Kart racers are nothing new, they have been a popular party game since the original games such as micro machines or Mario Kart, but very few have been considered a good game. Micro Machines hasn’t had a good game for a long time, and Mario kart is one of the most popular multiplayer games on any Nintendo console. We had hits like Sonic Transformed, and the vastly misinformed ModNation Racers that thought you just had to have some weapons to make a good game.
It is definitely a genre that has its ups and downs and more than that, a genre that is very easy to tip the scale from fun to frustrating very quickly with bad controls, bad level design and frustrating weapons.
Obliteracers is one that is trying to make a kart racer that is worth noticing outside of nintendo’s own. A multiplatform, releasing on PS4/Xbone and PC, releasing for an even cheaper price than one would expect coming in at £10 at the time of writing.
Now the game is what you would expect from a Kart racing game, you have many different tracks, you race and you have an abundance of weapons that allow you to destroy, annoy and deter them from coming ahead of you in the race.
Now the biggest fail for most of these games is the controls, where you find it hard to go in a straight line. Obliteracers isn’t the worst at this, I can go in a straight line but for the first 20 minutes of game time I did find it difficult to run just because of how sharp you turn around.
But as you go on, this control scheme works well if you can get used to it, allowing you to quickly dodge incoming attacks such as rockets, and pull off some very sharp turns. Of course there is the down side, before getting used to it, you will find yourself more likely to turn right into a wall, but it’s a fair learning curve that doesn’t seems too unfair.
One of the interesting features of the game is the fact you can have up to 16-person multiplayer. Now this doesn’t sound great at first, but what if I told you this was 16-person LOCAL multiplayer magic?
Seriously, this game allows you to use a laptop, tablet or smartphone, on the main menu you can connect via QR code or connecting to the IP address and play the game using these methods. Now the controls are nowhere near as good as using a controller, but something has to be said for allowing a whole house of people connecting to the same console in the same room to play together, seriously fantastic addition.
Whilst on interesting additions, the game throws a ton of modifiers at you to change the game to suit your preference, or to make it an entirely different play through each round, from granting free weapons to those who pull off a successful drift, half or double damage from weapons, and also removing certain weapons from the game entirely. This is going to be great for that one weapon you hate in particular, as now it is no longer a threat to you or anyone else.
Graphically the game is enjoyable, now this is £10, it is not, and will not look on par with a game that has millions of pounds’ worth of development. This is a game with a very cartoony style, and it’s a style that works for it, characters that you can pick are well designed and memorable, individual karts are all interesting and fit the design of the character. The game runs at a solid frame rate and you can’t fault a game these days, because some big titles struggle at this small hurdle.
Weapons are all very satisfying, the predator gun is easily my favourite just for the way it fires, explosions and sound effects all make each a joy to use and watch your opponents struggle to dodge them.
The only fault I can find really is the designs of the tracks, they feel a little boring, and nothing too outstanding, there is always something to dodge or jump over in each level, but still don’t find any of them being all that memorable when compared to the rest of them. Maybe an update with some extra maps now the game is out might fix this small problem? Who knows what the dev wants to do at this point.
Obliteracers is not a perfect game, and it’s a game that if you already have Mario Kart you probably are not gonna need. But for the PC/PS4 and XBox One it is a rare genre that comes in and actually does what it needs to do. It’s fun, it has good multiplayer and allows a bunch of friends come together to play a great little kart game on the cheap. Overall it’s a good game, and it gets 8/10 for pure fun, only losing out for its little boring maps.