Crasher, created by Punchers Impact and Mindscape, is a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena style game where you stage warfare in motorised vehicles against fellow gamers from around the world. When I was first presented with the chance to review Crasher I was very excited as I have a history of playing ‘Cars with Guns’ style games. Having now played it, I am glad I had the opportunity, however, there are a few underlying issues that may knock this race car off the track.
Read on to find out what is HOT, and what is NOT in Crasher.
When I first hopped onto the game, what struck me was the very unique style of graphics. For a while I wasn’t sure if I liked the style or not, but it has since grown on me. The graphics are of a similar style to that of Borderlands, and most certainly give the game a unique feel. Some areas don’t look as great as others, but having now played it for a number of hours, the graphics are most definitely one of best things about the game. A number of other games have better graphics, but it’s not the graphics themselves but more how the style makes the game feel.
The best point to this game is definitely the gameplay – which is a good thing. There are 2 game types; Team Death Match & King of the Hill. In team death match it’s 1 team against the other, however, the twist is that each player only has a single life, so it’s essentially S&D without the bomb. King of the Hill is where teams fight to take control of certain areas on a map making it an all out brawl when it comes to 5v5 on Crasher. A slight twist to King of the Hill on Crasher is the spawn points that can be captured near the capture points. A player has to drive over a spawn point and wait a few seconds for it to be captured by their team. When a member of that team dies, they will then spawn on that point, making it constant action when attempting to take control of the Hill as the enemy team are often spawning just around the corner.
There is something awesome about driving around in a vehicle with guns on it. I don’t know if this is the child coming out in me or just that it’s cool to have a gun on your car, but I can’t think of anything better. This game just makes driving fun, by pressing the spacebar the user can blast forward at high speeds, which is especially fun when using this boost off a cliff edge as you almost glide for a while.
I feel there is a decent amount of customisation in the game to keep it interesting – at least for a while. When creating a game you have the option to chose either 3v3 or 5v5 games. You also have the chance to select different gametypes and maps to play on. There is however, a big issue with this as I will talk about it later. One of the best things about customisation in this game is the number of vehicles and then the options you have with them. There are a total of 15 vehicles each with their own set of powers and stats – meaning that you have a lot of different vehicles to play as and to attempt to master. As you level up through killing other players and winning games you unlock perks, skills and guns that can be attached to your chosen vehicle. An example of a perk you unlock at an early level is +10 physical armour. I’m not sure if you unlock different skills, perks and guns depending on what vehicle you have been using or if it is the same for everyone, but this customisation definitely adds a lot of replayability to the game and also means that even if people are using the same vehicle it can be a totally different fight to the same vehicle stock v stock.
Unfortunately, I found the sound annoying and often ended up muting the game and putting on iTunes instead while I played. The soundtrack is very repetitive and it often felt like I was just listening to the same small loop over and over. The sound effects within game are alright and do give the game a bit of atmosphere but once I had put my music on they weren’t something I missed. I’m not sure if they went for a certain style with the sound track but to me it just doesn’t work.
There is an issue with the content within the game, or more appropriately, the lack there of. There are just 4 maps split between 2 game types, 3 different TDM maps and a single King of the Hill map. For a game trying to establish itself, this isn’t going to help. Part of the problem is that the King of the Hill game mode has just a single map available for it, which is especially annoying as it’s all that ever seems to get played. Although you are able to start a new lobby in an empty server and change the game type to TDM, almost everyone plays King of the Hill. The map gets very boring, especially after playing it 10 times in a row. More maps are a must if this game is to succeed.
As with content, it is the lack of players that is the issue here. This is probably the single biggest issue holding this game back. Sometimes it takes more than 10 minutes to get into a game as there only seems to be a maximum of 30-40 people on the servers at a single time. I’m not sure how they have been advertising the game, but something has clearly gone wrong here as no one I know has even heard of this game. The lack of players is definitely an issue as it only makes the game more unbalanced than it already is. When I first started up the game I didn’t get off level 1 for more than 10 games and was constantly put up against teams of high level players.
Due to how the game works the higher level you are, the more perks and skills you have and so these high level players are not only more experienced at the game, but they also have much better vehicles than your stock one. An example of this is when I went into a game and my team of low level players ended up playing against a level 30 player. He ended up getting every kill in every round of TDM and not dying a single time. This also highlighted what might have saved this issue from being as big as it is, you don’t get any XP for losing. This means, like what happened to myself, you can end up being stuck on level 1 and getting destroyed round after round by higher level players, that is, if you can find any players to play with.
The lack of players means that matchmaking doesn’t even work. Players have the option to select from a server list which game you want to join, or, to search for a game to join. I actually sat searching for more than 1600 seconds before I decided it was pointless thinking it would actually put me into a game (See screenshot below). This feature requires a lot more players on the server to actually function properly. Another gripe I have with the game is that you get kicked back to the main menu every single time a game ends. Meaning you have to go through the often painful process of getting into a game. The game should automatically take everyone and put them into a lobby ready to go again, this would make the game a lot smoother to play as you wouldn’t have to wait around for ages, which is often the case.
The other problem with this game is a major bug that stops the player being able to use any powers. This often ends up with the player just walking off from their keyboard and leaving their vehicle just sitting there. I have found on multiple occasions that it’s ended up 5 v me, with my 4 other team mates just sitting their AFK, which ends up with me rage quitting. This is however just a temporary issue that doesn’t occur very often, and is currently being worked on by the Crasher team.
Although the gameplay is fun and can keep you occupied a while, the big issues with the game just seem to ruin the experience. Playing the same maps over and over gets very repetitive and ruins what at the core; is a fun experience. The main issue, that being the lack of players, is what will end up killing the game as it not only makes the unbalanced aspect of the game worse, but it gets incredibly frustrating sitting around for ages trying to get into a game. If Punchers Impact can get the game better known so that there are more players on the servers, as well as add a number of new maps and gametypes, then I think most of the current issues I have with it would go away. It’s a shame because I definitely found myself having fun on many occasions while playing this game, however Punchers Impact have a lot of work to do for this to become a household name. I suggest that you download the free demo currently available on Steam so you can try the game yourself: at the end of the day, this review is only my personal opinion and only by trying the game can you decide for yourself.