Review: Wrecked – Revenge Revisited

The resurgence of vehicle combat continues. Putting a far more racey spin on things, 505 Games have unleashed their new Wrecked title onto the world hoping to bring back some fond memories with a new lick of paint. But downloadable racing titles haven’t fared too well recently with only Motorstorm RC standing out as a massively worthwhile option. So is Wrecked: Revenge Revisited a worthy champion or does it stall before even getting started?

The premise of Wrecked it simple enough – drive fast, use your weapons wisely and win the races. The single player campaign is a good place to start – spanning 6 tracks (with no variants, so that’s all you’re getting) you get a set of four challenges on each track. Each challenge has a set of scores or times to beat, and depending on how you finish you’ll be awarded nothing at all or a gold, silver or bronze medal. The challenges themselves are pretty varied, offering options like blowing up the other cars as fast as you can, completing a lap towing a caravan or coping with your throttle being stuck open. There are a few others apart from these, but it doesn’t take a maths expert to realise there are only 24 challenges in total, and depending on your insistence to get golds in every event (which is quite a challenge) it might only take you a couple of hours to get through them, and that’s if you’re taking your time. It’s great to see some variety in the events, but a pile more would have been very welcome.

There are other issues afoot here though. The camera is fine while you’re going in a straight line, but approach anything more than a gentle corner and it swings round, presumably trying to be helpful and show you the way ahead, but it just feels wrong. It’s more likely to throw you off guard and send you off-course than actually aid you in getting round the corner. But there’s also a lack of actual racing in the single player modes. Yes there’s variety, and yes it looks pretty good on the whole, but only 3 or 4 of the events actually feature some other cars to race against – the others are basically time trials against ghost cars. I’d like to have actually had some racing in my racing game… but that’s saved for elsewhere, as we’ll find out.

So for £10 there’s got to be something else, right? Well there’s the ever-faithful multiplayer option, and this is where the racing turns up. The servers weren’t exactly bursting at the seams, but we didn’t have a problem joining games whenever we tried. Obviously, hook up with a few friends (well, three, there’s a 4 player limit) and you’ll have more fun, especially considering that dropping out of a race (by falling off the bottom of the screen, Micro Machines style) gives you the chance to drop some airstrikes on the other players. The comms seemed to work well too, so swearing at others who have just ruined your race is perfectly within reach. There isn’t a vast range of customisation available in terms of what the races are made up of, but your offline prowess will award you points to customise your car a bit, so at least you’ll look different. But even here things aren’t as slick as they could be – changing the track means starting over from scratch, and someone quitting or losing their connections ends the game completely. Little things like this should be second nature to developers now, but what could have been a very enjoyable online experience is soured a fair bit by these issues.

It’s a shame that Wrecked has the flaws that it does. For £10 you’d expect to see a solid online and offline racer, but the single player mode lacks depth and actual racing, and the online action is at its best only with friends and in short bursts. The camera doesn’t help, nor does the occasionally odd controls (tap brake then double tap accelerate to boost?) and as much as it pains me to say it this feels like an opportunity that hasn’t been taken with both hands and given the care or attention it deserved. An update to fix some of the superficial issues will help, but right now it’s tough to recommend and a bit of fun with friends isn’t really enough to warrant a higher score.

Reviewed on PS3

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