If there's one thing gamers need; it's more kart racers. Obliteracers isn't your typical racing game but it does offer unique gameplay that can be very fun to enjoy with friends so invite the whole barn over and let's put the pedal to the metal!
Crossing the finish line means nothing in Obliteracers. All that matters is that you have what it takes to annihilate your opponents. You control either a robot or animal competitor as you would in any other racer except the camera follows the whole gang as opposed to just you. This means that playing multiplayer matches won't result in a split-screen as everyone can see all of the action at once. If you fall too far behind then you'll be eliminated but sometimes that's a good thing because at least you won't be a target like the racer at the front of the pack. Considering the camera doesn't follow you, it's mandatory to constantly watch which direction your vehicle is facing because falling off-course is incredibly easy to do. As you race as precisely as you can while deploying a variety of power-ups to destroy your opponents, it's clear that Obliteracers is quite a unique and fun little game.
Although Obliteracers doesn't have incredibly impressive visuals, it features a selection of tracks that are quite lovely to race through. There are essentially only four locations but each one has three different variations thus making a total of twelve. You'll drive on tropical beaches, futuristic city streets, sand-filled deserts, and a large ocean freighter. The characters include two different kinds of robots, a warthog, and a bird. Just like the tracks, each character type has a few variations with sixteen being the grand total. One thing that I found to be disappointing is that these characters don't have distinct personalities. Kart racers usually boast a colourful collection of folks with one-liners and attitude to spare but these chums are unmemorable at best. The audio lacks character as well. Quiet music, generic sound effects, and gentle engine whirring are nowhere near as satisfying as the audio in most other similar games.
One aspect that Obliteracers handles very well is providing plenty of options to ensure each race is perfectly customized. First of all, you can play through a single player career mode with 24 stages and a versus mode that can be played with online or local players (or a mixture of the two). To help mix up the gameplay, there are four modes including continuous deathmatches (where you score points for taking out racers), deathmatches with rounds, round-based survival, and a deathmatch mode where the head of the pack gets points every time a racer bites the dust. Additionally, you can alter many rules that can drastically change how the game is played such as having losing racers deal more damage or disguising power-ups so you never know what you'll get. Seeing as you can play with up to sixteen simultaneous players, every match will be different to the last. The amount of options definitely adds a lot of replay value.
My biggest complaint about Obliteracers is that it can be a very frustrating game to play. Over time, you'll learn how to work with its shortcomings for it to be more enjoyable but it's still quite a tricky game to master. The largest contributors to this are the ambiguous track layouts and frequently awkward camera. Sometimes, it seems like you can keep going straight but then the camera rotates 90 degrees all of a sudden and you realise that you just drove off the track before it was too late. Other times, you'll ascend a hill only to notice that you have to turn at the top of it although the camera doesn't show the track in time. What this results in is having to memorize every single track so you don't accidentally go off course. This issue takes a lot of fun out of the equation.
Obliteracers is a unique and enjoyable combat racer that's best played with pals. However, be prepared for many annoying moments that'll make you want to drive off a cliff.
- + Fun vehicle combat gameplay that many players can enjoy together
- + Decent variety of modes and options
- + Lovely selection of tracks to drive on
- - Ambiguous track layouts and tricky camera add needless frustration
- - Racers lack distinct personalities
- - Bland audio makes gameplay less satisfying