At some point in our gaming lives, many of us have experimented with titles that never really resonated with us but then end up being totally surprised at just how fun the game is. This is what Wreckfest provides as it reminds us of those classic destruction derby type games, and seeing as Bugbear Entertainment are the same folks behind Flatout, we can totally see why the game feels chaotic yet totally fun at the same time (it’s the spiritual successor after all). Anyone who has dabbled with these types of racing games will know that at first things will seem a bit overwhelming, that is until you learn all the mechanics and all of that chaos feels a little more harmonious. Wreckfest feels like that where at first you’re thrown into a world that’s vast and full of events that can be somewhat intimidating, but once you get over the hump and start racking up points to purchase better vehicles and parts, Wreckfest really starts to rev up and come alive with excitement. It’s a concoction of just about everything ranging from your actual racing type format, vehicular combat and damage mechanics to spruce things up, and over the top explosions and great physics. With that, you’ve got yourself a pretty decent title. As a reminder we’re reviewing the PC version of Wreckfest, with the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions slated to release sometime this year.
What to Expect
As stated in the earlier paragraph, Wreckfest pretty much speaks for itself through its name. The game is all about celebrating the destruction of other vehicles around you and taking home the main prize for doing such a stellar job of it all. While that sounds simple on paper, Wreckfest is in fact quite challenging, and if you aren’t too familiar with the gameplay style of these types of racers, then you may find yourself in a wreck as well. Be that as it may, Wreckfest comes with a slew of options to choose from such as its single player campaign which allows you to participate in events to gain reputation and level up. If you ever feel bored and want to take on human opponents then the online multiplayer option is there which comes complete with all the bells and whistles that you’d expect from any racing game.
Create your own lobby and host a race or hop into other lobbies and put your skills to the test against other wild and frantic racers from around the world, to see who can destroy the other’s vehicle before reaching the finish line. There’s no saying sorry for bumping into the person next to you, it’s just an all out frenzy that will have you laughing at times but also yelling frantically at the screen for crashing into something you shouldn’t have. Wreckfest is a love and hate relationship type of game where, when you’re winning and destroying your opponents everything feels joyous, that is until people start teaming up on you and make you want to ram your car straight into their bumper and send them flying into the fences. You can customize and pretty up the vehicles you’ve amassed through the game so that way people can see just how cool you are, then have it all decimated before the race ends. Such is the life of a racer in Wreckfest but boy is it fun when it all goes right. With all that being said, let’s hop into the gameplay!
On a visual level, Wreckfest’s presentation is very well preserved, maintaining the very destruction derby type feel that you got from past titles and also the Flatout series. The cars perform like cars should, and all the damage you receive to your car is very realistic. Cars deform and metal debris goes flying off in all sorts of directions like they should, and the more damage your vehicle takes, the more it can really hamper your overall performance.
The detailing is pristine and doesn’t ever feel like it’s of a previous generation console, with the PC version helping in that area allowing the game to play at a smooth 60fps. Whether the console versions will be able to pull a consistent 60 is totally out of our vision, but we can assume that in terms of overall performance the Steam version will certainly win out in the end. Its robust particle system really helps to demonstrate just how much destruction is taking place, especially when you see sparks fly when two or more cars collide, or fluid starting to leak from out of your vehicle because it has succumbed to too much damage.
The track detailing isn’t something to really be jubilant over, but it’s not as bad as some other titles out there that really don’t try to provide a true to life experience, especially when driving around in the world. Wreckfest does a solid job of maintaining a balance between the two with of course more emphasis being placed on the actual chaos and pain your vehicle goes through. Bugbear Entertainment definitely wants players to really feel immersed in the actual racing experience and not so much on all the trees and such around you. Trying to run each other over with your car never looked this good in 60FPS 1080p settings. This is, by no means, your Forza or Gran Turismo, but Wreckfest stands in a league of its own in this particular racing genre.
Gameplay - Sound, Music
Like most racing titles that are full of madness, Wreckfest has a decent mixture of your hard rock, punk rock and oddly enough some ambient music to keep things moving. It keeps you into the game as you embark on new campaigns and race through each stage, without becoming too much of a distraction. With a good pair of headphones on, you’ll definitely come to hear just how incredibly real the cars sound as they rev up and charge towards the finish line, with engines showing their damage as you continue to ram into other vehicles. Mufflers go flying and you start to really hear the car slowly fry inside and that’s the real charm of Wreckfest. It’s that you truly hear everything and see everything happening all at once. For that, we definitely put Wreckfest up there in the sound area. If you don’t want to hear the in game music and perhaps just play your own personal playlist, going into the options menu will solve that problem right away! Sadly, there’s no surround sound support, but you’ll still get a pretty decent result if you configure the settings to your liking.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
So gameplay is, of course, where Wreckfest shines because there’s just a solid variety of things to choose from, and you’ll unlock more as you progress through the game. It’s a nice incentive that encourages you to continue playing more and level up your vehicles, but it does take some time to do so and may not be for everyone. You can customize races and create your own frantic thrill ride with the level editor which is a plus, giving you an abundance of creative options if you ever feel the need to go beyond the realm of what’s available in game. Most of the races you dive into are usually your typical start to finish ordeal, with the rare occasion where let’s say in destruction derby type races your focus is mainly placed on crushing everyone around you. That being said, Wreckfest does provide a seemingly good balance between them all and if you ever get bored, as we said earlier in the review, the multiplayer option is always there for you. The game had been in early access for some time and so the player base was a bit low, but we can assure you that there seemed to be more action online this time around so we encourage you to play with friends if you want to have the best experience possible. Overall, Wreckfest lives up to its name and gives you a chance to channel your inner stunt double or Evil Knievel and try to wreck as much havoc as you possibly can before you hit the finish line, and that’s always a fun thing!
The game runs at a smooth 60FPS 1080p but will require you to make some adjustments.
Nice variety of single player options and multiplayer is always a plus for these games.
Visually sharp and realistic vehicle sounds/crashes add more to the games overall impact.
Sticks to what it knows and doesn’t try to throw you any curveballs.
Some audio issues got in the way like filtering in some songs.
Honey's Final Verdict:
We hope you found this review of Wreckfest to be of great use and that it helped you to make a better decision with regards to buying it. We assure you that if you’re a fan of these types of games, Wreckfest surely will not disappoint, as it comes with a pretty robust package that will last you quite some time. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Twitch to stay up to date on all the latest gaming news, and of course, to see us play all of our reviewed titles live for you to see!
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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!