I have many fond memories of pre-club gaming, with FIFA, Tekken and Halo managing to gather the lads around the TV screen for some virtual action before making our way out for some drinks and dancing, but with so many great games to choose from only a couple really stood out as a must play each and every night – Micro Machines and Mashed. Whilst the days of a quick race to settle what club to go to first or drinking challenges are long gone, the need for some decent local multiplayer battle racing arcade action hasn’t and with the announcement of the original developers releasing the next stage manic racing, expectations were high.
Wrecked: Revenge Revisited is an unofficial sequel to those classic games, but sadly an awful lot has changed and for the asking price you really don’t get much bang for your buck. Split into two main areas, single and multiplayer, you get the chance to race around some fast paced tracks, shooting, dodging and ramming your way into first place. Multiplayer is what this game is all about so I will start there, with Wrecked allowing up to four players either locally or online to battle it out to the finish line across six tracks. Rather than a split screen approach all of the cars are on the same screen and viewed from a skewed birds-eye view, meaning you have to keep up as if you drop out of the screen you are out until one car is remaining. This creates some really intense racing moments with friends ramming and shooting each other to smithereens just to get a temporary lead. When it comes to vehicle choice they are all pretty much the same, other than a few pre-race options to change colour and decals earned by gaining experience, meaning that you are all evenly balanced when it comes to horse power, however when it comes to fire power you have a wealth of weapons to choose from like railguns, shotguns, mines and rockets that can be mounted to your vehicle and give you the edge on the track.
Sadly, single player bears no relation to the mayhem of online play and instead what you are given is a series of tasks to complete over the available tracks, with more opening as you progress. There are four game modes in total, starting with the Speed Challenge which is just a very quick single lap around the course racing against ghost cars with the aim to come 1st, 2nd or 3rd. Weapons Challenges give you the chance to unleash some firepower by driving over pick-ups, with each race allowing you to use a specific item with its own race rules, with machine gun blasting your way to first place, dropping mines in targeted areas or dodging airstrikes. Skill Challenges offer a few clever ideas including collecting coins from the track, navigating the course with your throttle stuck down or the entertaining mode where you have to race with a caravan attached to your rear. Finally the Elite Challenges offer instant death at every corner, with you having a bomb strapped to the car and any sort of impact and its race over to the super fast lap where you have to hit all of the turbo panels on the track.
For such a simple game there are quite a few bad areas, first and worst being the camera which is just downright terrible. The camera position is a constant bane of most console games, but rarely for racing titles that offer a selection of in car and birds-eye view modes. That is not the case here, with an attempt to implement a dynamic camera view with the hope it will spice up the action by moving the screen around utterly fails. The view will constantly move and pan around your car, going from birds-eye view to third person far too often and making it incredibly hard to judge corners or even work out what is in front of you. There is a little track knowledge to learn where all of the hazards are but the camera is so twitchy it very quickly takes the fun out of shooting cars.
Just like many other racers you have a turbo system to give you speed boosts that are earned through various checkpoints. Where most games have a simple button push to set these off, Wrecked requires you tap the break button and then double tap accelerate, far too overcomplicated; there is a reason other games stick to same rules, it does not work. This, the erratic camera and some fiddly controls make a huge difference when playing multiplayer, with newcomers being punished unfairly and making it rather one-sided.
Finally you have the level selection, six tracks to race on is a very miserly effort, with some looking very similar to old Mashed tracks. They do look good and the environments do affect the way you play but by having only two tracks based on the themes of Jungle, Desert and Arctic, it’s like they ran out of ideas early on.
Ultimately it is the local multiplayer where this game will work; if you have three or more players this is a great addition to your group gaming sessions, acting like an aperitif before the serious gaming starts. In the end though, when you realise there is a serious lack of car and track selections, Wrecked just can’t compete and will be all but forgotten within a few weeks.
Rating: Good Review Policy (version tested: PS3/PSN)