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Crasher PC Review - -

Gameplay 5.0
Graphics 5.5
Sound 5.0
Value 4.5
Developer: Punchers Impact
Review Date:
Mar 2011
Edwin Millheim
Classification: N/A



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.

Various interesting 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
Edwin Millheim
United States Editor
Impulse Gamer


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