t know the real answer to that, but I imagine that Wreckfest is only one of the few that have done so. Bugbear Entertainment, the former FlatOut developers, really took their time crafting a fun racing/vehicular destruction game with some of the most realistic damage physics that I’ve ever seen in a driving game. It took a long time, but this game was certainly well worth the wait.
Wreckfest is a different type of driving game than any other one out there right now. As I’ve already mentioned, the star of the show is definitely the physics and damage modeling. Cars smash together and crumple up into pieces with different parts falling off vehicles and fiery crashes at every turn. The thing I like about this game is that it’s not just presented as a tech demo like most games who are really physics-heavy. It’s more of a cross between a simulation and arcade racer. The Career Mode gives you a reason to keep playing even after the destruction novelty wears off.
Career Mode has a ton of different events to play through and you can play through them in whatever order you want as long as you have unlocked the correct car class for the event. There are plenty of events at your disposal like lawnmower races, destruction derbies, races, races against school buses, and many more. Your goal is to gain enough points through these races to unlock new championships with better and faster cars. You can also get bonus stars to unlock upgrades for the cars in your garage. You gain credits for each race with more being given to you depending on how high you finish and you can buy new cars or upgrades with those credits. It’s a simple Career Mode, but the variety of events and vehicles make it fun to keep going through it.
The racing is a totally unique experience. Throw out everything you learned in every other racing game because you need to use a different strategy in this one. Instead of stopping when you’re going into the corner, plow right through the car and take it out. Is a racer pulling away from you? Spin him out by nudging his back end. The handling is nice and weighty and I felt really in control of every terrible action I performed. I do wish that the damage affected the way my car drove more, but I feel like that would have probably dampened how fun the game was so I think Bugbear gave us a nice balance.
I really liked how the AI became rivals with me if I hit them too much. There were times when an AI car was so mad at me that it tried to T-Bone me on a turn, completely missed, and went flying into a wall. There were other times where cars would bump me into the grass on a turn or spin me out by hitting the back of my car. If you’re aggressive with them, they’ll be even more aggressive with you. It never feels unfair and it always adds to the fun-factor of a race.
Of course, Wreckfest isn’t all just racing. The Destruction Derby events and other destructive environments are some of the most enjoyable events in the game. All you have to do is take out all the other vehicles while surviving yourself. If you think that you can just drive around the outskirts and avoid everything, then you’re wrong. If you don’t hit anybody, then a timer starts running and if you let it run out, you’ll be eliminated. It’s a great way to keep the action going.
Where the game really shines is online with up to 24 players in a single event. As you can imagine, this is complete carnage at its finest. It’s cool to have a game where legitimate players and trolls can all have fun together because every crash is so amazing. I think the longevity of this game is going to be in the multiplayer modes far more than the single-player modes and I’m glad that Bugbear put such a high player cap for each event. 24 real people in a Destruction Derby is one of the most amazing sights to see in a video game.
Wreckfest looks beautiful and has some great lighting, damage, and environmental textures. It’s not perfect, but it looks pretty good for this type of game. The whole game runs really well and you have the choice of 32 bit or 64 bit upon startup which is nice to see. There are some long load times at different points in the game, especially when loading into the main menu. I expected some frame rate issues with all the floating parts and particles, but the game never stuttered in my time with it.
|Great damage physics||Long load times|
|24-player multiplayer||Slight lack of depth beyond Career Mode|