X10 Hands On: Scrap Metal

Scrap Metal was a bit of a surprise for me. I haven’t seen much about it up until now and when I walked through the doors at X10 it was the first game that I saw. The game is scheduled for release as a part of Xbox’s Block Party event running throughout March but there is no final date confirmed for it as yet.

Essentially, it’s a top-down combat racer with projectile and close-range weapons and multiple game-modes. It looks and plays smoothly with two control schemes to help smooth the experience for players who, unlike me, didn’t grow up on a diet of Micro Machines. The game was made in just over a year by a two man team and is a startling accomplishment for Slick Entertainment (who previously made N+).

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I found it simple and intuitive to control. Even the combat, usually an aspect I have problems with in this style of game, was natural to me after a few short minutes. My monster truck with hydraulic battering ram finished second in the demolition derby I played despite me talking to the guy and playing in 3D. I was pretty pleased with that.

That’s one feature of note, the 3D implementation. Slick have coded support for multiple types of 3D – all glasses-based – into the game in an effort to overcome the obvious problem of not being able to distribute their own glasses with a downloadable title. They had Scrap Metal-branded glasses there and I was told that they hoped they might be able to give them away via their website but for the most part it looks like you’ll finally have a reason to keep those red and green cardboard specs you get at the movies. The 3D was a little sickening in the front-end but once the game started it was implemented surprisingly well with very little of the headache-inducing blur and plenty of depth.

For a game which has had relatively little pre-release hype this was very accomplished. The four-player split screen local or Live multiplayer will appeal to many and the many game modes will hopefully add plenty of longevity. With straight-up racing mixed in with demo derby and corrupt cop-chase modes along with odd types like one where every player is a fuel tanker with a flame thrower attached as their weapon this is sure to hit a broad appeal in the market.

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