Crash! explodes on PSN and XBLA, but does it have a short fuse?
Reviewed on the Xbox 360 by Alex Trotter-Fernandez
I’ve always had fond memories of the Burnout series; Takedown and Revenge being my favorites (Paradise not so much, I didn’t care for the open world environment). What’s attracted me to these games is that I’m a god awful driver, so crashing is really second nature to me. My favourite mode from the original games is Crash Mode, a mini game of sorts where you send your car careering into the middle of junction in order to inflict as much damage and devastation as humanly possible.
Well, when I discovered EA and Criterion were releasing an entire game based on this premise I almost had a stroke.
This isn’t the Burnout you may be familiar with, it’s simple bird’s eye view is reminiscent of a pinball game, albeit with explosions. However the moment Crash! explodes onto your screen you are inundated by a cacophony of vivid colours and loud noises. Like the games that spawned this spin off it is an anarchic thrill ride designed for those with the attention span of an inebriated goldfish. Despite the changes to the formula this game very much captures the spirit of Burnout.
What I love about this game is the simplicity of play. Simply steer your car into oncoming traffic and cause as much damage as possible. As cars pile up your crashbreaker meter fills up, once full one can strategically detonate your vehicle and inflict as much damage as possible to surrounding buildings and cars, blocking roads to create even more pile ups. You can do this over and over again until either the clock stops, or you miss enough cars depending on which mode you are playing.
There are three modes of play, but they all centre around that simple gameplay and the Burnout ethos; automotive genocide. Road Trip is the default mode, and probably my least favourite. The goal of course is to rack up a high score and earn stars to unlock new cars and intersections. With this mode the aim is to prevent traffic from escaping, whilst unleashing devastating damage. When you let the set amount of cars escape it’s game over. During your session, special vehicles may appear, from Oil tankers to Ice Cream trucks. Destroy one of these bad boys and you get a special event that can help increase your score. Of course you can’t keep exploding forever, your game will end with a wicked environmental effect, it’s damage increased with your score and multipliers. These events range from Tornado’s to a big freaking 747 landing on the intersection and destroying everything in its path.