E3 2017: Satisfy Your Appetite for Destruction with Wreckfest

Racing game fans were not hurting for new sources of entertainment at this year’s E3. There were many good looking titles on display from well-established franchises, but one of the more surprising finds was a demolition derby title appropriately named Wreckfest. What made Wreckfest so surprising is that there was a playable build with a target release date in sight. This game started development in 2012 under the name Next Car Game, being called a spiritual successor to the FlatOut series. After a failed Kickstarter campaign, a work in progress version of Wreckfest was released on Steam Early Access at the end of 2013, with updates to the game slowly trickling down. Briefly perusing the Steam comments, it seems that people do enjoy the game but their ire draws from Wreckfest sitting in developmental limbo for close to four years. The developers, being gamers themselves, understand the fans’ disappointment and are working diligently to get a complete version of Wreckfest out as quickly as possible.

Putting the history of development issues and the lengthy time sitting in Early Access to the side, let’s get into the actual game. Some racing games shown at E3 featured ridiculous levels of polish, showing photo realistic quality renderings of fancy, beautiful cars, licensed from real world manufacturers and replicating the major race tracks of the world, creating a glitzy and glamorous racing environment. Wreckfest is not one of those games. Wreckfest is about attitude, it is about getting dirty and smashed up while trying to dish out more damage to the other racers. There are no licensed vehicles because most car manufacturers do not want to donate their brand with the intention of their cars getting destroyed. For those familiar with the crash junction filed series Burnout, this is the type of mindset Wreckfest brings to the table.

Wreckfest features soft body damage modeling. As the event progresses, the player’s vehicle will take damage in different areas of the car, such as glass breaking or bumpers falling off the cars. Part of the the fun is watching the damage happen to all the cars in the track, until enough damage is done to render the car completely unable to be driven. There are dynamic driving mechanics, so the skilled racing game fans will be right at home amidst the carnage. Players will be able to upgrade and customize their vehicles to optimize the performance for their play style and also have a car that visually appeals to what they want their custom car to look like, only to watch it get smashed to smithereens.

Wreckfest will feature proper demolition derby levels along with more traditional races. The demolition derbies will occur in large open area where all the players fight to smash up every other’s vehicles, pretty much an objective that could be described as Twisted Metal without weapons. The races, while not having the goal of destroying the other cars explicitly stated, are not any less destructive. Not only are some racetracks designed to feature intersecting ramps for mid air collisions but the races themselves are meant to be played aggressively, ending in neck and neck battles to the finish line where pushing your rival into an obstacle may be the key for victory.

Wreckfest still has no official release date, but the development team is putting in the effort to ensure that Wreckfest will be the best game it can be. Hardcore Gamer was able to spend some time playing the most current build and the pieces are in place for this to be a fun destructive racing/vehicular combat game. Hopefully the wait for the final version is not too much longer. In addition to being on PC through Steam, Wreckfest is scheduled for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One releases.