Fans of Hanna-Barbera's Wacky Races will love Targem Games' BlazeRush, a fun arcade racing game that puts you in the driving seat of pure chaos.
Russian developer Targem Games have created a dynamic racer that uses mighty power-ups, winding courses and cool sound effects to create an untamed, immersive experience that will have you laughing or shrieking in dismay at your screen.
The top-down perspective is an ideal way to keep track of gameplay, which is often frantic, messy and quite literally explosive. Plus, if you're a sucker for nostalgia like myself, you'll love how BlazeRush reminds you of superb driving titles from the 90s.
The controls are simple; you use the left analogue stick to speed up and turn, whilst X and square take care of the power-ups. A clear red arrow sits at the front of your car during each race to help you keep track of where you're going.
"If you're a sucker for nostalgia... you'll love how BlazeRush reminds you of superb driving titles from the 90s"
Single player mode is probably one of the weakest parts of the game. Players are challenged to climb up the ladder, win cups and meet objectives to unlock the next level of races, characters and cars. There are only a limited number of maps, so gameplay swiftly becomes competitive and the lack of narrative makes it difficult to motivate yourself to finish it. However, single player acts as a comprehensive tutorial that is an accessible way for players to get to grips with the game's mechanics quickly. The power-ups are introduced really well and this mode enables you to try them out without completely crashing and burning during a race. It's well worth visiting for this feature alone.
Tournament (aka multiplayer) mode is where the fun really begins. You can have up to eight players online, or invite up to three friends to join you in local multiplayer. If you don't have enough players, the game will fill up the race with AI drivers so you can unleash as much mayhem as possible.
These races are fast-paced and borderline ridiculous, which makes them perfect to play in short bursts with your mates. You receive medals and trophies for attacking other players, as well as getting revenge on those who've blown you off the track seconds before.
The power-ups are great fun. There are a few to choose from which ensures that you can defeat enemies in a variety of interesting ways. My favourite power-up mounts a souped-up gun on your vehicle and lets you unleash a short, but deadly torrent of bullets on unsuspecting drivers.
While you can sabotage drivers in front of you with relative ease, there are no attacks that you can shoot behind you. This would have been a great addition to the game, as currently, you'll feel incredibly exposed if you've been in pole position for a while.
"...races are fast-paced and borderline ridiculous, which makes them perfect to play in short bursts with your mates"
There are standard races in the form of time trial and survival modes, but the best one by far is death race. In this mode, a huge bulldozer chases racers around the track. Your task? Stay alive, whilst betraying your friends to become the last man standing. It's outstandingly good fun.
BlazeRush is a visually stunning game where anything can happen. Gameplay is short, but it's highly addictive. Even if you've been in last place for the entire race, a well-timed attack can result in victory. If you're looking for a story, you definitely won't find it here, but if you want a quick-fix of action, madness and frantically fun gameplay, this is definitely worth adding to your library. And at £7.99 on the PlayStation Store, what's stopping you?