You can pretty much judge a game from the start, whether it has a nice opening screen, cool non-repetitive music and no little noticeable nuances that you feel is a little unprofessional. Things that Smash ‘N’ Survive unfortunately suffers from.
You just want to play the game as quick as you can just stop the music from being permanently imprinted in your mind, then you’re thrown into the game without too much information on what to do or even how to control your vehicle (unless you looked in the Options). It starts off with a nice simple checkpoint race which, once completed, gives you ‘bounty’ which can then be used to buy the vehicles you’ve also just unlocked.
It’s hard to see what is unique about Smash ‘N’ Survive since it’s all been done before. Being impartial and objective with games like this is pretty difficult and as much as it would be nice to give it some praise, the graphics and sound are ok, the gameplay has all been done before and it’s a shame, really. The title is basically what you have to do in the game, in the game modes that you’re not racing, it’s crashing into other vehicles or trying to avoid them in order to survive.
What makes things so surprising is that it’s not as if it’s a small game, it’s almost 1.9 GB in size which should allow for plenty of… well… everything. Why then, does it feel so concise? It’s well polished and you can tell that’s it’s a finished product, it just seems to lack some depth which, although a simple driving game, you expect it to feel solid and that’s not there.
Completing campaign missions will open them up in Gamemode and allow you to build up bounty points which are used to buy cars that are unlocked and usually ok alternatives for use in Gamemode. There is no difficulty level except normal, so you can’t choose and therefore, frustration when some missions are difficult to complete is understandable. The Versus mode is just you and a second player going against each other, you know the score.
Some vehicles have weapons which you use in such missions where you’re against other cars in a kind of destruction derby mode, luckily, you unlock a big vehicle early on for you to use and it’s quite substantial. The only problem is that it’s not quite as tough as it looks and can be beaten by even the weaker cars which have really sharp turning when you’re not controlling them.
There’s an attempt at some mild simulation-like handling of the vehicles, you won’t be able to just go full pelt around the track or take tight corners with a brief release of the accelerator and a flick of the stick. Some of the handling is just bad, like a shopping trolley with a wobbly wheel bad as if they made all the cool cars have cool handling skills and the big chunks of metal jut around, randomly flailing as soon as you go 0.0001 MPH too fast.
As harsh as this review may be, being honest and quite blunt is the way things are done around here and sorry, Version2Games, this just doesn’t deliver anything particularly new to this style of driving game. To quote Rajat Ojha from the press release, “Smash ‘N’ Survive offers nuances/ideas that are not usually seen in games of this genre…” that’s probably because no-one else thought what you have put in the game was a good idea, so they left it out.
If you’re a PlayStation Plus member and eligible for discounts, that may be a better option as I would not recommend it at £9.99 due to not being worth £3.33 an hour. You might get another hour or two more out of it in multiplayer before moving on to something better.
It doesn’t really matter how many vehicles you want to pack into a game that feels empty. Admittedly, the environments are fairly nice and do what they’re supposed to, the cars are nice and shiny and oh, you can change a few things on the car to customize it a bit. It’s hardly close to a Need for Speed title and should have been priced at least half of what they’re asking.