Opponents obliterating each other as well as my overall fun.
In a genre so full of me-toos and derivative games, it's nice to see Varkian Empire's Obliteracers try something new with their action racing. That said, Obliteracers is sort of a misnomer for the name of the game. The central mechanic of Obliteracers is all about destroying the other cars while driving along one of a handful of twisty tracks such as a sky high mining metropolis, a minefield in a desert, and a tropical coast. There are no laps, there are no finish lines, and there really isn't a reason to be in first place except for one mode.
The weapons offered by Obliteracers run your standard gamut of explosive goodness-- machine guns, rockets, mines, shockwaves, a trail of slippery oil to let loose behind your vehicle, and even a series of flames that burn from the sides of your ride. All of these are used to blow up, annihilate, and destroy the other opponents who dare share the same track as you.
|This weapon launches three pink missiles at opponents unfortunate enough to be in your path.|
You see, there is very little real estate on the screen for eight or more racers, In these more crowded races, the area upon which you're considered too far behind, thus being knocked out is larger. In addition to that, most of the time if you're leading the pack, the camera angle forces you to make blind turns or worse, blind jumps, usually leading to you falling off the track.
|Things can get quite crowded with eight opponents at once.|
In the initial few races I felt in control of my own destiny. To put it in less dramatic terms, when I won, I felt like I earned it. When I lost, it was because I screwed up. Later events with eight or more racers are basically crap shoots. In a game of Survival, it never seemed prudent to take the lead, as you'd just have a bunch of weapon-toting opponents on your tail, ready to fire at you. Being in the back was safer, but it still wasn't a safe bet. It seemed like I would win a round randomly when things finally fell correctly into place out of pure happenstance.
|And things just become too chaotic with 12 opponents on screen at once.|
So, as a solo game, Obliteracers isn't too compelling. In fact, it can be darn frustrating, and maddeningly so. However, with friends, Obliteracers is a rip-roaring good time. Being able to share the same screen and enjoy some local multiplayer fun is indeed entertaining. Online is also available, but it's pretty hard to find and join a game. Thus, Obliteracers is almost forced to be a local multiplayer-only game due to the lack of players online.
Thus, Obliteracers is a tough sell overall. The main campaign struggles to hold one's attention for long with its pithy amount of event types, almost entirely luck-based and borderline broken events in later offerings, and short longevity. The online servers also don't have too many players either. However, if you have friends locally to play with, then Obliteracers can give you a few game nights of wacky entertainment. Just don't take the gameplay as anything but severely flawed fun.
[SPC Says: D+]
Review copy provided by Deck 13 Games.