Crasher is an
interesting mix of vehicle vs. vehicle combat that if it had players
in it, would be a blast to play. It is mystifying that the game is
not popular. Perhaps not enough people know about it. Who knows? I
was about ready to write it off as not such a great game, but then I
actually found someone to play against. This player informed me that
most times more players come out at night…mostly. I have to tell
you, when there is someone to play against and or with, this game
actually shines. It is a simple straightforward game. Pitting up to
5 vs. 5 players against each other.
The game could do
with an actual playable tutorial and perhaps even a single player
experience to hone skills. Single player vs. bots anyone, sadly both
are missing from this game. Which is too bad because the player is
in for a crash course in learning what their chosen vehicle can do,
they are just thrown into the arena and its play and learn. Sure,
there is like a very short four page manual that gives you the run
down of the controls and what some of the power ups do, the
instructions, what little there are could have explained things
better. I had a beast of a time at first controlling my car with
just the keys on the keyboard.
Thankfully, I found
that if I hold the mouse button down and use the trackball to steer
I have much more control over my battle vehicle. The driving
controls until I found this, felt rather unrefined and downright
clunky at best. Still there is a bit of a learning curve with the
controls. At least to get the feel of them, until then you are
useless in battle.
There where some odd clipping issues that cropped up, where I would
go half in and half out of a boulder or rock face, but I never got
stuck, sometimes I would go half in and bounce back, as if the
actual graphic skin over lay did not match the wireframe underneath.
Not too distracting or a game stopper.
weapons have different effects, from energy weapons, to the good
old-fashioned missiles. The player’s primary weapon will fire
automatically at any enemy vehicle directly in front and within
range of the weapon. Some may argue that this takes some of the
burden off the player/driver….and others may feel robbed and would
have liked to shoot their own weapons primary or otherwise. However,
the system does in fact work.
While the literature states vehicles hurtling along at 150mph, you
never really get the feeling of speed in the game. Even using a
rocket powered boost to the vehicle, it never really feels like the
speed is anything more than a fast jaunt around the park. This is
not really a bad thing, because it does give the player extra time
to choose a route to go.
The vehicles are
called Crasher class vehicles and there are 6 types of those. Each
one with a specialization, some have close range combat, while
others are fast, or heal and absorb damage better, things like that.
The real trick is to balance a team between all these ability sets
that compliment each other.
Like any multiplayer game Crasher has different game modes.
Territory Control being one of them and as the name implies it comes
down to a team trying to control an area. Alternatively, there is
the Crasher Battle Arena, where it gets much more interesting with
fast-paced battles, with no respawns. As you play and gain
experience points, you also get rewards for your team, this can be a
cool thing because then you can start customizing your skills.
Therefore, there is no telling what vehicle will have what weapons.
It all depends on the players tastes.
Ah, here is the
biggest shame that there are not more players. The arenas, they are
simple and yet so deviously spectacular. For instance without
ruining the surprises for first time players, I battled against a
player who graciously allowed me to join in to get some screen shots
with player vs. player in mind. The Arena had two levels and some
bridges that spanned what was obviously molten magma. Drop into that
and you are toast. Now here is where the fun begins, after some time
of battling, all of a sudden the lower part of the arena started to
fill with a magma lake!
While I did get off
a couple of hits on the other player, it was clear he was far more
skilled in the vehicle choice and all so the weapons use. Using at
one point some grapple beam of sorts to pull me back into range of
his other attacks, and then finishing me off. Well played indeed.
With players, the battles are over the top and a true joy, with
weapons and various attacks very outlandish and over the top. Tons
of fun to be had here.
Other arena’s have a
few surprises also, making tactical choices on the fly and avoiding
dangers of the environment. Pitting players not only against each
other but the surroundings is so simple and yet so brilliantly
implemented. The game is a simple affair but what a design choice!
Crasher has a demo
on Steam right now you can download and try out; all you have to do
is find the players to make it worth your while. With more players,
this diamond in the rough could actually shine. Implementing some
bots for single player practice could go a long way in making this
game from mediocre to full-blown brilliant.
At this time the
online community may not be enough to support the online multiplayer
experience, which is a real shame because the game is actually fun.
Special thank you to gamer “Joker445” for the game matches.
Have fun, play games
United States Editor