Crasher review speeds into sight!

Punchers Impact have launched their latest online MMO to the sound of throbbing engines and thrumming carburetors. Will it race to the finishing line and soak up all the adulation and glory? Or will it splutter and cough its way to a first lap pit stop? Let’s find out together as we bring you all the full game review of Crasher.    

If you were one of the lucky 500 who managed to acquire a prelaunch invite to the closed Beta of Punchers Impact’s  MMO then you have already had the pleasure of playing this corking online only title. If you have not yet sampled the motoring mayhem on offer then maybe Crasher is the surprise hit game you have been waiting for?

With the latest title from Punchers Impact having been on release for a little over two weeks now it is a crying shame then that more players are not yet turned on to what is rapidly turning into it  an underground hit as gamers looking for that ‘something different’ are discovering.

Crasher is an online MMO that takes place over four ‘arena styled’ maps of varying scope and sizing from the cramped and claustrophobic to the enormous panorama that awaits on Eruption.  The graphics look mighty impressive as the similarly cell-shaded stylings of 2 K’s Borderlands spring to mind with the sandy appearances and lighting. With dual game modes spread out between the four gaming zones Crasher offers more than enough opportunity for players to get some serious machine on machine based mayhem as they charge around the arena’s blazing away at their rivals with auto-cannon and missile launchers before resorting to all out ‘ramming speed’ in their bid to be crowned King of the Pit in the modern-day styling of some kind of Gas Guzzler Gladiator.

The modes are split into a single King of the Hill offering as well as three that are more your Free For All type mode that just requires you to scream around the map at break neck speed whilst simultaneously picking up the sparsely scattered power up’s and bonuses. In a nice twist that see’s Crasher offering up its own take on a genre that has been imitated on numerous occasions by a wide variety of games developers, Punchers Impact have given Crasher a far more polished look and feel with the added extra of the visual distractions such as the Volcano in the centre of the Eruption map that see’s gamers having to avoid the red-hot splashing and expulsions of molten rock as they seek their quarry at top speed around the zone.

Additional map’s featuring the all new Abyss zone have also been added already to the game in the hope that it will swell the number of players, and we hope that it does, as to overlook this corking little game is to miss out on one of the years best independents by a country mile. If racing games are your forte, and let’s face it here, which gamer doesn’t like the odd petrolhead power up every once in a while? Then Crasher can offer up a suitable alternative to the genre. Instead of lapping your mates and hitting an oval track for 130 lap’s of riveting gameplay, why not take the time to load up on some serious hardware, cut across the grass and blow the living beejayzus out of your enemies? I mean come on, seriously now, how much fun can you have when the height of your driving gameplay is ” left turn-straight-left turn-straight-left turn…rinse and repeat? ”            

The game’s controls are pretty much perfect for the gameplay as you use mouse to keyboard to mobilise your motorised death machine, and with a fair selection of fifteen of these multi-armed mechanical murder mobiles you are in for some pretty varied designs to take to the track with. With six classes available for each vehicle that range from Tank, Healer, Melee and Ranged players will also find within their class the four unique skill’s that come attached as standard. The trick of it is knowing which class best suits which vehicle and ultimately from which combination you will get the best out of your armour, weapons and attributes. Once you have taken the time to experiment with each class and learned to juggle the skills around then you will be better equipped to take your four-wheeled widow maker out onto the arena floor.

Levelling up is achieved by winning matches, so you must quickly get into the habit for fear of being stuck at level one and being the butt of everyone’s cannon fodder jokes. Winning, naturally, gives you that all important XP that is then used to purchase the upgrades which can make the difference between you being placed as an also ran to be hailed King of the Hill.    

All in all Crasher is a fun-filled frolic with some inspired graphics and impressively armed vehicles that will have you enjoying some truly cracking moments with your friends online. The gameplay is solid, despite some minor bugs, but when all is said and done the clean menu’s, easy to operate control’s and picturesque maps offer up really great quality team based online play that has not been done this well in an online only for quite some time.

Graphics: Looks and feels like Borderlands with the auto-firing automobile giving the distinct impression that you have just made off with the key’s to Mad Moxxi’s motor. Visually impressive and looking far sharper than some if its big budget retail based rival’s, Crasher will provide a great gaming outlet for many any hour to come. 7

Gameplay: Motor based mayhem that will see players screaming around arena’s in high performance, high-powered all terrain vehicles that are easier to operate with the excellent control system than your average garden lawnmower. The menu’s are clean, clear and well laid out, the HUD is uncluttered and does its job beautifully and the vehicles handle so sweetly they are sponsored by Bertie Bassett. If you think you have seen all the racing genre has to offer then its obvious that you haven’t seen Crasher. Go try it now.   7

RePlay Value: With the game being an online only MMO that provides high speed, high quality gameplay for a fraction of the cost of its overpriced and overhyped rivals you will be playing this game daily for the fantastic change of scenery and pave that it offers. New maps have already ben released with more on the way. 6

Presentation: Punchers Impact have managed to come up with the goods again with this rather excellent piece of diabolical driving. The hope here is that more gamers turn on to this cracking little title, as it deserves the attention of a larger audience of that there is no doubt. The game looks and feels like a far bigger retail title whilst still managing to retain that online only MMO price tag. If you try one MMO all year then we readily suggest it to be Crasher 7


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