It’s been a very long time since there has been a good new arcade racer. The only one that ever comes to mind is Mario Kart. Unfortunately what you find here won’t set the world on fire. At best it will leave you shrugging your shoulders, thinking about the potential it had and how frustrating the actual game is. The world does not need everything to be on the level of Mario Kart, but something that comes close would be nice.
Motor Strike is simple in concept and design. Players take control of their chosen car, picking between various knock off versions of famous cars, more on that later. The player then drives their car around poorly designed race tracks, however winning isn’t the key to success here. Instead, it is all about the points the team can earn throughout the race. Being in first place guarantees the most amount of points, but the player doesn’t actually need to be the one in the lead. As long as one member of the 3v3 team is in first place, then the player’s team is guaranteed to win. Out of interest, I purposefully hung back to see what happened. My team won almost every time. That’s not to say the player has no impact on a race, they can use the various weapons available to them to temporarily destroy the enemy, allowing the player to fall behind and the rest of the team to get ahead. The player has a primary and secondary weapon to destroy both the enemy team, but also the AI that drives around attacking anything in sight and causing the player to loose points. It’s up to the player if they want to hang back and pick of enemies to help the team gain that essential victory. Like any racing game, there is cups to compete in or solo races for a quicker experience.
The problem is, all of this is just okay. Nothing better, but certainly at times worse. The driving is nothing to shout about, but it is an arcade racer, so let’s not be too harsh. The shooting may be the best part of the game, but like everything else, it’s not good enough. It costs energy to attack or counter attack enemies. However there is plenty of energy and the recharge is quick enough that there is no real need to ration. Just press and hold the shoot button and you will be fine. Throw in a couple of missile shots and you are guaranteed to ace the track. Assuming you don’t drive off the edge trying to get used to the driving mechanics. That happens often. The classic mechanics for this type of game are not present here. No weapon pickups or degree of randomness. Just drive fast and shoot. I hate to say it, but it just does not stand out or grab the player. I appreciate the developers trying something different with the score system, but this game needs a level of familiarity. It just feels off. Nothing is outright bad, all mechanics work. They are just not very good. Tie everything discussed so far and you find yourself playing a disappointing attempt to capture the classic feel of this genre. The game feels repetitive, drive around the tracks, either being in first place or shooting enemies. That is it.
The player can buy different cars, all knock off versions of famous film and TV cars. Expect to see the Back To The Future car racing against Homer Simpson’s car while being chased by the A-Team van. It’s a novel touch, but no saving grace. It’s enjoyable to see these iconic vehicles in one place, I am particularly fond of the Mystery Machine, but at the end of the day it’s just cosmetic touches. On the topic of cosmetics, the game is not easy on the eye. The graphics are not particularly special. They certainly could be better, but graphics are not everything. The biggest issue is draw distance and pop in. It is jarring when racing around a level, seeing the rest of the track and art assets suddenly appear. To be clear, it does not have an impact on gameplay but it is ridiculously noticeable. It is odd, and very distracting. Even the assets themselves seem off. At times you go straight through an object you really shouldn’t be able to, while other times I somehow ended up driving on the side of a cliff away from the track. Again not game breaking, it won’t affect the race, but when you drive off the side expect odd results.
Maybe the game would be more fun with other players. Unfortunately finding a multiplayer match proved extremely difficult. I was never lucky enough to find a match, which is a shame. I do believe the game possibly could be better with friends, trying to kill each other and mess with each other’s score. There is just not enough here to hold onto anyone. The game seems appealing from a distance, famous cars fighting and killing each other with various weapons. However it just does not play out this way. Even with the unique abilities, everything just feels bland. The levels are certainly average, I am struggling to remember their style and look. It is just a simple track with a forgettable background. Neither of them seem well designed, I never felt the need to use the hook to move around the track. It just seemed pointless.
It’s a shame when most of a review is negative. As mentioned before, nothing is bad by definition. Not good either, but nothing is broken, it does what it has been designed to do. The shooting and the theme of the game is the best part, but it can’t help bring Motor Strike to a higher standard. It’s boring and repetitive. Even in a market with few notable arcade shooters, Motor Strike: Immortal Legends fails to have any impact.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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