Wrecked - Revenge Revisited Review (PS3)

“From the creators of Mashed and Micro Machines V4” boasts Wrecked: Revenge Revisited, in a similar fashion to Vampires Suck boasting its links to the writers of Scary Movie. And, in a similar fashion, one finds it hard to believe that the same brains that came up with the original managed to sit together and not one of them have “this game isn’t very good” as a coherent thought that passed through their brain before releasing it on the public.

If you didn’t get it from that, I’ll put it bluntly. Wrecked is not a good game. It’s dull and un-engaging, from the laughably embarrassing one liners put into the ‘taunts’, to the flimsy handling of the cars which are boring to look at from above. While the handling is similar to the Micro Machines games of old, without the joys of racing over someone’s breakfast, it’s just not the same.

The Power Rangers enjoy nothing more than a bit of high-octane racing on their days off

The handful of levels to choose from look pretty, but are uninspiring and generic: Deserts, jungles and arctic landscapes make up the roster of maps that are easy enough to drive through that the hand break is more of a gimmick than a necessity.

The single player mode is comprised of time trials, weapons races, skill challenges, and ‘elite’ challenges. Unfortunately, there are only a handful of each, and you can probably get gold in them all in one sitting. Furthermore, the time trail stages feature ghost cars rather than actual opponents. Not only does this make the gameplay even blander than sharing a vegetarian korma with Nick Clegg, but the ghosts are programmed to do the same thing every race. They break & boost, turn & drift, and even make mistakes at the same point in every race, making them not only dull, but predictable too.

The weapons challenges also fail to impress. Although the ghost cars are replaced with actual opponents, they can be dispatched in under a minute, leaving you to drive round the rest of the track by yourself. Skill challenges are turgid and boring, with embarrassingly cheap sound effects, and while the elite challenges have some interesting ideas, the failure to implement them properly just highlights how poorly the game has been put together, and finishing them ultimately became a chore rather than a pleasant experience.

The game does try to mix things up a bit with a superficial car editor and ‘special moves’ such as super break and boost, but even these desperate clutches at straws fall flat on their face. Super break is more than useless in a racing game, and the buttons for boost is to tap break then double tap accelerate: Whoever thought it would be a good idea to have the button to speed up be the same button to slow down clearly needs some form of formal counseling.

You think this corner would present a challenge to a bunch of high-speed cars, right? Think again

After playing Wrecked: Revenge Revisited for ten minutes, it felt as though the game had given me everything it was going to give. After playing the game for an hour, I felt as though I’d given the game everything I had to give. The single player experience is nothing less than harrowing.

However, to give the game credit, the multiplayer (in comparison) does something to raise the game above the status of utterly useless.

Playing with two players doesn’t change the experience all that much, but throw an extra one, or heaven forbid, two people into the mix, and you have yourself a decent game to stick on at parties and watch the drunken masses get excited about ramming into each other.

While the single player experience is very much one that sucks any possible fun and immersion you might have out your brain with a straw, thanks to ghost cars and laughable AI, the multiplayer is all about being a total a**hole. Using the right analogue stick, you can barge your opponents off the tracks, and annihilate their cars with a plethora of weapons ranging from railguns to mines, to electric shocks to ‘sonic booms’. When an enemy does succumb to the torment you’ve placed on them, they then gain control of a crosshair with another variety of weapons they can aim at anyone on screen, including whoever it was that knocked them off the screen.

Knock others off the map, and they can seek revenge in the form of floating crosshairs

These multiplayer races will be familiar to anyone that’s played Micro Machines 64 Turbo. The winner of a point is the person that either remains on the track, on the one that can get so far ahead the screen swallows everyone behind. You gain +1 for winning, and -1 for losing. The winner of each race is the first to fill their bar with +1s.

If this review has come off as harsh, that’s because this game honestly just isn’t very good. I was a massive fan of Micro Machines on the N64, and to learn that the people who made that are still in the industry is great, but to find out that this is what they’ve done with themselves is like finding out that John Lennon is alive after all, and is playing backing guitar for Justin Bieber’s new collaboration with the cast of Glee and Nicki Minaj. Even without comparing it to previous games, it's still mediocre at best. If I had one word to describe Wrecked, it would be unnecessary. There are enough arcade racers out there, and some of them are actually pretty decent. This one; is not.

Top game moment: Other than turning it off? It would probably be having mates over to play the multiplayer with.

Platform Played: Xbox 360

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