Preview: Wreckfest

With the recent news that the PS4/Xbox version of Wreckfest has now been delayed to 2019, the official response from THQ Nordic on this is as follows

Roger Joswig, Senior Producer at THQ Nordic
Wreckfest for consoles will only be released as soon as we love playing it. After the fantastic release on PC, the benchmark for the console release is much higher. At this moment, the team needs more time to polish the multiplayer part, as well as the overall performance on the game to bring it up to par with the experience on PC. We are sorry for keeping fans waiting longer because of this. However, we already have compensation in the form of further vehicles, including a special crazy vehicle, in the works for consoles.

With that being said it doesn’t stop us putting together a preview of this ‘Destruction Derby’ inspired racer.

Firstly a disclaimer, this preview of ‘Game-Play’, ‘Graphics’ and ‘Features’ are based on the PC version of the game that I personally have access to.
The idea is not so much to review the PC version but to give a view of what this game offers for Playstation and Destruction Derby fans in preparation for the console releases.

Lets jump back 23 years to October 2005 – Anyone that was a PS1 owner was on about the game ‘Destruction Derby’.
Developed by Reflections and published by Psygnosis, this game had it all.
A “Realistic” damage engine, Unique AI driving styles with driver profiles and voices, and let’s not forget a banging sound track.

At the time Destruction Derby was well received and became a gaming legend.
But despite many re-releases of the game, it was certain that this game was best of left alone, a legend meant only for nostalgic memories.

Fast forward to present time and there is a game on the horizon for PS4 that could be set to bring back the fun we all had in “The Bowl”

This game is Wreckfest.
Developed by Bugbear Entertainment, who themselves have had a decent list of car games behind them. (Ridge Racer Unbounded (PS3),  Flat-out (PS2) and Sega Rally (PSP)).
Published by THQ Nordic.

Wreckfest is best described as a Flat-out, Destruction Derby mash-up re-imagined for today’s technology and i can certainly confirm this to be true.

Wreckfest has a lot of my ‘Destruction Derby’ must haves ticked of.

Ultra Realistic Physics & Damage engines:
One of things that Destruction Derby did well is gave you a sense of weight to the car, either when throwing you car around a track or T-boning the AI in the bowl. Wreckfest have got this sorted you literally do feel every skid, scrape, lump and (devastating) bump

Cars & Customisation:
Various cars from American Muscle to European and Asian cars, wreck fest has you covered, but just for good measure bugbear have thrown in sit on lawnmowers…
Yeah that’s right lawn mowers, you know, where your body is not surrounded by solid steal to protect you, well yeah you can ride these in bowl match too and going back to the physics engine your body can come flying of the lawnmower in a hilarious rag doll effect, you will feel every bit of your face dragging along the floor and under the wheels of another vehicle.

Along side the selection of cars is the endless customisation, personally for me this doesn’t do anything for me, but for those modders/tweakers out there they will love this, wasting precious racing time fine tuning the look and feel of your vehicle, this feature never feels like it’s force upon you, if you want to tweak then tweak, if you just want to jump in and race with attitude then do that too.

Wreckfest offers variety in it’s tracks as well, with various locations giving different scenery and feel to each track, not forgetting choices in demolition derby arenas and figure 8 tracks.
All in all on the PC version there is around 21 locations and they all have something special to offer to the player, also at time of writing the delay in the game also mentions the possibility of extra content this could be more tracks or cars.

OK OK if you have read this far and thinking so far so good, your probably saying
“Zonal, just answer the basic question that we all want to know”

Game Modes:
Multiplayer on the original destruction derby consisted of split screen or via link cable, one think it missed is online multiplayer.
Wreckfest online modes are eager to give you those ‘Trash Talking’ moments with your friends while doing you best to totally destroy them, this is definitely an area that wreckfest comes out on top.
There is also a career mode, which to be honest is what you expect and straight to the point, a mixture of various races points based tournaments, complete to unlock more races.
It’s a tried and tested method and still works, thankful Wreckfest is all about fun so it never really feels like a chore

**Click the pictures to see them in their full HD glory**

Will Wreckfest feed our need for a new Destruction Derby?
Now i am a big believer in not wanting to over hype a game, but I honestly do think this game will deliver.
In the worst case you will still have a blast playing this game and with online multiplayer that fun can be shared with friends.
In the best case, we have found a true successor to Destruction Derby and if these last minute tweaks to the console versions only improve what the PC version already has to offer then Bugbear & THQ Nordic have a winner on their hands.

Watch this space for a full review of the PS4 version when released.
Currently the PC version has had 7,900+ reviews and comes out as ‘Mostly Positive’

Check out this trailer:

-Side note – There is a rather large mod scene on the PC for wreckfest, although there has been no mention of this for console release it would be interesting to know if mod installs would be available.


Long time gamer starting with the likes of C64, Owned every Playstation console to date. Host/Editor of the Podcast and Editor of the website and self confessed Trophy Whore

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