Some days you just want to race cars as fast as you can, and other days you just have a primal need to crash into everything that moves. Luckily, Bugbear has released Wreckfest on consoles, which allows you do both. There are dozens of races that will give you ample opportunity to try and grab the checkered flag and cause as much havoc as possible.
There are 5 different championships that you can work through to level up your character, earn cash to buy new cars and upgrade them. But you must walk a fine line. Destroy too many cars and your vehicle may be too damaged to finish the race, but if you go straight for the finish line, you won’t get much experience. Learn to balance the speed and destruction to help your career skyrocket through multiple championships.
Championships are broken down in several specific types of events. There are demolition derbies, banger racers, heat events, series racing and special events. The special events usually require you to beat a certain type of vehicle in a race, while banger racers combine racing with a specific damage threshold. You earn points for how well you do in an event and that goes towards your Championship total. Beside the main objective of winning, each event has one or more special challenges. These range from inflicting a set amount of damage, spinning out opponents, wrecking competitors and winning races by a certain distance. These bonus objectives will give you added experience, and there is an achievement for completing all of them, but if you don’t complete them, you can still earn points towards the Championship you are playing.
The game offers a bit of customization, but it comes at a steep price. You can tune your car for most races, but that doesn’t offer you big improvements in performance. To upgrade your car, you will have to level up to unlock the upgrades, and of course have money to buy them. Unfortunately, the purse strings in the game are fairly tight. You will have to increase the difficulty to get even a modest amount of cash for your skills, and even then, there appears to be a cap on the amount you can earn per event. Custom Events allow you to pick tracks, race types, vehicles and more. This allows you to use some of the more colorful cars for a longer amount of time. Face it, who doesn’t want to race couch cars, have a demo derby with harvesters, or test their skills racing a bus against a field of motor homes.
The carnage that you can inflict in the game is beautifully rendered. At the end of a race you can end up crossing the finish line in what appears to be a crushed soda can. Damage can also be customized so that it is only mostly cosmetic to the point where your wheels fall off and you are only able to drive in circles. The lack of more ways to visually customize your car is disappointing, but soon you forget about it as your paint job and most pieces of your car are left on the tack. One thing that I did notice about the graphics right off was a bar that had jumping pixels near the bottom of the screen. This usually only shows up in the menus, but it seems like something is missing, and can get annoying as it takes away from the crisp graphics. The soundtrack includes a large selection of road rage inducing tracks. This will overpower the roar of the engines and keep your adrenaline pumping as you try to survive to the checkered flag.
While the game features online multiplayer, when I tried to play it appeared to be buggy. Every time I tried to search for an online game, it would just sit there. There were no servers listed for any of the 5 different event types. If this was working properly, it would bring a whole new level to the game, but for now it seems to be out of commission. Even loading the regular events takes a while, but there is patch that is supposed to decrease these times in the works.
Wreckfest is out now on XB1, PS4, and PC. While it is a nice blend of racing and destruction, it truly shines when you get to drive off the wall cars and vehicles. You will soon realize that some of the best moments you have are racing a couch around a figure 8 track trying not to get wrecked as you fly through the intersections.