Review: Smash ‘N’ Survive

Review: Smash ‘N’ Survive

As you may have guessed by its title, there’s not a lot to do in Smash ‘N’ Survive. You literally spend mission after mission merrily ploughing your vehicle into other vehicles and hoping that you’ll somehow survive the crash, forced to do battle with wonky handling, sub-par graphics and a great sense of repetition.

I have to start by mentioning the graphics of Smash ‘N’ Survive, which are exceptionally bad most of the time. If you’ve seen any of the trailers/screens of the game you should probably throw them out of the window and disregard them entirely because the finished product looks nothing like the trailer for the game, which was sleek and polished. Instead Smash ‘N’ Survive is plagued by exceptionally bland environments, poor textures and a general sense of ‘Wow, I haven’t seen stuff like this since the PS2!’

You may use the excuse of ‘It’s only a downloadable title’, but other downloadable titles have a lot better graphics than this game, especially when the early trailer was promising what looked like a very slick racing game with sexy-looking cars. If you bought this game I can’t but help feeling that you’ve probably going to feel cheated somehow; you are, after all, getting a sub-par graphic outing when you probably thought it was going to look pretty cool.

Smash and Survive
It Does Not Look This Good.

The core gameplay isn’t much to write home about either. Your objective it seems on every game mode is to inevitably get in a vehicle and routinely smash it into other cars until they explode, turning the game into a repetitive jaunt that will have you routinely smashing into something, reversing then smashing into them again and again until their vehicle is reduced to a smouldering wreck.  It gets old, exceptionally quickly.

It’s a real shame, as with a greater variety to the missions and a better look, Smash ‘N’ Survive might have been kinda fun. Instead what we’ve got here is essentially a string of missions pieced together randomly to create some semblance of a plot, each of which tasks you with smashing into others for no discernible reason.  There’s literally nothing to draw you into the story here; each mission simply starts off with a brief textual message from some random person who you apparently work for. This mysterious entity will then tell you every single round that you basically have to smash into things for some other reason such as ‘they need to die’ or ‘he’s stolen something’, but there’s absolutely no reason behind your actions. It’s like the ‘plot’ was literally tacked on right at the end, providing an experiencing that’s equally as confusing as the most confusing Lost episodes.

The smashing into other cars part of the game should be relatively interesting, but it isn’t. There’s a load of vehicles in Smash ‘N’ Survive ranging from sports cars to massive monster trucks, but each one doesn’t really seem that different from the other, apart from being slightly more powerful or handling slightly better.  A lot of these vehicles even come with weapons ranging from flame-throwers to spinning side-blades of doom but what’s the point of equipping a car with weaponry if they’re essentially entirely useless and feel as if they’re doing absolutely nothing whatsoever? That’s exactly how I felt whenever I used my weapons as often collision detection is ‘off’ to say the least. Cars don’t usually just kind of bounce off each when they smash into each other at high speed.

That’s where another one of the problems lies with this game. A title like this, which routinely encourages destruction, should have an excellent destructible component to it as well. Instead, cars look barely damaged even when low on health, the environment is full of poorly animated things to crash in to and there’s a general sense of wasted potential.

The only real saving grace of Smash ‘N’ Survive lies in the amount of vehicles available; if you love collecting a wide variety of different cars, this game has a good amount to keep you going for a while if you can struggle through the poor handling mechanics and the repetitive gameplay.

Overall this is a pretty poor title. Controls are dodgy, graphics are wonky and everything has a sense of unpolished from the very get-go. If you can survive the smashing for too long, you are a more patient person than I.

Score: 4/10

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