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 It looks like a PS5 version of something like Monday Night Combat but it also plays like it's 10 years out of date.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?