Gamepires’ Gas Guzzlers has finally hit Steam, with full Steamworks integration and full controller support. You may remember my review of Gas Guzzlers Combat Carnage last year. This is essentially a repackaged version of that game.
There isn’t a whole lot to Gas Guzzlers that you haven’t seen before if you purchased the game last year. You’ll start a new campaign, pick a driver, and start off in a crappy car and work your way up through the ranks.
All the tracks are lap-based, multi-path areas that go across forest, desert, and snow-covered locations. It’s disappointing that two out of the three modes of play revolve around non-shooting, especially in a self-described “car combat game”. When you do get to have combat, you’re restricted to waiting until everyone crosses into the Fire Zone to let loose their weapons, which have limited ammo. But luckily there’s pickups for more of it, as well as special weapons for oil slicks, smoke screens, and dropping mines.
As far as actual racing goes, the ever-cheating AI catches up at the last moment or is invulnerable to your hits and attempts to spin them out, and you often take yourself out as a result. Due to the rubberbanding, races stay tight almost all the time, but if you want a better shot at winning, bump the difficulty down to easy.
Now that I’ve actually been able to play the multiplayer as compared to the original release, it feels solid when going through Steam matchmaking. But that’s about it, you can navigate the menus fine with an Xbox 360 controller, except when you get to the server browser which requires a mouse to select a server.
The modes and races all carry over from singleplayer, along with some new team-based modes such capture the flag and the like. The races are lag-free and feature an interesting idea of placing bots into the match until players fill those spots. It’s definitely the best way to play the game, and to consider the singleplayer as practice.
At the highest setting, I can get the game running between 45-60fps. The graphics are fantastic when compared to any racing game out there. The explosions have a sense of “heat” as you rush past them, and it just has a believable look with the in-house engine.
My PC Specs:
– Intel Core i7 3770k @ 3.9GHz (Turbo)
– 8GB DDR3 RAM
– NVIDIA GTX 560 Ti
The voicework continues to be horrendous, with the announcer sounding like Serious Sam. Among the voices that can be picked for your driver, there’s an awful sounding Arnold impersonator and perhaps a literally phoned-in Jon St. John doing Duke Nukem. The game’s music is generic as hell and utterly forgettable. The game’s bots with the driver names come out of a children’s pun book written by Dane Cook. But this is all the same as it was before, nothing new was attempted here to improve over the original.
Gas Guzzlers Extreme is a very similar experience to what Gas Guzzlers Combat Carnage was. It is improved in certain ways as it involves Steamworks. It is virtually bug-free and works as advertised. It’s just a shallow game with not a lot going for it that makes it stand out or memorable. There are times when the game can be fun and hectic, but that momentum simply doesn’t keep up, or happens right near the end of a race. As a redux of the original game that Gamepires made, it’s a promising game that only blows up at the line.
A Steam code was provided by PR for review purposes