Old school arcade racers have a special place in my heart. They are quirky, funny, and if done right they can be really entertaining for a long period of time. I had never heard of the Crashday series before coming across Crashday Redline Edition and after a little research I discovered this was a reboot or more accurately a remaster of a game released back in 2006. While doing said research I also found out that this game has/had quite a bit of a cult following and, as games do when they get older, lost the online support it had leaving the die hard players stuck using offline modes instead of playing against others online for the past 10ish years….until now.
Of course I can’t compare this game to the old Crashday because I have no experience with it, but you can see from screenshots alone that the game is definitely showing its wrinkles. The graphics have been polished up a bit and ultimately don’t hinder the game experience in any way. In fact, from a gameplay perspective Crashday has aged like a fine wine.
The multiple game modes give a lot of room for diverse play and can feed whatever racing desire that you have in any given moment. Want to play an explosive match and take out your aggression on other drivers? Done. Have the need for speed and want to take home the checkered flag? No problem. Want to perform stunts that even Evel Knievel himself couldn’t dream of? Of course. There is even a really entertaining bomb mode where you have to pass the bomb to other racers before the timer ends blowing up the car stuck with the bomb. It is a sort of tag type game mode that creates urgent and exciting gameplay. These are all options in Crashday: Redline Edition and they work wonderfully in the same game.
The ever important crash physics and destruction of the vehicles is just ok. There is an indicator of your vehicle’s health on the HUD but it doesn’t give a feeling that there is a whole lot of difference in where you get hit. For example hitting the front of your car against a wall does more damage than hitting the back or side but there is no difference in how the car drives based on what happens. I would like to see a smashed front end pull the car one way or the other based on where the damage was done or slow down the top speed because of it. The arcade jumping physics on the other hand is one of my favorite parts of this game. The ability to accomplish incredible jumps and impossible heights is quintessential to an arcade game in my humble opinion and Crashday nails this. The feeling you get when hitting a giant ramp using your nitro to fly what feels like a hundred feet in the air and do a triple backflip is what I want all day every day in this type of game.
Crashday excels at being easy to pick up and play, living up to the description of an arcade racer. The areas where it is deficient is in its lack of depth. There aren’t any different weapons to pick up in the modes that involve weapons and the number of cars to choose from is lacking. The large amount of game modes helps to curb the lack of options within them but after playing a few rounds of each game mode there is a feeling that you can’t get much more out of the game or develop any new strategies to beat your opponents. That is the nature of an arcade racer to be more of a drop in drop out type game but when compared to other titles today it’s hard not to compare and think of what the game could be if there were some additional options.
I ultimately found online competition to feel stale as well. I don’t know if people who purchase the game just aren’t interested in playing online or if there just aren’t many people playing, but I wasn’t able to find any other players to play against. It is a lobby system so playing with friends who own the game would be easy, but don’t expect much of anyone else to be available to play with. It is odd that there is no one online because there are a plethora of mods available for download such as tracks and other vehicles.
The game offers a career mode that allows you to compete in events and earn the ability to upgrade the cars that are available which allows for a simple progression system, but again it really lacks the depth of today’s racer games. There are community mods which allow you to download other cars and user built tracks so you can download those mods but I am evaluating the game from the base product and there isn’t nearly as much to see there.
I would be remiss not to mention one of the best features of the game which is the track builder. Now I don’t have any friends that I could try the game out with, but the track builder is a great feature in a game like this where whacky and lighthearted gameplay is the goal. You can build a course, track, death arena, etc all to your heart’s desire and in the track builder there is a surprising amount of depth for this game. All sorts of turns, obstacles, and jumps are at your disposal to make the track of your dreams. I did not get a chance to download any user tracks but I am sure the modding community has some very fun tracks to use if you don’t want to make any yourself.
I might also mention that the game does feature a pretty nice soundtrack. From what I was able to gather about the previous version of the game this was one of the top selling points and part of the cult following. Rock n’ roll and electronic music blasts as you race, destroy and jump around the track.
Crashday: Redline Edition is available for a very reasonable price of $11.99 on Steam and there should be some continued developer support to hopefully add more options at least for a short time. Overall I cannot say that it has the lasting power or progression in there to keep you hooked for hours and hours but if you’re just looking for a fun little arcade racer to jump into and play a few rounds Crashday might meet your demands.