Kart racing games seem to be like marmite these days, because they’re either fantastic or just plain rubbish. And usually, newcomers have one thing in common. They all stand in the shadow of “Mario Kart“. However, “Obliteracers” tries to do a few things different. It’s fast paced carnage, especially when you’re racing with up to 16 players on-screen. And it’s mental to the max, but not in a fun kind of way.
The presentation of “Obliteracers” is at a good standard. The tracks are varied and colorful, and there are lots of weapon pick-ups and racers to choose from. Game modes usually consist of either trying to outlast competition or blowing everyone up; these consist of a handful of rounds until a victor emerges. Last man standing matches are pretty fun as several racers dwindle down to a handful launching themselves at power-ups while dodging incoming fire. It’s not a conventional racer. However, it’s not about winning races by driving around a track like in “Mario Kart”. As it´smore about obliterating everyone else (Hence the title.)
Online, local Co-Op and single player modes are all available. However, sadly enough, the latter doesn’t let you pick a racer or present any type of unlockable items as you progress. And there is no customization despite featuring a nice cast of characters. And they never really get a decent spot in the limelight, which is a shame because some of them look genuinely interesting.
So, what about the gameplay aspects of the game then? Well, it´s a mixed bag really. As “Obliteracers” has the conventional traits of most Kart racers out there (wacky tracks, vast cast of characters and a nice variety of power-ups), but the controls and the player perspective are a bit of a mess. As the controls are a little confusing, for example; using your shield also drops your item. Which is a poor trade-off considering when there are several racers and only four items available to pick up at any given time. The handling is something to be admired, but most of the time I found myself simply sliding off the track for no reason; it almost feels like you’re racing on ice at times.
In terms of perspective, you’re not behind your own vehicle, instead you’re behind all the racers. Which leads to some confusing and frustrating moments. As I found myself losing my vehicle constantly; which of-course led to me either dying or flying off the side of the track. When racing with up to 16 other racers it’s almost impossible to keep track as to where you are on-screen, it’s just a mess of chaos and death (usually my own).
The Online multi-player mode is rather disappointing. Sure enough, there are plenty of tools and whatnot to offer plenty of fun moments when you´re playing with friends or strangers. However, the main problem is that there is no one online playing the game…And at the moment when I wrote this review (2016-08-03) there was no online community whatsoever, despite the fact that “Obliteracers” were released just two weeks ago on the PS4. Sure, there are options to fill lobbies with bots, but that will never ever be able to top all the fun that you have when you play with (or against) real people. So it´s a real darn shame really, because the online multi-player mode might have been a saving grace.
So when it all comes down to it. “Obliteracers” is an average Kart Racer. Because even though the single player mode provides some challenge, the later stages will send your eyes crazy when you’re trying to focus on your racer who inevitably gets lost among the crowd. I found myself quickly getting frustrated during my time with “Obliteracers”, while it looks nice, it doesn’t quite work as well as other Kart racers, but the major issue is that there’s no online community to play with, which is very unfortunate.
+ Nice Visuals
+ Good selection of Racers and tracks
+ Fun Game modes
– Online is Baron
– Way too hectic at times
– Poor racing perspective
Replay value: 2/5
Obliteracers is a fun and frantic Kart racer but sadly it’s online community is lost in the crowd of angry racers heading towards a cliff edge.
Developer: DECK13 Interactive GMBH
Format: PS4, PC
Genre: Kart Racer
Resolution: 1080p 60FPS
Release date: 2016-05-07
Difficulty: Medium to Hard
Spent time: 2 Hours
Average grade internationally: 60.00 % Gamerankings.com
PEGI age rating: 16
Install Size: 1.2GB
Robin Ek – Editor
The Gaming Ground
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