Wreckfest pops up with something that is right up my street! I get to enjoy all the driving I want and do a wee bit carnage on the tracks without too much repercussions. Wreckfest is developed by Bugbear Entertainment, who brought us the addictive & fun Flatout driving games and it’s great to see some of that craziness carry over to here too.
In Wreckfest we get to race about on 27 different tracks, each with their own variations and design to them. There are numerous events that you can do on each track too, from Banger and Heat races to all out carnage in a Destruction Derby. You also get 30+ to choose from, which you will need to unlock either via the career mode or by levelling up. Each with their own pros and cons like speed, acceleration, cornering and armour. Each car resembles a real car like the Rocket which is based off a Ford Mustang and is probably one of my favourite cars to use in the game. Then there are those that are just in it for the fun of it, like lawnmowers and sofas.
There is Career mode, Custom Event and Multiplayer. In Career mode you have different championships to enter and it starts with the Regional Juniors and ends with World Masters. The objective in each championship is to earn enough points so you have move on to the next.
Each of these championships are broken down into different events that consist of demolition derbies and races which sees you trying to earn enough points in each one to add to your overall points to advance to the next championship. Thankfully, these events can be done in any order you wish IF you have the right vehicle to enter that is. In each event you take place in you are normally tasked with destroying a number of cars or reaching 1st place, but there are always side goals to aim for too. These can range from spinning out a set number of opponents or causing a set amount of damage to other racers on the track. This can add a little bit more incentive to each event you take part in.
While you earn all those valuable points for completing the events to progress through your Career, it’s the XP and Credits that you earn is what will keep pushing you forward the most. Every event you take part in will reward you with XP, Credits or both if you do well enough in each one. Save up enough credits lets you buy big and faster vehicles that you unlock by levelling up or completing certain events. You can also use your credits to buy upgrades for your chosen vehicles. These range from better engines and air filters to improve speed and acceleration to roll cages and window bars for more armour to toughen up your car. BUT that’s not all, you can even modify your paint job and add in some decals. While these are not to the same level as say the FORZA series, they do the job and there is more coming in the coming months.
With Custom events lets you do just that, set up a single event and customise it to your hearts content. Want to race on an oval track for 60 laps with just lawnmowers racing one another? You can do that. Here you can chose the cars, the AI difficult, right down to what you want the weather to be like. It’s also a good way to hone your skills before going online to face the rest of the Wreckfest community.
Speaking of online, the Multiplayer mode in Wreckfest is probably the best/worst thing about the game in terms of how much fun you have online with friends and everyone else. There’s a Quick match, Derby servers, Racing servers, Special Event servers and Server browser. So, online for me is a blast when you get into a server, but its also a bit annoying at times too in regard to trying to team up with friends. Which leads me to a big negative for Wreckfest for me is that there are no private lobbies for us to invite friends in and setup our races. This is a game that screams out fun with friends. This is not to say the random racers you meet online ruin the game, its just nice to have the option available if you wanted it, as most of us do. I have chatted to Bugbear about this and they have said it’s something they are looking into, but I’m unsure how long we will have to wait for an update. Hopefully not too long. For now, though, the best way to join friends is to jump into the Server browser and try to join a lobby that has hardly any racers in it and try to get everyone you want in there. It’s a bit of a nuisance at times, but at least it’s a work a round for the time being.
Speaking of negatives, the other big issue for me is the loading times. I have been playing Wreckfest on the Xbox One X and the load times are still horrendous! There are times where you could be waiting nearly a full minute until the game loads in and after a few events, either in Career or Online, it can be a pain in the arse!
It’s not all doom and gloom though, as when you are racing on the tracks, you quickly for about all that. The tracks in Wreckfest are well designed and offer up a variety of dirt and asphalt layouts which adds a bit extra to the carnage when judging your driving line. Each tracks appearance will also slightly different depending on the time of day it is, with a sunrise or overcast backdrop, with some of the tracks really standing out and I feel that an Enhanced update for PS4 Pro\Xbox One versions would have looked amazing, but so far, it’s not the to be. There is also no dynamic weather system in the game, but hopefully if we get a Wreckfest 2, it could be something that the devs could look into for the next game.
Each track has barriers, signs and scaffolding that are destructible and there will be times where you or the other racers on the track will smash into them, which will scatter debris all over the track. This debris does not disappear and will stay on the track until the end of the race. This is the same for the cars on the tracks too. As you race around the tracks, your cars will become damaged and even wrecked and you will have to avoid these new hazards to finish the race, but there are times where you just want to smash right into them, as there is nothing more satisfying than seeing chunks of metal fly off the cars or the cars themselves sliding off in front of a car that’s trying to overtake you.
With the amount of cars that slam into you as you race, there will be times that you will see your car go off course, flip over or stop on it’s side. Well Wreckfest has a Reset option that will place you back on the track and ready to continue your race. While there will be times that you won’t use it, it’s a nice feature to have if you find yourself in an upside-down position. It won’t hinder any other drivers either as they will pass through you for the first few seconds of you resetting.
Overall, if you love racing games and like to throw your car around the track while causing a little mayhem, then Wreckfest is the game for you! For me the game is accessible to all levels and whether you are a pro racer or a novice, you will love what the game has to offer, especially with the amount of options they have to suit your needs. If you can put the 2 big negatives aside and enjoy Wreckfest for what it is, you will probably find it the most enjoyable, addictive and flat-out fun racer out now Xbox One/PS4!
GoG Rating: 8.5/10