A new, free PlayStation 5 game?
What a precedent set by Lucid Games Destruction AllStars. All PlayStation Plus subscribers, who own the new PS5 console, have just scored themselves the game this month. But what exactly is the game?
It’s an insane sum of parts which maybe reflects Lucid Games themselves. You may not know them, but I’d like to think you know Bizarre Creations. They had a tiny series called Project Gotham Racing. Also made your favourite game-in-a-game Geometry Wars. And unfortunately became another Activision casualty. Well, Lucid Games is the result of that. 10 of the founders for Lucid, came from Bizarre. In fact, as they expanded they made sure to target former Bizarre members for employment.
And now we’re here.
So what are the parts which makeup Destruction AllStars? They’re part on-foot scrambling. Part car-acquisition. And then mostly Burnout x Destruction Derby from there. It’s all pretty simple to understand, and while my friends and I disagreed on whether or not the tutorial helped, I felt it did. The analog sticks control movement and camera. The face buttons control jump, barge (think tackle), enter vehicle and jump. Some of these can be used in combination to attempt to take a vehicle while it’s moving because “parts”. Once in a vehicle, R2 and L2 do what they normally do in car games, while the dodge face button becomes a handbrake cause we all know and love Tokyo Drift. You then mix in R1 and L1 as breaker moves, because the heroes we pick are very much that classic in-game mechanic; Heroes.
Each hero has a on-foot breaker and vehicle breaker. The on-foot breaker is typically the jump increasing to double for better movement, and maybe a buff to barge-damage to other players. The vehicle breaker spawns in a hero vehicle which looks rad as hell, and produces a new effect on the vehicle for better damage in-game. Breakers are easily earned by simply playing the round, or picking up breaker shards found around the map because your character also knows parkour.
An arcade mode which lets you select 1 of the 4 game modes, 1 of the 3 arenas, and then difficulty allows you to pick up the game and some in-game currency offline so you don’t feel overwhelmed by having to win against real people. If you do feel ready to drive against real people, then multiplayer takes you into this experience. But be warned! I haven’t experienced it myself, because I’m smart and typically chat in parties, but in-game mics are enabled automatically from load. So if you don’t want yelling in your ear, you have to disable that all manually via menus. I’m also confident this will be one of the first things patched for the game. So is it fun?
I think yes. It catches you from the get-go, with a new, riotous way to combat online. The Mayhem mode presents the most direct route to destruction, as points accrue from simply doing your best to wreck. If you’ve played Fall Guys, then Gridfall is that in cars. And the final 2 modes, Carnado and Stockpile, are 8v8 team-based modes which see you banking gears earned from wrecking to either walk away with the most points or banks which act like capture points. It’s easy to pick up, and suited for whether you want to play Solo or with friends.
XP is to be earned, along with AllStar Coins which can be used to purchase new skins, emotes, dialogue and titles, as is the standard in most online games now. While fun, there’s a sense of lacking to Destruction AllStars. It isn’t a bad thing, but simply points out the game will need a constant stream of new ways to play. It’s freshness, especially in a new generation, is appreciated, but is it enough?
For the time being, again, yes.
It’s rewarding to see the PlayStation Plus community given this title, considering the recent release of the PlayStation 5. And while it may make PS4 owners feel like they’re missing out, I hope they realise they can add it to their library to play should they update in future. After Bugsnax, Destruction AllStars is a fitting addition to a slowly, growing library for the PS5 exclusively. One could hope, as the system’s life continues, we see PS+ continue to bring more and more titles like these. But for now, let me make like Ralph, and wreck-it.