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Game Info:

Crashday: Redline Edition
Developed by: Moonbyte
Published by: 2tainment GmbH
Release date: August 10, 2017
Available on: Windows
Genre: Action Racing
Number of players: Single player, Online Multiplayer
Price: $11.99
(Humble Store Link)

Thank you, 2tainment GmbH, for sending us a review key!

Some games appeal to the eight-year-old inside you who wants to take Hot Wheels, smash them together and shout, “BOOM!” Other games shoot for the more refined automotive palate, providing a controlled and weighty driving experience that shows off the finest real-world cars on the planet. Many of us have enjoyed Mario Kart with friends at every LAN party for years. Crashday: Redline Edition provides tools to please any of these audiences. It has rocket and gun modes, stunt games, and several variations on the directive, “Gotta go fast.” The level designer is user-friendly, and integrating mods for everything from Dodge Chargers to Doc’s DeLorean has never been easier. Nevertheless, this is not a game designed to be played in a vacuum. The core game is fast, stable, fun, and small. This is a game that lives on its community involvement and engagement, and if you are not from the publisher’s native Germany, that involvement might be less than you hope for.

The option highlighted when you boot up this game is “Play online.” Two options down is career (story) mode. Despite the obvious focus of the game, it is best to avail oneself of the single player options before hopping online. Cars in Crashday, though fun to drive, might take some getting used to. This game takes skill and precision, more so than starting career mode with a rocket-powered Wrecking Match might suggest. Having played for a while, I suspect that narrow tracks are partly responsible for the feel of unforgiving controls. Keyboard control is as good as one can hope for in a racing game--perfectly playable and never quite as comfortable as a controller. A Steam Controller worked well for my time with the game. Learning to handle Crashday takes effort regardless of control scheme. It is easy to hit turns too quickly and all too common to spin out. Start it slow, and you will grow to appreciate the controls. Start playing like it’s Mario Kart, and you won’t even see the dust your opponents leave behind.

Crashday: Redline Edition
Highlights:

Strong Points: Easy and deep customization through level creation and modding; game modes are distinct from each other and from other racing games; graphics, sound, and controls provide good sense of speed; low price relative to similar games
Weak Points: Overly-reliant on multiplayer given the size of the community; a couple modes lend themselves to exploitable yet boring strategies; straightforward progression limits customization opportunities; indie rock and electronica soundtrack might put off fans of the genres
Moral Warnings: Story mode exposition accomplishes almost nothing except establishing that the player is in a criminal organization and showing occasional pictures of scantily-clad women; some swearing in the story mode and music; unregulated online text chat; most modes allow or require shooting opponents with car-mounted guns and rockets, blowing up the vehicles

Fortunately, most of the game modes do not demand you to floor it right out of the gate. Wrecking Match is a demolition-derby event, with explosives. In my experience, the explosives quickly overwhelm the need for precise and controlled driving. Bomb Run is a race in which each car has a bomb strapped to the roof. In a blatant and effective rip-off of Speed, the bomb has a minimum speed limit which rises over the course of the race. If a car drops below that speed, it is destroyed and knocked out of the race. Thus, Bomb Run encourages careful driving that becomes more frantic with time.

Other modes encourage silly and fun driving by not constraining you to a set track. Hold The Flag asks you to pick up a giant smiley and drive it through checkpoints scattered throughout an open level. Pass The Bomb starts one driver off with a bomb which can be passed by bumping into another. After a set number of seconds, the bomb goes off; everyone who was not just blown up gets points. Stunt Mode gives out points for chaining jumps, flips, loops, and more together on levels full of ramps and corkscrews. There is potential for a well-planned route of high scoring mapped throughout the level; I found the easiest way to win to be going down a bumpy straightaway, turning around, and going down the bumpy straightaway again before the score multiplier resets. “Slow and monotonous” describe these runs, and neither word ought to be used of a stunt mode. Race mode is what it sounds like, and it often allows the use of rockets and guns to spice up the ride. All of these modes require skill and, with practice, it is possible to rarely lose to the computer.

Career mode gives a good sampling of all modes while gradually unlocking better cars and parts. Unfortunately, at the end of the mode the unambiguously-best car is unlocked: hardest to destroy (save perhaps for the Hummer), sharpest-controlling, and fastest. For all the game modes’ variety, none of them give you a reason to pick a looser-steering car. There is no car with a higher top speed or better acceleration. This car is the entry point to competitive online play. Picking a lower-tier car because it looks more like a Lamborghini than a BMW is a good way to lose an edge on the competition. While there is something to be said for an even playing field, it is somewhat disappointing to lose the potential for interesting trade-off decisions.

Online play gives a new level of challenge and injects needed variety and scope into Crashday. The modding community around this game has created a large selection of cars (real or fictional), tracks, and skin packs which can be downloaded from the Steam Workshop and activated easily. Mods necessary to join an online game are downloaded automatically when you connect. The experience is smooth and the lobby facilitates joining and creating games for the freshest of faces. It’s a shame that games are so hard to come by. I have not seen more than 25 or so players online at any one time looking for a game. The few games I have been able to join have been thoroughly enjoyable, from a go-kart mod to a long, ramp-filled drag-style raceway for Bomb Run. I hope this online community thrives, because it has a lot to offer the toy box that is Crashday.

Crashday: Redline Edition
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 80%
Gameplay - 17/20
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 7/10
Stability - 4/5
Controls - 4/5

Morality Score - 74%
Violence - 6/10
Language - 7/10
Sexual Content - 8/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 6/10

Multiplayer has an open text chat. While most of the chat you see will probably not be in English, there seems to be no stopping players from swearing on the chat in any language. If there is a way to mute or block chat, I didn’t find it. In career mode, you are guaranteed to hear swearing (in English) in the lazily-acted voice-over explanations before events. Story mode will also show that the player is an illegal racer in a vaguely-defined criminal enterprise. This is reinforced by a couple events which involve evading or destroying cop cars. During one voice-over, the player is shown a few pictures of women who are likely quite chilly. These scenes can be skipped, and doing so will do nothing to diminish your experience of the game. There is no avoiding the wanton destruction of your fellow racers with rockets, bullets, and smashing fenders.

Music is provided by indie alternatives to the rock and electronic music found in games with more funding. I think the bands do their jobs well enough, albeit with some inappropriate language thrown in. That said, there are not many songs, and you will hear them repeat several times before finishing story mode. Steam integration allows you to play music from your computer instead if you so desire.

Crashday is an impressive game in many ways. Cars are fun to drive; game modes are fun to experiment with. The built-in level designer has already fueled the creation of many good tracks, and the community is taking it, along with Steam Workshop mod integration, and running for the horizon. If you enjoy racing games with a heavier emphasis on explosions than manufacturer labels, Crashday: Redline is a strong and cost-effective option. It is a shame that its online presence is not larger.

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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