Gas Guzzlers Combat Carnage Preview (PC)

In case you hadn’t guessed from the title, Gas Guzzlers: Combat Carnage is a vehicular combat racing game. Much like Bizarre Creations’ Blur, the game combines its stunning graphics with arcade style handling and combat to create a challenging yet rewarding experience.

Remember kids: Don't drink and drive. Unless you have a gun attatched to your car
The first thing you’ll notice about Gas Guzzlers: Combat Carnage, is how stunning the graphics are. Stick this game on 1080p and the quality and attention to detail given to the vehicles especially is comparable to most AAA titles out there. Imagine Forza 4 and L.A Noire had a beautiful, beautiful child.

The locations don’t look too shabby either. The choices available currently are a desert track, and a canyon track, and I’ve seen a snowy-mountain track in action too. The canyon track was by far the better of the two, as both of them, but especially the former, had a tendency to sprawl, making it difficult to make out what part of the map was track, and what part was just desert. Especially when it came to short cuts. More than once I thought I was getting a leg up on the competition, when in fact I was driving off into the distance, away from the race. Thank god for the car-reset button.

Speaking of getting a leg up; you’re going to need all the help you can get. The handling in this game is like if Driver: San Francisco got drunk, bathed in oil, and then went ice skating. The back of your car slides out like a well-endowed woman dancing to Flo Rida. Another aspect that makes the game feel more arcade-like, and a lot less serious, is the voice acting. Your character spouts profanity filled one-liners like his life depends on it, in a voice akin to that of Serious Sam, or Duke Nukem. (But with a tagline like “shitloads of gas”, what did you expect?)

But that isn’t where the difficulty comes from. For the most part, you can just hold your finger on the accelerator, and sliding round corners like a penguin. (Okay, enough of the similes now) The real difficulty comes from the other drivers. The CPU cars just seem to be faster, and to know the track back to front. They have more skill than the AI in Worms games, which can bombard you with rockets on the other side of the map with level 7 wind blowing in their direction. The only way I could stop myself from coming last was destroying the other cars, and here is where we get to the best of what Gas Guzzlers has to offer.
If this image hasn't sold you, then this game probably isn't for you...
Each car (there were two to choose from in the demo: A coupé style number, and a souped-up sedan) was mounted with two turrets that were either shotguns, chain guns, or rockets. You can choose to shoot either in front of you, or behind you, with a nifty little aiming device for cars behind. Getting hit by each form of ammo caused your vehicle to slide around, making it harder to control, as well as lose health, if you lost all your health; you blew up. (Go figure.)

To prevent this from happening to you (and also, to help you make it happen to others), each track was littered with power ups ranging from health packs, to oil spills and mines, to NOS, each picked up by driving into them - Mario Kart style. Also, to make sure you don’t all blow each other to hell as soon as the race starts, there is a ‘fire zone’ checkpoint everyone must reach before riddling each other with bullets.

The game manages to capture the intensity of racing really well, without taking itself seriously. While making a mistake will cost you your position in the race, you can get back in the running with a well-placed mine or rocket. On the flip side however, the computer can do exactly the same. One of the great troubles with being able to fire backwards is, if the enemy in your line of site, there’s a good chance you’re in theirs too.

The more damage you deal to your opponents, and the course, the more points you get, which are then converted into in-game cash which can be spent on upgrading existing vehicles and weapons, and buying new ones. Not all the features were available during the Beta, but customization and multiplayers will be part of the final product.
I know what you're thinking kids. Don't think that

All-in-all, it’s hard to find a bad thing to say about this game. Even the camera angles are new and interesting, and the menu music is a series of tasty metal riffs and licks. Racing is just one of those genres - you either like it or you don’t It’s interesting to see racing games in recent times trying to innovate the genre, either in the form of Driver’s out-of-body car jumping, to Need for Speed: The Run’s proactive storyline. For those of you that play games because they want to have fun; Gas Guzzlers is a must. If you fancy trying it for yourself, the open beta is available on their website, and the final product will be available sometime soon on the PC.

Most Anticipated Feature: I’m looking forward to going mad online with as many people as the game will allow.


By wolfy77 (I just got here) on Mar 20, 2012
I agree with the author of this preview, yes, demo play is amusing & funny, but still very hard to reach first place. Good news is that demo play beta is all workin' on "hard", and final cut will involved easy & medium plus multiplayer, seems to me like good reason to spent 40$!!