Wrecked: Revenge Revisited Xbox 360
When I was a kid I used to enjoy playing Micro Machines 2 with a few friends of mine. We’d gather together at the guy’s house – he owned the Mega Drive version that had a weird feature allowing you to plug joypads into the game cart itself – and get down to some four player sessions on the miniature top down arcade racer. It was a game that always resulted in laughter as you knocked and bashed your buddies off pool tables, knocked them into sinks or drove them into trees. Due to the camera mechanics it resulted in some very hectic and fast paced gameplay that has seemed to vanish in this day and age, with the recently released Motorstorm: RC touching close to the same style of play.
The team at Supersonic Software aren’t strangers when it comes to top down arcade racers. In the past they have created Micro Machines V4 and Mashed, the latter a spiritual successor to Micro Machines. I’ve never played any of the above games so I was stoked to hear about the development studios new title, Wrecked: Revenge Revisited, which is regarded as the successor to Mashed and carries on the top down racing recipe, but does it also carry the fun?
Single player is made up of four groups of challenges, which are speed, weapons, skill and elite, with each challenge featuring six events for a total of 24 to take part in. The events feature tasks like beating race times, blowing up cars with weapons and collecting more points on the track than the other racers. The challenges get better the further you go in, such as doing a Top Gear inspired race with a caravan attached to your car or surviving a race without hitting anything because a bomb is strapped to you. You’ll fly through these in no time (took me just under an hour and 45 minutes) if you aim just to pass them, but trying to get gold will require more retries, skill and above all, tolerance.
In single player the camera isn’t well implemented. The game is trying to go for a cinematic camera, but it fails to be any helpful to the person playing the game. I don’t mind when the camera zooms in and out slowly, but when you’re doing it so often and recklessly it ends up just plain annoying. It’s off -putting when you do a boost and the camera does a quick pan on and off the car you’re driving, throwing your perspective off. Also it doesn’t stop there. When near corners the camera likes to react with a mind of its own as it spins and zooms messing up your position and view of the track. The dynamic camera spoils the game when you play it by yourself.
I also don’t like some of the control implementation for the special moves. There are two moves you can do, super brake and super turbo. To activate super turbo you need to tap break and then tap acceleration twice. For super break it is acceleration and then brake twice. Whoever designed these controls needs to re-examine control schemes because it’s an awful way of doing it. Often I found myself activating super break because I was tapping acceleration near a corner and then tapping my break button after, which in turn caused me to come to a halt, so annoying.
This is a game you certainly shouldn’t be buying for a single player experience. There’s nothing else to do by yourself once you are finished with the challenges. This means no quick race, no tournament or any other sort of A.I required options, yet A.I is present in challenge mode. That’s beyond a joke and it puzzles me why these modes aren’t included. A lack of tracks is another problem. Wrecked features only six short tracks that are based on either a jungle, snow or desert theme. All but one feel generic, with Ice Bridge standing out because it features two long sheets of ice with ridiculously icy hairpins that cause your car to slide with ease. For 1200 Microsoft Points, Wrecked isn’t the most generously priced game on the service. Adding insult to injury, there is day one downloadable content available priced at 400 Microsoft Points which adds eight more challenges, two more tracks, two new weapons and one more vehicle. That’s just simply cheeky when the game lacks content already for the asking price.
It’s established then that Wrecked isn’t worth it for the single player, so how is the multiplayer? Better than the single player as there is some fun to be had, but the game doesn’t get that much better. It plays like Micro Machines, as in you have to stay on screen and keep away from the bottom while defending or attacking other players. Fall off or vanish off the bottom of the screen then it’s goodbye for you. The winner is the person with the most points after the match is finished. Up to three other people can play together offline or online. It fares better offline because it doesn’t run into problems that the online has, so you can have a laugh and some fun if you can manage to find three other people to play locally.
Online is a different kettle of fish. Wrecked suffers from lag, quite badly sometimes. It’s hard enough to just find a match, but every match I did get into had some sort of lag, it was never perfect. There are instances where cars are freaking out, teleporting, flashing, twitching and all sort of bizarre things that are associated with lag. Even collisions with other cars can cause random crap to happen. You’ll be driving along and some guy will try ram you, nothing happens, but then it catches up and you’re flying to the side of the road, mostly ending up with your car going off the track. If you do become wrecked in a round then you can rain death on other players as the game lets the dead shoot air strikes on the track.
Lobbies are barebones. If someone quits in a race you are all sent back to the lobby and have to start the match again, annoying when someone quits because of the lag or because they are losing. Camera is still somewhat of a problem in multiplayer. When four cars are on screen it’s normally fine as it keeps zoomed out so you can see the action. When there are two people left the camera decides that it should start shooting all those fancy camera tricks and begin to obscure your view again. It’s such a pain when you are in first and you can’t see what is coming towards you because the camera is doing its best to screw you over.
Wrecked isn’t a bad looking game, it’s a bit jaggy, but that aside, the game’s environments are pleasing on the eyes and the cars are detailed enough from the viewpoint you see them at. Presentation is a bit all over the place. There’s a sense that the game wasn’t thoroughly tested as I’ve had glitches happen. At one point, I was sliding on the ice over the finish line, close to falling off the track, and the game didn’t register me crossing it, meaning I had to complete another lap. There was no chance I was going to hit any of those medal times because of it.
Shortcuts seem to have been taken in the presentation. There’s one event where the car is forced to accelerate constantly, yet no sound is playing for the engine. That is, unless you hold down the accelerate button for absolutely no reason. Let go of accelerate again and it vanishes, yet the car is still going faster. On another challenge – where you have to keep going through checkpoints to increase the timer so you can get the furthest distance before the time runs out – the ghosts aren’t even representing their scores. I was in front of the cars and failed, yet they were behind me and somehow got a better distance? It’s just wrong not to sort things like that out before release.
In all, I find it hard to fully recommend Wrecked: Revenge Revisited for what it is. For the price you’re getting lacklustre single player content, bad camera and control choices and poor online capabilities. If it was cheaper I would probably say check it out if you’re a person who can get some mates together in a room. There is some fun to be had in local multiplayer, even if for a little while till you get bored of the six levels. Sadly, for me this game was a big disappointment, a bit of a wreck so to speak.
Editor’s Note: Check out some HD footage of Wrecked: Revenge Revisited below on our YouTube channel!