Make no mistake about it, thereís something exhilarating about watching a car wreck unfold in front of you. While you donít want to necessarily see it, you canít help but turn away from looking at the impact of two or more vehicles smashing into each other. Eidos has taken this fascination with automotive destruction and melded it with arena like racing to create a new form of driving mayhem. Better strap yourself in tight and check your airbags, because itís time to Crash ĎN Burn.
Players start out as one driver in a pack of sixteen looking to tear up a track in a number of locations. These include The Bronx, San Francisco, and the Grand Canyon, amongst others. Typically, youíll find yourself placed somewhere towards the middle or the rear of the pack, which allows you the option to fight for a win in one of two ways. Like most racing titles, you can try to sprint your way to the front, taking over the other drivers and holding onto first place with accurate navigation of the turns. This, however, is incredibly boring. On the other hand, you can attempt to knock opposing racers out by ramming them into walls and other cars. This quickly eliminates your competition, providing you with an easier road to victory.
Fortunately, drivers wonít have to worry about paying for repairs to your car (thanks to the magic of video games, youíll get new machines to trash with each race). In fact, each accident, eliminated driver and successful race will provide you with loads of cash that you can use to upgrade your car. Thereís actually a number of parts youíll be able to tweak, including the engine, turbo and other cosmetic features, many of which can provide an additional edge in future races. This can be useful since there are a number of separate racing types to go through, including kamikaze races, where players race towards each other in a dangerous game of chicken. Youíll also find plenty of crash junctions, such as figure 8 tracks or intersections that force drivers through very tight crossroads.
Although not particularly modeled on actual vehicles, the four vehicle types in the game (sports cars, muscle cars, pickups and compacts) do an incredible job of showing the varying degrees of damage theyíve received. Bumpers and paneling fly off in chunks, doors lazily hang on by their hinges, and wheels dent in at awkward angles. Engines will also smoke and catch on fire near total operative failure, providing a slight indication of just how careful youíll need to balance aggressive driving and targeted demolition. While itís a few weeks away from shelves, the races we engaged in were intriguing enough to possibly give other racing games a destructive run for their money when it pulls into stores in early November. Check back soon for a full review!
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