As soon as I heard about this game I thought the same thing many of you are probably also thinking: “It’s basically Mario Kart”. Although there are some blaring similarities, Obliteracers does a commendable job of distinguishing itself from other arcade racers. The core elements of the game are driving vehicles and picking up weapons/powerups to blow up or run your opponents off the track.
Obliteracers is refreshing to say the least, it’s a fast-paced, chaotic, same screen party type game that I haven’t seen for a long time. It comes with fast rounds and an exceptional local multiplayer experience. If you live with people who would be wanting to join in then I would recommend this game without question. On the other side of things if you are buying the game purely for a solo experience maybe with some online multiplayer you will find yourself getting bored considerably quicker. The gameplay is, of course, the same as playing with friends, however, games like this are just monumentally more fun with someone else there whom you can taunt as you obliterate their little cartoony kart… only to have them airstrike you from the grave. Back to singleplayer, there is, of course, the online multiplayer modes which are more fun and more challenging than the bots due to the unpredictability of actual people. The downside here is a lack of progression and rewards, there are no levels or unlockables, just the leaderboard. This shortens the longevity of online multiplayer but again this is not (in my opinion) where the game’s strengths lie.
Obliteracers shows off some appealing cartoonish graphics with lots of pretty colours and explosions that I’m sure we can all appreciate. The maps are all visually very well put together and even run smoothly as well. The vehicles consist of tanks, hover cars and other hover craft-like karts. On top of this, they are driven by boars, birds and robots which also all look just as wacky/awesome as you would hope for.
Gameplay wise, Obliteracers runs very smoothly and in my time playing have not experienced any frame rate drops or freezes. The vehicles control smoothly and have little to no traction which you get used to pretty quick and really adds to some of the mayhem where you can swing around corners and send other karts flying off the track. You can play from as little as 2 up to 16 karts on-screen at once which of course gets a little chaotic, but hey, that’s the reason we play these games. Obliteracers easily copes with its max player count, if I’m really nitpicking I would point out that occasionally the camera angles seem a little off. The camera aims for the centre of the pack and sometimes when going over jumps or around corners you have some karts at different levels of verticality or things spread out very suddenly and the camera isn’t sure where to aim. Keep in mind this rarely happens and even if it does it does not particularly inhibit your experience.
Obliteracers is a lot more focused on the fighting than the racing, when I say you can have up to 16 karts on-screen I don’t mean spread out across the track, I mean actually on your screen. If you trail behind you’re knocked out for the round, or you respawn back in the pack (depending on the game mode). Due to how close the racers are to each other there is a huge emphasis on battling it out as oppose to getting ahead, sometimes you’ll want to be at the back so you can pick off the competition and be less of a target.
The game does feature a career mode that is a series of pre-set races with increasing difficulty, for each one the aim is to finish in a podium position to earn ‘bombs’ which you need to unlock later levels.
Back onto the local multiplayer now, here there also ‘Modifiers’ that you can apply to your races which you can use to tone down the race or make things even more insane. It’s nice to have the freedom to change the game’s rules, mechanics and even physics to suit whatever you want. Modifiers include the likes of making the ground more slippery, making cars bounce off of each other (my personal favourite), removing certain weapons and much more. Party games in general, are considerably more fun when played in the same room with other people who you know and Obliteracers is no exception to this rule. From my own experience when I played solo against bots I played for about an hour before I turned the game off and when playing against my brother, we knocked out about 4 hours game time without even realising it.
To summarise this review I would highly recommend Obliteracers to anyone looking for a good game to play with their mates (although I’m sure you already figured out my stance on that). However, I wouldn’t tell you not to buy the game if you plan on playing solo, there is still fun to be had playing against the bots or against other players online, just not quite as much as local multiplayer. Unlockables such as skins, characters, etc, would be a nice addition to improve the online, however, that is currently not a part of the game.
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