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The  cover artwork for the new PC version. Photo Credit: store.steampowered.com

The cover artwork for the new PC version. Photo Credit: store.steampowered.com

Wreckfest is crashing over to PS4 and XBOX One

November 16, 2018

Wreckfest is a vehicular combat/racing video game developed by Bugbear Entertainment and published by THQ Nordic. The game went through a long phase of early access mode until the finalized version of the game was released on June 14 for Microsoft Windows. The PlayStation 4 and XBOX ONE versions are expected to be released the following year. As the name implies, Wreckfest involves the player, other players and CPU to smash and bash against one another to win the competition. The game specializes on body damage, which affects driving dynamics realistically.

The finalized version of the game involves a good amount of content and gameplay to work with. The player can choose to participate in a race or a demolition derby. The objective is to win the race or be the last car standing, respectively. The racing portion of the game is basically compared to modern racing games. The player must choose a car (most are rusty and old-styled), choose between automatic and manual transmission and select a dirt or tarmac track. All races focus heavily on “vehicular combat”. Each racer uses conservative or aggressive tactics, like avoiding other vehicles that could potentially damage them or taking them out, respectively. Even though Wreckfest is destruction-based, this game follows a more slow and strategic approach, making more like traditional racing. Wreckfest has a career mode, where the player competes in championships. The player competes in the Regional Juniors Championship, starting with the Racing Series. After gaining a certain amount of points (1600 in the Regional Juniors), the player moves on to the National Amateurs, Challengers, Pro Internationals and then the World Masters. Basically, you start out in the local region then compete against the world.

The game’s development started around sometime in 2012, and it was announced on Aug. 2013 by the title Next Car Game. The development team had no one to publish the game, therefore they put the game in early access by pre-order. To raise revenue for development, they launched a Kickstarter campaign on Nov. 1, 2013. They wanted $350,000 to finish development, but $1.5 million to work on the PlayStation 4 and XBOX ONE versions. But after only three weeks, the company only raised $81,722. The campaign got cancelled due to a disappointing progress. Bugbear Entertainment released a Technology Sneak Peek, which tested the game’s damage engine. An extended edition followed when the add-on received great praise. Before Christmas of 2013, the company released an early access available to all. I’m happy to say that it was a total success not only because of the positive feedback, but it had managed to exceed the amount of money the company tried to get on Kickstarter. After working on the game some more and changing the title from Next Car Game to Wreckfest, the finalized version of the game was on release five months ago. Unfortunately, the PlayStation 4 and XBOX ONE cannot enjoy the party. And what’s more unfortunate is that the console versions were expected to be released on Nov. 20, but now are delayed until next year.

Overall, this game is solid, especially with its crashes. Crashing is the defining feature of Wreckfest. With its realistic damage model and how the cars wreck, it seems as if you’re racing in real life. Wreckfest is one of the most unique games for a destruction-based game, especially since the racing gameplay involves more racing instead of constantly beating the other racer up. But just like any racing game, you can be a dirty driver and knock the other racers down (or a clean driver, which is ethically better).

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