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Fireburst Review - -
Reviewed by
Andrew Smith
Fireburst PC Preview. All in all, FIREBURST is a fun racing for the PC that would definitely be more fun on the XBox 360 or PS3 due to its arcade nature. Even so, it works well on the PC but a gamepad definitely enhances the experience.

Gameplay 7.5
Graphics 7.5
Sound 7.5
Value 7.5
Review Date: April 2012
Andrew Smith



FIREBURST is the latest over the top racing game from developers INDIEPUB who use the unreal engine to create this almost flawless racing experience. Reminiscent of games such as MotorStorm and my late 90's favourite Powerslide, by Australian developers Ratbag, this game is classic racing.

At its speedy racing heart, FIREBURST feels like a classic off-road racer, even though there roads that you race on but the reason I link this game to Powerslide is due to the simplicity of the gameplay, sharp graphics and enjoyment factor. FIREBURST doesn't try to be too clever but rather provides PC gamers with a fun racing experience and a rather clever twist!

The twist in FIREBURST is fire. Fire and heat are used throughout the various gameplay modes to not only disadvantage your competitors by helping them overheat or blow-up but it also gives you access to nitro aka super speed. Gameplay modes in the title include both single player and multiplayer (online and split screen), however in our intensive testing we could never find any online players to play which is a shame. Splitscreen works but it is a little crowded, even on a 28" LCD screen for the PC.

The Single player modes includes quick race, fireburst racing league, race (custom) and destruction. In league you just don't race as you need to complete certain challenges to progress like holding boost down for a number or seconds or completing some other task that at times can be frustratingly difficult or even multiple tasks and then a position in the top 3. Multiplayer on the other hand contains online race, split screen race, online destruction and split screen destruction.

Racing takes place in a variety of different environments from deserts to oil rigs and even arenas that is fun for the destruction mode that is similar to smash derby. Players can also select a variety of racers to control, each with their pros and cons. For example Samantha, the Euro-Goth racer chick is an all round racer who has similar scores for speed, acceleration, handling and heat resistance.

However when you choose the various cars in the game, these will enhance your racers statistics such as giving you more speed or heat resistance for example. Each of the cars also have their own special powers such as fire wheels which leaves a deadly trail of fire for your enemies. Needless to say, there's lots of great cars to choose from.

Other characters in the game include Hightower the dwarf, Izzy the Rocker, Melvin the Geek, Shawn the professional race car driver, Hanako the Japanese school girl, Jack the Cowboy and Moses the Biker. Each of these characters have their strengths and weaknesses.

Additional characters are unlocked as you proceed through the League, including more vehicles. Controls are well mapped on the keyboard but a gamepad is far superior in terms of accuracy. As mentioned, apart from racing, fire plays a key aspect to the gameplay which some interesting gameplay moves and nothing is more fun than unleashing this deadly fire on your opponents.

Let's talk about the special powers. Fireboost is basically nitro but your car can overheat if used too much. However if you drive through water, it cools your car down. There are also barrels on the track that either cool your car down or heat your car up which must be avoided at all costs. If you activate  fireball, it makes you invincible for a time and will destroy other cars that can definitely trigger the balance in a game.

My favourite power was Fireblast which puts a ring of fire around your car and should an opponent touch it, it will destroy their cars. Firewall is another power that puts a flame wall in front and behind your car to heat up your opponents. Lastly we have firewheels that puts fire around your wheels and leaves a deadly track for other racers to drive through. As mentioned fire does add an element of strategy into a rather generic "off-road" racer and should your car be destroyed, you respawn in a few seconds. Nonetheless, the gameplay works well.

Graphics & Audio

Graphically, the title looks great on FULL HD and boasts some silky smooth framerates. As the game uses the Unreal Engine, the graphics do appear a little dated and sometimes the physics are a little askew. You have a couple of different views in the game from bonnet to outside car view which is far superior in terms of navigating the environment.

The characters in the game are well modelled and there's some decent lighting and special effects used such as the wicked and deadly. Sound effects are good, although the voice acting does gyrate on your nerves as it becomes too repetitive. The music features a heavy metal soundtrack that features songs from Kai Walter featuring Gregor and Until Broadway. Rocking cool!

Final Level

All in all, FIREBURST is a fun racing for the PC that would definitely be more fun on the XBox 360 or PS3 due to its arcade nature. Even so, it works well on the PC but a gamepad definitely enhances the experience. Let's hope it becomes more popular because I'm dying to test out multiplayer online which I'm guessing is far more enjoyable than the single-player mode. Race on!



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