Crash Drive 3 is fantastic and relentless multiplayer mayhem
- Developer: M2H
- Publisher: M2H
- Release date: 8th July 2021
- Genre: Arcade driving/racing
- Platforms: Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PS4/5, Switch, Android, iOS, PC (Steam/Epic Game Store)
- Reviewed on: Xbox Series X
- Game Supplied by: M2H
Crash Drive 3 Review
Crash Drive 3 is one of those rare games that doesn’t have aspirations of being anything other than a fun-packed and frantic way to spend some time gaming. You can play solo offline or in a full server complete with cross-platform play spanning nine platforms – whichever you choose, the action is non-stop, with a constant stream of new events starting one after the other.
This is an arcade-style driving experience, no doubt, with the handling somewhat similar to Rocket League, including a constantly replenishing boost meter. This boost plays a huge part in the gameplay, allowing you to make insane jumps, correct a poorly lined up landing or smash an opponent out of your way. It’s easy to pick up and have fun, but mastering your car control is immensely satisfying. Each car has different stats, and handles slightly differently, too, which helps keep the gameplay feeling fresh as you unlock more vehicles.
With 49 vehicles to unlock and loads of cosmetic items, there’s plenty of opportunities to show off some personal style. It’s disappointing that the most interesting ones, such as the gargantuan monster trucks, require you to earn hundreds and hundreds of thousands of in-game cash to unlock, though. Even custom rocket boost trails can cost up to $50,000.
Considering an event win sometimes only nets $3,500 it’s going to take a ludicrous amount of time to get to this stage. It’s not like you can just save up for your favourite, either, as many require you to purchase a number of previous vehicles before they unlock. This grind for cash is the only bit of the game I didn’t really like. If anything, though, it gives you motivation to keep playing so I can’t complain too much.
Better with friends (or enemies)
Multiplayer is where Crash Drive 3’s heart is, and it’s a superb example of how to execute a pick-up-and-play online game. With the game releasing on mobile devices as well as consoles and PC, they have had to make sure it works in that context. As such, each event lasts just a few minutes. That’s not really a bad thing, though, as it means you are frequently dropping in and out of events, and if it’s one you want to skip while you search for the hidden collectables or gigantic green stunt rings, it’s never long before another one begins.
There’s plenty of variety in the events, too. There are straight-up races, stunt battles where you compete for the highest score, bashing a giant beach ball trying to do the most damage, Cops and Robbers where the robbers have to collect gold bricks without being tagged by the po-po, collecting coins that drop from the sky, and there are even tank battles.
Because the controls and handling are so easy to pick up, it makes every event a closely fought affair, but still allows you to use skill and tactics to seal the win. It’s refreshing having a game where it feels like everyone has equal opportunity to succeed, though I do think players on console and PC have a distinct advantage here with bigger screens and better controllers. Fortunately, you can choose to opt out of cross-play if you feel like you’re getting the short end of the stick.
In single-player you get a pared-down selection of events (events like King of the Hill or Cops and Robbers don’t really work solo). For those remaining, the overall score or best time victory condition is replaced by a target score/time you have to beat within a time limit.
It’s still entertaining, and a great way to explore, practice and find collectables without the pressure of other players getting in your way. It can get a little bit lonely, though, and events like popping the giant beach ball lose much of the fun factor when you aren’t frantically trying to keep it away from other players.
A world of opportunity
Crash Drive 3 has four distinctly themed worlds full of ramps, jumps and stunt objects, and an extra world specifically for tank battles. The wild west themed Canyons is a dusty, sandy environment full of towering mesas and hills, while elsewhere there is a forest region complete with a medieval castle. Mixing it up, we also have an icy world with low-traction ice adding a new dimension to the gameplay and my personal favourite, a moon level complete with enormous craters, towering rocks to climb, and low gravity that requires skilful use of your rocket boost to master.
I’ve got about 8 hours invested into Crash Drive 3 so far and I still find myself wanting to play it more. It’s one of those games that’s ideal for when you don’t want anything too cerebral or just want to unwind after a long day. Although it can be played solo, it’s insanely good fun with a load of other people, and cross-platform play should ensure you’ve always got a bustling server to jump into.
There have obviously been concessions made to the graphics to ensure it runs well on mobile devices, making the Series X version relatively uninspiring, though it maintains a smooth 4k 60fps. There’re plenty of obstacles and ramps on each level, but there’s not a lot of detail in the textures. That said, the art style is confident, the game is bold and colourful and while I was playing I never gave the quality of the graphics a second thought.
Even though it’s a simple game, I’ve had such a good time playing Crash Drive 3 that it’s an easy recommendation. The events are fun, especially in multiplayer, and you’re never more than an epic jump away from an awesome victory or a closely fought loss; Whatever the outcome, it’s always a good laugh. Priced at €16.99 / $19.99 / £14.99 it’s well worth every penny, and it’s a game I’ll keep coming back to.