Wrecked: Revenge Revisited is a title that you’ll most likely buy on the spur of the moment. You probably had a load of friends that used to play Mashed and probably Micro Machines prior to that. If you are anything like me, you endure these titles for the multiplayer experience rather than genuinely enjoy them for the game itself. If you’re not, you’re one of those people who’s actually decent at them and I don’t like you very much. I’m torn on Wrecked, because I don’t really like the genre, so it feels wrong of me to slag it off, but on the other hand it’s complete crap and you really shouldn’t buy it.
I’m sure many will enjoy the recreation of Mashed for this generation, but I think they’re losing out. Wrecked is cited on Wikipedia as being, “a spiritual successor to the Mashed franchise”, but despite being developed by the same bunch, Supersonic Software, it doesn’t feel nearly as slick. I don’t even think that if all the bugs and niggles had been ironed out it would be comparable either.
I guess it falls to me to list the negatives to Wrecked, but I think it’s worth reiterating that I’ve never really been a fan of the genre, and importantly, am a massive loser when it comes to racers in general. With that caveat freeing me from any need for objectivity, where do I start?
I guess the most important thing to note about Wrecked is that it’s unquestionably broken in online multiplayer mode. I’ve played upwards of 40 online matches, and I don’t think any of them have been lag, bug or niggle-free. In the worst case it’s unplayable, and in the best it’s laughable. Neither of these two adjectives are particularly positive ones for a game that lives or dies on its online multiplayer component.
Receiving first prize in the bugger-off-you-cynical-bastards-I’m-not-buying-your-game category is the whole day-one DLC nonsense. Frankly this is a good excuse not to ever buy any of Supersonic Studios’ or 505 Game Street’s titles ever again. Simply put, the concept of day-one DLC, regardless of how you legitimize it, is just unacceptable. I can’t say any more because, if you agree with me, you probably feel just as passionate about yet more of this creeping death in our beloved industry as I do, and if you don’t you’re a fucking idiot.
What makes the whole thing worse is that the content offered on release is dire. Six courses – and six pretty pedestrian courses to boot – is simply not enough. I am aware that a large part of the appeal of the genre is in getting to know the tracks in more intimate detail than is reasonable for a human being, but really? Six? Double that and let us do them in reverse and you have an acceptable number. Six? Pfft!
So that’s all the non-gameplay stuff out of the way, and it’s at this point that I might think about mashing together some cliché about fans liking it and if you can get over these niggles, you might enjoy it… yada, yada, yada. I’m not though, because I think the game itself is sloppy and dull. Take the weapons for example. Supersonic has approached the weapons with either a) measured cynicism or b) extreme laziness. Both are as bad as each other. If they’re planning on releasing more weapons as DLC, they can go bugger themselves backwards, and if they simply haven’t the imagination to come up with something a little more interesting, they don’t deserve to be making games. What’s even worse is that most of the weapons are a bit broken anyway. The flash blinds everyone, including the person that uses it, the oil drums hit so far back in the field that they’re effectively useless and the shotgun weapon seems far inferior to the basic shunt used to bump opponents off the track.
Oh, god, I feel like I’m in therapy now. It’s all coming out. There seems an endless stream of irritations brought about by sloppy mechanics and ill-considered design choices. The shunt, for example, is a multi purpose brake, bump and turbo button. Boosting requires the use of brake and accelerate in quick succession. Therefore, if you’re trying to get any kind of straight-line speed up, the best way is to hammer the shoulder buttons. Not only are the brake and accelerate buttons not responsive enough to do this effectively, but the number of times you have to do it puts you at serious risk of a nasty RSI. Don’t get me wrong, this mechanic is potentially a great one in any racing game, but it’s been implemented so poorly that in Wrecked: Revenge Revisited it becomes a massive pain in the arse.
Honestly, I can’t stand Wrecked. I only play it because my friends do. I think it’s unfinished, cynical and a poor imitation of some excellent quality titles that came before. Shitty games come along very often, but it’s rare that a game offends so violently as Wrecked. Day one DLC on a broken game that is, in and of itself, no fun whatsoever is an affront to gaming. I heartily recommend you avoid this at all costs. Not just for your sake, but for your children, and your children’s children.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Microsoft Xbox 360 code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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