What are people's initial impressions of Destruction Allstars? Mine are...not great.

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bigsocrates

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Destruction Allstars came to PS+ today. I downloaded it, played a few rounds, and I dislike it so much that I feel like I HAVE to be playing it wrong. There's no way this is all the game is. I feel this way even though I've played like 5 rounds and came in 3rd in one of them, so it's not like I'm totally incapable of engaging with what the mechanics seem to be, but I profoundly do not get this game.

At its core Destruction Allstars is more or less bumpercars. When the game starts you are on foot and have to jump into a car, and then most of the game is played in a vehicle (which spawn frequently throughout each level) driving around a futuristic arena and attacking the other players by slamming your vehicle forward or to the side with the right stick. You can leave a vehicle at any time and run around on foot to get another vehicle, or pick up shards in the environment. You have a two charging meters, one for your on foot mode and one that summons a special vehicle depending on which of the 16 characters you chose, which has a special ability like cloaking or being able to spew flame behind it, which is on a cool down (As are the slam moves.) You can also jump on opponents cars at which point there's a minigame where the opponent tries to shake you off with the left stick and you have to press buttons in order. Whoever fills up the meter first wins, and if the person who jumped on the other person's car wins they can blow it up or take it over. It's like Titanfall's Rodeoing mechanic except it's a QTE. Yay?

That's basically the whole game. You drive around, slam into enemy cars, get slammed into, bail out of damaged vehicles to grab new ones, sometimes get knocked out, and that's it. There are a few mode variations, like one with limited respawns where holes open up in the arena, and a team mode where you collect scrap after damaging vehicles and then cash it in by blowing up your car in the central tornado, but it's all like that. Theoretically this could be some shallow action packed fun but in my experience there's way too much time spent just driving around the not very big arenas looking for people to slam into, the on foot stuff doesn't seem to have any real uses, and the arenas are all kind of boring so it just all feels empty and lifeless to play despite the over the top high octane presentation. It looks like a PS5 version of something like Monday Night Combat but it also plays like it's 10 years out of date. There's just not much to do, way too much downtime, the on foot stuff feels pointless, and the whole thing soon feels repetitive and kind of boring even if the mechanics themselves are mostly fine. If the arenas had more hazards or there were more powerups or just something else...

As I said, I might be missing something because this just feels so empty to me.

Also the cosmetic microtransactions are gross (the game isn't actually FTP, it's just free with Playstation Plus, and so were Bugsnax, Maneater, and Control Ultimate Edition so that doesn't mean it's cheap) with them all seeming pretty pricey. And there are single player challenge campaigns but you only get one for free and the rest you have to pay real currency for. And there are supposed to be daily challenges I think but they don't seem implemented yet. They say coming soon.

It all feels half finished, like it's the bones of a better game with more stuff. The characters look cool at least and there's a lot of polish in the animation and some of the presentation.

So can anyone tell me why I'm wrong and this game is very good actually and I've totally missed some major mechanics or the actual purpose of the on foot stuff or whatever?

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csl316

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I played a few games and had a good time. I won twice and it felt good to be on a tear. But I doubt I'll load it up consistently. I remember playing a demo of Destruction Derby as a kid over and over again at like 10fps, but somehow a super smooth game like this with more depth didn't blow me away.

Still, a lot of fun but doesn't seem to have much staying power. I feel like it needs more variety in the track design as they all feel similar. That would probably go a long way, along with some catchy music.

I'll continue to dream of a PS+ Twisted Metal game that everyone loves.

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brian_

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#3  Edited By brian_

I gave my impression of if in a different thread, but to sum up, I think the playing of the game is fun, but I'm very turned off by the monetization of it, especially if they're going to just turn around and sell this thing for $70 after the free PS Plus period.

What they should do is what they did with Overwatch. Sell a base version for $40. Put out $60 version with some extra skins or whatever.

They should probably pull out those single player challenges being locked behind the premium currency too. But what I bet will happen is that once the game is no longer on PS Plus, that is when they'll add in those daily challenges, which are suppose to give you some of the premium currency, that you can then use to do the Series Challenges.

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GTxForza

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For me, I'm not interested in this game because I'm not into demolition derby these days.

Even if I own a PS5, I'm going to skip this game.

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bigsocrates

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#5  Edited By bigsocrates

@brian_: The game will "no longer be on PS+" in that it can no longer be redeemed but I think it'll still be playable if you redeemed it, so I don't imagine there will be some big influx of people paying $70 for this. You can redeem it even if you don't have a PS5.

Also, and more importantly, am I nuts or is there no way to turn off voice chat in this? I can't find it in the options and it's predictably horrible to have my controller spewing nonsense at me while I play.

Why do developers default to voice chat on in games like this? Have they never played a video game? It kind of sort of makes sense in the team modes (though there's not a lot of need to actually coordinate in those and nobody actually is) but in free for all it's always a massive cluster#$@!, it's never fun or productive, and it should just stop.

Voice chat is great with friends. It can work in a game like Rainbow Six Siege that requires coordination. In a multiplayer game with randos it's always just atrocious and having it default to on with no easy way to mute it, and come out of the controller, is just a brand new type of nightmare.

ETA: There are ways to mute the controller speaker and mic and also the voice chat on the system level, (including in one of those weird external card things the PS5 spawns) so maybe that's the intended solution and when I'm more used to playing PS5 games will get more used to that, though I don't actually want to mess with system settings, even if they're accessible, every time I don't want to hear a seven year old chattering at me out of my controller.

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brian_

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@bigsocrates: Oh yeah. I don't expect anyone will actually pay $70 for this game if they missed out on Playstation Plus. And they shouldn't. It's not worth $70 dollars (I don't think any game is, but that's a whole other can of worms). But they have to be charging something for this thing after it's no longer redeemable for free. Otherwise they would have just made it free-to-play to begin with.

I'm not sure about the mic stuff. I'm guessing I went into the system settings when I first got my PS5 and turned all that off by default, because I haven't heard any chat in the game yet. I definitely have my own mic shut off on the controller. But yeah, if that stuff is on by default, that's bad. Chat sucks.

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bigsocrates

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@brian_: I am sure they will charge something for it and they refused to tell Kotaku how much it would be, which suggests under $70, but given how content bare and microtransaction stuffed it is I hope it's closer to $20 than $50. I mean even if you like this game you can see it doesn't have much going on, and a lot of the content that is there is locked behind micros. Also the skins are terrible? They just seem like color swaps rather than Overwatch style transformations and they all cost multiple progression levels worth of currency to buy.

It's not just the mic being muted on the controller, it's that you can't turn the chat off in game. You can go out of the game into the system menu to mute it, but, again, why have it on by default and not toggleable in the game? Has anyone except a griefer enjoyed in game chat with strangers in a game like this since like 2007, when it was new and interesting?

I don't know. If I liked the game more it would bother me less but in general this game seems very hollow and kind of user unfriendly and the idea that they planned to actually sell this for $70 as a launch title feels exploitative, even if they did deal with the issue prior to launch and deserve credit for that.

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brian_

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#8  Edited By brian_

@bigsocrates: The skins are very boring. There are some very minor differences on the premium skins, but the fact that they are charging $6 for them is pretty off-putting.

I do have to wonder how much of those microtransactions were in the game when they initially planned to release it for $70 and how much of that was changed and/or inserted after they decided to put it on PS Plus. Especially those Challenge Series that they're charging for. Those seem like they would be really helpful in learning each character, as well as just more content to justify a full price release. I wonder if they just cut those out, and are now charging people for them individually, over time, since it's currently a free game. And that once they do start selling the game, if they'll just give people who do buy it, access to all the Challenge Series without having to pay the premium currency.

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bigsocrates

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@brian_: I wouldn't be surprised if they jacked up the micro transactions to try to make more profit after the conversion, but they've done it in the wrong way. Once you have a massive PS+ userbase the way to make money is to create very appealing cosmetics (like Overwatch has) not lock up game modes on a game that already lacks content.

I doubt very much they will make the paid version objectively better than the PS+ version because that will irritate a lot of people. More likely is that they will bundle some currency and skins or whatever (maybe even challenge series passes) with it and call it a combo pack or deluxe version, which is effectively mostly the same but is less likely to cause people to get mad. They may even sell the currency bundle separately as an "upgrade" to PS+ players. I would probably do that because you're not going to get many sales on this game considering that in order to play it online you need PS+ anyway.

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terminallychill

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I only played about 45 minutes but my initial takeaway is that it feels like Onrush, except I preferred driving in a straight line instead of in circles. It seems too both chaotic and not chaotic enough, I'm mostly driving around aimlessly trying to hit other cars but am missing the weapon stuff that a Twisted Metal game would have. I also found the voice chat thing weird but muted my mic immediately and couldn't hear anyone else either.

The on-foot portions are confusing, I haven't managed to jump on any cars in multiplayer yet but it feels like you don't have enough to do otherwise. You can't really interact with the other on-foot drivers. There are also so many characters to choose from, and it's hard to visually read what they do in a match. The game tells you to do the tutorial for each one but it's pretty overwhelming.

I'll give it another shot because the art looks cool and I haven't really grasped it but I came away from it confused.

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brian_

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@bigsocrates: They've definitely put themselves in a weird spot with this thing. I hope they figure something out that doesn't make this all feel like a fumbled mess, because I do think there is some fun to be had with the game if they support it properly.

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Is every multiplayer game just going to launch on PS+ from now on? Based on this, Rocket League, and Fall Guys it seems like one of the only ways to survive if you want to try to launch a multiplayer game as a dev who is not wildly popular or well known. You get whatever money kickback from Sony for all the “free” downloads, and then you hopefully have enough of a bedrock player base to eventually charge $20-$30 for it once the PS+ period ends.

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I'm enjoying it. Driving feels good, the on foot stuff feels pretty good. It's fun! I just suck at it. I briefly glanced at the cosmetics and the skins at least were a let down since they're just recolours.

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The more I play it, the more I enjoy it, but I've been playing mostly Carnado.

Initially i felt pretty burned because it seemed so shallow for a $70 game, especially when the challenge series is locked behind a paywall, but as a "free" game? I think it's great!

What I am REALLY disappointed by is the challenge series. They have some really great characters with great bios and you can see some allusions to their histories and identities through their shouts, such as Lupita having a large family, who are all orphans, and also suffers from crippling anxiety.

And yet her story in challenge series basically is just "Lupita likes donuts and doesn't know how to let go of a grudge"

Like, these are litterally all the 45 seconds of cutscenes:

https://youtu.be/zB7JGIBc-3k

Very disappointing :<

Game itself though? Tremendous fun to play, really like it!

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Onemanarmyy

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#15  Edited By Onemanarmyy

Whenever i see these new IP launch with a hefty upfront price and a bunch of ingame purchases on top, i just feel like the game's monetization is working against itself. Wouldn't you rather have a low barrier to entry so you have a much wider audience get in contact with your game and start spending on your microtransactions? Especially in a multiplayer game where a healthy playercount is required for your game to be attractive?

The whole idea of f2p monetization is that you make the barrier to entry as low as possible, by not charging people upfront, so they can all experience the fun game you have put together. People play it, enjoy it, recommend it to their friends and get attached to the game. Perhaps it becomes the Thursday evening game for friendgroups all across the world. That's when they start putting their money towards battlepasses, cosmetics, boosts and what not.

While an upfront cost probably sounds more fair in an oldskool way ( `We made a damn fine product, it plays great, it looks great, it deserves to be bought for a hefty fee`), I feel like in the longhaul, these kind of games need to be played by as many people as possible to make bank and stretch out the tail of the total revenue. That's not going to happen with a 70$ pricetag.

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bigsocrates

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@onemanarmyy: There's a curve. WOW makes a lot of money selling the base game and expansions in addition to its subscription and other microtransactions. It is more profitable for them to charge both fees even if it keeps some players away. Many MMOs do this and then eventually go F2P after they've sold as many copies as possible, and that makes sense for a lot of games. Overwatch probably made a lot of money through initial sales and then added to it via microtransactions.

So it really depends on the game. For a highly anticipated game that a lot of people are going to want to play, that $70 launch fee might be fine. You can always go free later. For games that are smaller but multiplayer focused they probably need to be free.

Destruction Allstars was in the latter category so they compromised.

Apparently they shut off voice chat in the latest patch. So at least one major issue with the game is fixed.

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Onemanarmyy

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#17  Edited By Onemanarmyy

@bigsocrates: Warcraft, Final Fantasy, Call of Duty, Fifa, these are massive IP's that people already had emotional ties to or know they love that particular gameplay and were therefore willing to spend money for upfront & during the lifetime of the game(games in the case of COD & Fifa). Overwatch had great marketing and was 'the next IP from Blizzard'.

Destruction All Stars doesn't have that inbuilt audience. It could be the next coming of Rocket League or it could fall flat on it's face as the next Onrush or Driveclub. And that could straight up come down to a lack of players instead of a lackluster quality of the game. Most people are not going to check which side of the coin it falls on for 70$ after this free period. Especially without a simple & transparant refund policy available.

I will say that PS Plus helps them to get more people in the door initially, and give it a try . If the gameplay is great, these people can convince others that it's worth the price as they did with Rocket League. Sadly, the PS5 userbase just doesn't have that critical mass yet that a game like Rocket League did enjoy at their launch and it sounds like the gameplay just isn't worth the upfront price neither. These smaller multiplayer focused arena games just don't tend to sell above the 15-20$ mark.

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bigsocrates

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@onemanarmyy: You need PS+ to play the game so it is effectively free right now (there is a singleplayer but it is as bare bones as can be.) It isn't even for sale for $70. There is no way to pay for the game. Whether there will be eventually and what it will cost are currently unknown. Sony certainly has not committed to a $70 price tag at this point. People can also claim the game if they are PS+ users and then play it once they get PS5s.

I never said that this particular game should be sold for money and definitely not for $70. I just said that it depends on the situation. Overwatch was a new IP that made a ton off premium sales. The fact that it had a lot of marketing muscle and hype behind it is obviously a big factor why...but it's not like Sony doesn't have marketing muscle or the ability to generate hype. There are a ton of fans of Sony first party games.

That being said there's a reason they decided not to launch this at $70 and it's that the game isn't Overwatch (or PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, which also launched for money and was a massive hit without Blizzard's marketing.)

I'm not saying that F2P is never the right choice for launching multiplayer IP. It may even usually be the right choice. I'm just saying that it's a case by case basis. For some games you'll make more money charging a premium, for others F2P is the better choice.

For what it's worth, Destruction Allstars has a lot of microtransactions but not very appealing ones. I think that it wouldn't make a lot of money F2P. They clearly plan to add more and better micros in, but as of now it's acting as marketing for PS Plus and PS5 in general, which of course only makes sense for a Sony published game.

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Onemanarmyy

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@bigsocrates said:

@onemanarmyy: Sony certainly has not committed to a $70 price tag at this point.

Ah, this is where i was wrong. I also didn't know that free PS+ access could continue after march 31. after I saw a lot of mentions of this being a $70 dollar product and that pricepoint just greatly confused me for a title like this. but that were just the initial plans for this according to Arstechnica's article on the game:

Much like a PS5, you currently can't buy this game

The best thing going for this game is that it was yanked off of store shelves.

Let me explain: DAS nearly launched alongside the PlayStation 5 in November as a $70 retail game. At the last minute, it was both delayed and transformed (for the foreseeable future) into a giveaway with Sony's paid PlayStation Plus subscription service. So as long as you're a paying PS+ member between now and March 31, you can claim a copy of the game, and if your subscription lapses, you can get the game back by resubscribing.

It's unclear whether this default PS+ access will continue after March 31, and as of press time, you cannot individually buy DAS as either a disc or an online license. Thus, if you're already paying for PS+ as, say, a PS4 owner, I urge you to claim what's rightfully yours via DAS' PlayStation Network listing within the next eight weeks, which you can do on a Web browser without owning a PS5 console. (There's a good chance you don't own a PS5 console yet, or so we hear.)

As a result, this predominately online multiplayer car-combat game has already landed on a majority of PS5 consoles—and you can't play PS5 games online without PS+, anyway, so this overlap is cleverly redundant. So far, the game's first day benefits from a healthy online population, which might not have been the case for a brand-new series costing no less than $70 upfront. That being said, since DAS is predominately online, Sony Interactive Entertainment declined our request to test the game ahead of its launch, so I logged in as soon as the game went live to the public on Monday evening.

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derekthered

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This game feels like someone at Sony looked at it and said “hey we can’t charge $70 for this,” so they put it on ps plus.

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Fluidk

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I feel like people’s expectation of modern games that they be more than just “a fun game” is a problem. The price is definitely something to argue about, but if a game is simple and direct... how is that a BAD thing.

In the NES days, you didn’t have one game that did a hundred things and may fail if just ONE of those is bad, you had q00 games that all did ONE thing. It did it immediately and it did it to greater or lesser success. But what it meant was that a gamer could be in complete control of what they wanted to be doing at any given moment. You might play 12 different cartridges in one “session” of gaming, but that was alright.

It should be alright now.

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bigsocrates

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@fluidk: First of all I dispute your view of the NES days, which I lived through. The NES had a lot of games that were meant to be played over long multiple sessions (Legend of Zelda I+II, Final Fantasies, Super Mario Bros. 3, the list goes on) and lots of games that had variety (Do you even Battletoads, bro?) Yes there were some simple arcade style games that only did a couple things, especially early in its life, but even then the games that had the most impact tended to be the ones that were intended for longer game sessions. There's a reason that people talk more about Rygar and Blaster Master than the Galaga port, or Balloon Fight.

But setting that aside, I don't think anyone is arguing that simple and direct games can't be good these days. Rocket League was a massive hit and it really only does one thing. There were people out there excited to play Geometry Wars on their new Xboxen. Simple is fine.

The issue with Destruction Allstars is that it isn't actually that simple (there are four different modes, 16 different heroes, a complicated front end with microtransactions etc) and the gameplay just isn't that good. There's all kinds of complexities that seem unnecessary (nobody quite seems to know what to do on foot with the parkour system) and while the smashing is...okay...there is lots of downtime where you drive around looking for something to smash.

If this game were as refined and balanced as Rocket League it would be great. It's not that it's too simple and straightforward and too much of an arcade throwback, it's that it doesn't really gel as a game, even if none of the elements are broken or terrible.

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Fluidk

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@bigsocrates: I think you are misunderstanding me. I never said anything about how LONG you played a game. I’m talking about the focus of a game. And yes, I suppose length extends from that.

Grand Theft Auto changed the gaming landscape because Grand Theft Auto 3 was a phenomenal game in which almost every aspect was bad. The shooting in gta3 was bad. The punching in gta3 was bad. The driving in gta3 was bad. The racing was bad. Etc. but the combined total of ALL of those things together was outstanding. And, thus, the games industry was forever changed and the open-world model of quantity over quality was born. “Who cares if any one thing is fun? Just make sure they always have icons on the map that they can do at any time!”

In the NES era, you didn’t race, boat, fly, fight, and everything else in the same game. You had a game for each of those.

I always say that games in the NES era were much better. This is false, of course, but it’s also true, in a way, because a game showed you EXACTLY what it was in the first 5 seconds of play. If a game wasn’t any good... you just didn’t PLAY it. There was no, “let’s play this for 15 hours and see if it gets better”. In almost every game, what you were doing in minute 1 is the same thing you are doing in minute 81. If you do t like it, dont play it.

That’s just more... honest to me. I don’t know why we discourage that.

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bigsocrates

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@fluidk: You said that you'd play 12 games in one session and that's not true of longer games. Nobody played 5 minutes of Zelda and then 5 minutes of Mario 3 and then 5 minutes of Final Fantasy. That was much more an Atari thing than an NES thing.

And I also disagree that games didn't switch things up. Even ignoring the way gameplay progressed in something like Legend of Zelda (where you start with just a wooden sword but by the end you have a massive number of tools at your disposal) Battletoads is a prime example of how much gameplay could change. It starts as a beat-em-up then becomes a forced scrolling descender, then an obstacle course racer, and a platformer etc... And while most games weren't as extreme in that, there were lots that changed things up considerably. Even Super Mario Bros. 1, perhaps the prime Nintendo game, switches things up considerably with mechanics like swimming. And games like Legendary Wings had even more distinct multiple play styles.

Stop trying to erase The Adventures of Bayou Billy.

But I don't see what that has to do with Destruction AllStars because the issues people have with it are not that it doesn't change things up enough (it in fact adds a kind of unnecessary on foot mode to the driving, so you could argue it tries to change things up too much.)

Rocket League does exactly what you say. It plays the same in minute 1 as it does in hour 300, the only thing that really changes is your skill level, but it's a fantastic game. Simple is fine. That's not the issue here.

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Alias

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@bisonhero: A big part of my interest in it is because it's free with PS Plus. It'll be a while before I get a PS5 but I'll probably check it out as part of my "going through the back catalogue of PS Plus games on PS5" when I get the console.

Similar to Rocket Arena from last year. Played a free trial weekend of it and got my fill but under no circumstance would I have paid full price for it at launch. I think almost immediately they had to change the price / add it to EA access just to give it a chance at finding a player base.

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I've been playing this at various points for the last week or so, and am generally unimpressed. My feelings will be similar to others here, of course. The worst part of the game is the heavy element of luck that can be involved. With the cars darting about a fairly large area with plenty of impediments to the player's view, it's not uncommon to find myself alone, with no opponents. This isn't to say that this is a constant issue, only that I have run into the situation multiple times where I was on one end and could not find anyone to hit.

Similarly, I have found myself in a situation where my vehicle was wrecked, and there were no replacement cars around me. So there is my character, on foot, having to choose whether to run to the other side of the arena, or wait for a new car to appear or another player to drive by.

There is a fair bit of fun to be had in the game, and I enjoy it in short bursts, but I often feel like I'm left hoping that enough players will, by chance, clump together in front of me to allow me to ram into them all and score more points. Sure, it feels good to have wrecked so many at once, but it wasn't because I did anything correctly in that circumstance.

Again, none of these are constant annoyances. They just happen often enough to lessen any of the fun to be had.

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brian_

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The on-foot stuff largely depends on who your playing, in what mode, and on what map. Muna's ult, for instance, is pretty useful in Carnado, where she can activate all the area traps near her, blocking people from getting to the Carnado, and giving you a chance at stealing their vehicle. But a vast majority of characters on-foot ults just do damage to other people who are on foot, which are made very useless when nobody has any reason to be on-foot.

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