Oh, the late 90’s to early 2000’s! Those were the days of truly fun multiplayer gaming. Back then, we had systems like the Nintendo 64, the emergence of the Gamecube, Sony’s PlayStation, along with Sega’s beloved Dreamcast. Sadly, the latter didn’t make it through well enough into the mid to late 2000’s, but it still managed to leave a lasting impression not only with its fans but the entire industry as a whole. So what are we getting at here? Well for one, each of these platforms came with some sort of game where your goal was to choose vehicle, equip some powerful weapons and take out the opposing side before time ran out. In more simpler terms, vehicular combat games. We’re talking about classics like Twisted Metal, Vigilante 8, Cel Damage, and if you really wanted to throw it in, Crash Team Racing. All of these games came with their own unique appeal in every aspect whether it was gameplay, visuals, design or all of the above.
Auto Age: Standoff plays very similarly to all of these titles except that it fits snugly between the 70’s vibe of Vigilante 8 and the 90’s Twist that is Twisted Metal. It’s an all out battle in 80’s style with all the synth wave music you can think of, along with all the wacky vehicular action that you’d expect from titles like this.
What to Expect
Anyone who’s a fan of the 80’s vibe with an eccentric futuristic twist will surely have a blast playing Auto Age: Standoff because it really stays true to that era, even down to the car designs and use of color. Everything stands out vibrantly while the action is over-the-top with non-stop replay value. Playing Auto Age: Stand Off alone would be selling the game short and so, to really get the best out of this game, you’ll need to grab a group of friends to either play locally or online. Of course, as we mentioned earlier, for those who grew up playing vehicular combat type games then Auto Age: Standoff will help to bring back that nostalgia in a major way. It’s by no means a perfect game but it still rewards you with an experience that to be honest, comes by very rarely in today’s gaming environment.
With so much focus on shooters and eSports related titles coming into the marketplace, we’ve seen a huge decline in some genres that had a massive following during the mid 2000’s. Hopefully with Auto Age: Standoff more developers can perhaps go back into their old library and drop some more of these awesome combat titles, because they truly bring out the best in everyone who plays them. So now that you have some awareness of what to expect, let’s dive a little deeper into the gameplay side of things.
From the get go, you’re immediately transported back in time and are greeted with a very 80’s-esque intro, which reminded us of how Vigilante 8 booted up with its 70’s style vibe. You get to choose from a variety of modes whether it be single player deathmatches or if you wanted to play with friends, team deathmatch is also there as well. A unique mode that we tried out was Cube Command which kind of acts like Capture the Flag, but you instead grab a big cube and carry it around with you to accumulate points. It was a wild ride blasting our way through the opposing side trying to grab hold of the cube but that’s exactly where the fun begins. It all reminds us of Destruction Derby in a way seeing that much of the game’s premise was about ramming the other opponent off the face of earth, and grabbing that beloved prize. The controls in the game are quite smooth even if you decide to play on a keyboard. The game allows for full controller support as well so if you happen to have a Steam or PlayStation controller lying around, then it will surely work out.
Whatever your choice of controls, Auto Age: Standoff performs well and since it allows for customization, you can pretty much play it the way that suits your needs. As you progress through the game you’ll be able to unlock more vehicles which can then be customized with things like weapon upgrades, proximity mines and more. While the music in the game was enough to keep you engaged, we felt it deserved a lot more in that category. With so many amazing synthwave and electronic artists out on the market right now such as Carpenter Brut Lazerhawk and The Midnight just to name a few, Auto Age: Standoff could’ve used a lot more quality tracks to really increase the hype factor. After awhile of listening to the music in game, you start to realize how bland it gets and that there’s really no explosiveness that makes you want to bob your head. We had to mute the in game music at some point and just used our synthwave playlist to keep things fresh, otherwise the gameplay would’ve started to wane a bit. Speaking of the gameplay starting to wane, one major issue we had with the game was that it lacked an online presence. We tried our hand at some online matches but couldn’t find anyone on a consistent basis, and so we had to rely on the Discord channel to find some opponents to duke it out with.
While the idea is certainly great and helps to build a community, we feel that if Auto Age: Standoff received more presence then perhaps it wouldn’t need to rely so much on its Discord medium to attract players. Not everyone will use Discord on a daily basis and so, placing the focus towards that may not always work out in the end. Sad to say that because this game is truly an awesome experience and again, if you have friends to play it with it’s a total blast. Maybe if the game received more coverage then surely it could gain more footing in the online realm, but for now since there aren’t many players playing on a consistent basis Auto Age: Standoff starts to run out of gas.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
As fans of the vehicular combat genre, we were ecstatic to hear about a game that really took a lot of notes from the past greats, while throwing in some zest to makes things a little more upbeat. We had a lot of fun with Auto Age: Stand Off but only for so long before we got fed up of waiting for players to show up online. The content is certainly solid along with the great customization options, but what’s all that customization and creativity there for if you can’t show it off in battle all the time? We hope the team at Phantom Compass can maybe build more hype around it and hopefully this review can reach out to those interested as well. This is by no means a terrible game it’s just that all the fun is sapped away when you don’t have many people to duke it out with.
Great visual presentation.
Easy to use controls.
Love the 80’s and futuristic vibe.
Throwback to the classics like Twisted Metal and Vigilante 8.
A great selection of modes to choose from both for local and online.
The music selection was quite bland and could use from flavor.
The community for the game is lacking so finding games online takes a long time.
Honey's Final Verdict:
We hope you found this review to be insightful and provided enough information to help make your purchase decision easier. Remember that this is merely based on our own experience and should only be used as reference, not the be all end all. We suggest giving the game a try because for only $5.00 at the time of this writing ($10.00 originally), it’s quite the steal, and will surely give you a run for your money if you race around with a group of your buddies. Be sure to find us on Twitter and follow us there to stay in the know about the latest gaming titles to hit the market, as well as our reviews! Of course don’t be a stranger to our Twitch page as we stream a plethora of titles, so if you ever want to be a part of our wonderful community then be sure to follow us there too!
As always, for all things sweet, with news straight from Japan, be sure to keep it locked here on Honey’s Anime.
Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.
A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and watch me play on twitch.tv/honeysgaming ! Take care!