Smash ‘N’ Survive Review

It seems like every other week that we see a new racer/derby title hit digital platforms. Sure, most of them fly under the radar unnoticed, but it’s hard to deny that the sub genre has seen a gradual hike in quality over the past few years, Psyonix’s SARPBC (you’ll need to search that one) perhaps being one of the most under-appreciated games to ever grace the PlayStation Network. In contrast however, we have Smash ‘N’ Survive, a new car combat experience from Zen Technologies subsidiary, Version 2 Games.

[boxout]Smash ‘N’ Survive tells the story of you, a petty street racer who gets lucky ansmd joins a gang known as the Necromancers. Throughout the dismal 2-3 hour campaign, you’ll be vying for turf with clan rivals, The Hooligans, and that’s just about it. No characters, no cutscenes, and not even a shred of spoken dialogue. Chapters are fumbled together with unimaginative snippets of writing, V2’s primary focus being gameplay.

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[drop2]Responsive handling and engaging combat are the two quintessential must-haves in any successful car combat title. Focusing too much on one half of this well-established formula rarely pays off, but failing to make the grade on either is a recipe for disaster.

Smash’ N’ Survive has a moderate gallery of vehicles, some with their own unique weapons including flippers, flamers, and mower blades. It’s all very Robot Wars-y, and despite there being over a decade between them, the BBC’s video game adaptation of the much-loved nerd sport is comparably better.

In the minute smattering of race-style events in Smash ‘N’ Survive the handling is plausible, but when you’re in a combat environment it’s downright awful, handling just as smoothly as one of Zen’s driving simulators. This isn’t really helped by the poor weapon mechanics either. No matter which vehicle you select, one-on-one skirmishes will always end up with both combatants chasing eachother in circles. Some weapons offer a ranged advantage, but without the game clearly displaying how much damage your death contraptions actually dish out, you’ll likely stick to ramming your opponents’ weak spots.

As briefly touched on before, Smash ‘N’ Survive isn’t all free for all scraps and team deathmatches, there are also a number of objective-based modes too. A saboteur-like game type sees one team attempt to plant a bomb in the enemy base and prevent it from being disarmed.

Another is a straight up king of the hill variant, and there are even escort missions, but all suffer from the same structural and gameplay issues. Victory in these modes can be achieved by eradicating the enemy team and unless you want to struggle against Smash N’ Survives woeful mechanics, this is the approach you’re likely to take for every mission.

Menus are as basic as you could imagine, the continuous heavy metal rift in the background failing to make navigation any more enjoyable. The in-game environments are varied and some of the vehicles have a slick look to them, but it’s hard to ignore that the game’s contemporaries are well-ahead, the upcoming Wheels of Destruction employing the Unreal Engine 3 to full effect.

Pros:

  • Some environments look great.

Cons:

  • Steep pricing. You could bag yourself two copies of MotorStorm RC for the same amount.
  • Game mode objectives can be ignored.
  • 2-3 hours in length, unless you actually want to play more.
  • Looks dated, physics are too basic.
  • Weapon system is useless.

Unfortunately, there are barely any redeeming qualities in Smash ‘N’ Survive. Despite a few visual perks, the gameplay, and thereby foundation, of Smash ‘N’ Survive is dysfunctional with huge implications on the rest of the experience. If you’re looking for your car combat fix there are plenty of alternatives, chief amongst them the upcoming return of Twisted Metal.

Score: 2/10

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24 Comments

  1. I saw the score and just laughed. Holy shit.

  2. Woo, a 2 review! Thanks for suffering for us. :)

  3. Worst game of the year?

  4. this is the first 2/10 review I ever seen in my life ever since I started playing games. I never thought its possible to get a 2

    • Its happened before… 1/10.. even 0/10

      • Really? When was that?

      • seriously 0/10, what game is this lol

      • OPM… 0/10 I believe it was that Mag but defo not TSA if that confuses Al

      • Look up “Big Rigs.”

      • Ah right. I thought you meant there was a review on TSA that gave 0/10. I’m all to aware of Big Rigs, what a terrible game that was.

  5. Trailer made it look terrible and no surprise it was.

    • Yup even the trailed looked pants!

  6. Does anyone find it interesting how certain types of font are usually the mark of a terrible game? :D

    • Agreed – or even a terrible title for the game.

  7. Wait… so is this any better than Full Auto 2? I thought that was greatish but very short but I bet that would’ve got loads of Negetive scores.

    Just a shame this game is poor.

  8. ooouch. Worst review score I’ve seen in so long.

  9. Why do Sony waste time with this nonsense while we’re waiting for Trine 2! :?

    • It’s an indie company so I’m guessing Sony didn’t have much input. As long as it doesn’t spread viruses. :P

      • I know it’s not a Sony product – but it had to go through some Sony approval process i’m presuming …. and that took up some time when they could be approving Trine 2… anyway I WANT TRINE 2 NOW! lol :P

      • Ah… Mr Bonyman wants his favourite dessert and doesn’t like the shite Sony’s currently offering! You go for it, fella. Shout loud. Kidnap families! I’ll get the engine running. Ooo… I wonder if they’ll release it sooner on PS+.

  10. Yeah. I reviewed this for my own site and gave it a 3, another reputable site gave it a 2 and now you guys have given it 2 as well. So how, might I ask, is this bunch of arse scoring 7s and 8s on other sites??

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