Vroom, Vroom, Kaboom: BlazeRush

F1'll be this interesting eventually.

“Don’t worry, our races are all safe” advises the tutorial-spouting character of isometric destructo-racer BlazeRush, shortly before I strafe his car with a 12 foot minigun, sending him spiraling off the track into an explosion-punctuated death fall. He respawns at the back of the pack, naturally. All safe, you see? And fast, hectic, sprinkled nicely with over the top cartoon violence. Power ups litter tracks, laps take 30 seconds or less and cars shunt each other around with exceedingly low regard for the laws of physics. It came out this last week and I’ve had a surprising amount of fun with the first hour or so.

Within seconds of starting a race, chances are you will have forced someone off the clifflike edges of a track, jet-boosted your way into first or taken a giant saw blade to the rear. It’s that sort of game – immediate, quick and easy to jump into. Singleplayer is a standard affair, a series of races and challenges awarding “cups” which unlock more. From what I played, the challenges came in two flavours: time trials with infinite boost and a more exotic sprint away from an always accelerating death-roller. Whenever someone dies everyone else gets a point and there are no respawns until only one person remains, the winner being whoever has the most at the end of the round where someone reaches 15.

It’s functional as a solo game, as constant progression and unlocks of new weapons and cars fuel (ha haaaaa) the racing. Where I expect the game shines most is local multiplayer. I’ll be testing this out at an upcoming LAN party, but it’s obviously designed with shoulder-barging and a shared monitor in mind. There’s enough catch-up mechanics and chaos on screen at any one time, even with just four participants rather than the maximum of eight, that it’s impossible to have one player dominate. Not that it’s totally skill-free – taking good racing lines, using weapons intelligently and knowing the best points to knock people off are all rewarded. If getting others round your place is a difficulty, it’s playable online as well.

As this excellent Steam user review points out, it’s reminiscent of the similar and similarly priced Mashed. It looks like the beloved Rock ‘n’ Roll Racing, too.

11 Comments

  1. yandexx says:

    Maybe I’m too much of a nerd, but a perspective-camera view, from top and slightly from the side, especially in a 3d game is not isometric! And a lot of people confuse this all the time.

    Here’s a good comparison for reference: link to upload.wikimedia.org
    Interestingly, Fallout 1/2 are in a trimetric projection.

    • Thankmar says:

      Finally, someone else who notices that! I was starting to doubt myself…

    • drinniol says:

      You’re right – you are too much of a nerd :P

    • Ross Angus says:

      Thanks for linking to that graphic. I can now put a name to “that Zelda Gameboy perspective” (oblique), which I seem to be allergic to (sorry, To the Moon).

    • Shadowcat says:

      I think it’s 100% reasonable to expect gaming journalists to use the correct terminology.

      • drinniol says:

        Unfortunately, that’s not the way language works. Language works by popular opinion.

        • Ben Barrett says:

          This guy is correct. So’s the statement that using correct language is important. So’s expecting professional word-users to strive for the latter. So would those same people being cognisant of the former.

          I’ll keep it in mind.

    • El_Emmental says:

      That’s actually a very useful picture, thanks yandexx ;)

  2. Commander Gun says:

    When this comes even close to the fun i have had with Rock ‘n’ Roll Racing, i would be very happy indeed :) It’s been too long since a good succesor to that game came around!

  3. oWn4g3 says:

    I bought a 4-Pack and we had a go at it yesterday. It’s exactly what I hoped to be, lots of shouting, lots of fun. The driving feelssmooth, the multiplayer functionality is very good (you can even play with up to 4 players on the same PC against 4 other online) and the cars all have different attributes so will want to experiment quite a bit. We didn’t run into any troubles with inviting to the lobby, lag or desync which is not necessarily standard for the release version of these kind of games.

    Highly recommended!