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Gas Guzzlers: Combat Carnage Review

/ May 31st, 2012 3 Comments

Gas Guzzlers Review
Gas Guzzlers Review

Gas Guzzlers Review

Right off the bat, if you take Gas Guzzlers too seriously you may miss the point. The latest release from the developers over at Gamepires offers up a more light-hearted approach to a combat racing title that’ll have you twisting and drifting your way to the finish line. But if you’re expecting Grand Turismo with weapon attachments then you’d be sorely disappointed. Gas Guzzlers has its problems for sure, but with its customizations, campaign mode and addictive races, you could find yourself playing for a few hours and not even realize you’re late for work.

Once you launch up the game you’ll be right into the main menus. Although a bit confusing as to where to navigate to you’ll eventually find the Campaign, Quick Race and Multiplayer modes. With Campaign and Quick Race you start out at the El Ahlan Challenge which is set on a dirt track outside an old Egyptian town. Your vehicle of choice? A Fat Ficho. What’s a Fat Ficho you ask? Well, it’s a low-performance vehicle that kinda looks like a Mini-Cooper. In fact, it probably is a Mini-Cooper, but don’t let it scare you away as this baby will get the job done and allow you reach good enough speeds to place or win events. As you place in events and finish races within the top 4 you’re able to unlock higher performing vehicles that feature a deep set of upgrades and customizations.

The upgrades and customizations of Gas Guzzlers is indeed the meat and bones of this title. With money that you earn from races you can upgrade parts such as weapons, engines, brakes, tires, ammo and armor. Many options have plenty of choices while others lack in this area. Each car that you unlock will react differently to how you customize it with different parts, but as a whole, most cars get through races just fine with any new upgrades you install. Cars you can unlock range from cheap minis to lavish sports cars with names you won’t be able to recognize, but you’ll surely know which car you’re driving by the shape of the exterior and the sound of the motor. With the many cars that were available to be unlocked that we saw, the selection was diverse enough to warrant the amount of upgrades that are offered.

Gas Guzzlers

Gas Guzzlers

Upgrades on the style-side of things bring up many different looks for your car that include its paint, rims, license plate and stickers that can give your ride a unique look. There was nothing too surprising here in this category so don’t think it’s Pimp My Ride on MTV or anything.

Graphically the game looks ok. And we say ok because it was just OK. What you see in the game is different than you what you may have seen in the official screenshots. The colors don’t seem to be as rich or polished and the lack of detail was not up to par. Also, there were no cinematic sweeps of the tracks or any shiny, mouth-watering shots that we’re accustomed to in games like Grand Turismo or Twisted Metal. In addition, we saw that in certain camera angles during a race the frames per second would drop significantly, especially when using the overhead camera shot from above. There were jagged edges at every turn and map glitches were certainly evident when the camera was in this position. But everything went back to normal as we toggled back down to the view from behind the car. The game does feature a few driver POVs with some fast-paced action up close and personal and we thought this was a nice touch here.

Control-wise it was a bit difficult at first. You may want to just spend your time choosing the classic races until you are fully ready to compete in other categories. Getting a weapon early and jumping into a combat or knockout race will certainly “drive” you crazy with how unbalanced the control scheme is. It’s good to make sure your keys are mapped out comfortably in the Options menu first. After a while it did get a bit easier to control the car and fire weapons, but without the mouse function being used at all, the controls are a bit cumbersome to get adjusted to.

Gas Guzzlers: Combat Carnage

Gas Guzzlers: Combat Carnage

As for the racing itself, yeah it’s fun, challenging and the track designs are neatly orchestrated, but for racing games nowadays it was another OK from us. We were expecting insane driving, crazy combat and chaotic explosions back and forth. Now we love that Gamepires decided to keep things light and humorous when making the game, but after going deeper into the weapon upgrades and new car unlocks we began to realize that it wasn’t going to get any better in terms of combat. There are machine guns, rocket launchers, explosions and accidents galore, but none of them packed the real punch needed to satisfy our blood-thirsty urges. Maybe it was our pallet of gaming experiences or a lack of maturity perhaps, but either way, we needed more bang for our buck. It was a bit of a letdown when we knew it was pretty much turning out to be a very tame Twisted Metal. On the bright side of things the races did included power ups and ammo replenishes to keep the action from going stale. You could also run into repair fixes and nitro tanks that would help power you to the finish.

Presentation was another let down in Gas Guzzlers. Most annoying of all were the voice-overs heard throughout the races that took bad lines from Arnold Schwarzenegger himself. We know this game is based in Europe and characters from the region, but this was a tragic mistake on the part of Gamepires. It took away from the addicting nature of the game and added a level of cheese to it, and no, not the good kind.

The other mode the game offers up is Multiplayer. From our experience there weren’t many players around when we looked for a match. The master server either never connected or left us with a few people to race against when it finally refreshed. When we were finally able to enter the server and join a race, the game experienced severe lag. Severe enough from the beginning that it denied us an opportunity to finish a single event. It could have been bad luck or a connection issue on our side, but from the looks of the 3+ players actually playing Multiplayer, this was probably not the case.

While Gas Guzzlers does have some big problems to overcome, it does spark a few hours of entertainment that you’re always looking for in a PC racing title. Yes, you may need to be bored to play Gas Guzzlers, but don’t let the drawbacks discourage you. The upgrades, customizations and addictive racing style keeps you busy enough to satisfy your purchase.

Overall Ratings – Gas Guzzlers (PC)

Gameplay:

7/10

Graphics:

7/10

Sound:

8/10

Presentation:

6/10

OVERALL SCORE:

70%

 

Alex Gonzales

Alex Gonzales

Alex Gonzales first started gaming at the age of 3 and was a child prodigy in the world of game theory. While his mind was apt, his strength in athletic competition was even stronger. At the age of seven he won the Under 10 Anaheim City Championship for Judo and remains active in martial arts.
Alex Gonzales

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