The development team at Time To Kill live up to their name with their new demolition derby title KillSteel. Featuring weapons of mass destruction, over-the-top action, and a guy named Wild Willy, should players get ready to rumble?
In true destruction derby fashion, the premise is the same. You get a car, you are thrown into one of three different arenas with a bunch of other cars, and you must destroy as many as you can without getting toast.
However, with this being a videogame, there are some wrinkles to the formula. A number of power-ups line the field, including shockwaves, dynamite, laser blasts, and missiles. However, we found that these are horribly unbalanced. Lining up a laser blast with the uneven terrain was an absolute pipe dream, while the missile option hit its target every single time. A bit more balance would have gone a long way.
The same lack of balance lies in the physics engine powering this title. Though players can choose from four different cars (with just the make names of the vehicles like “Ford” and “Chevy”), each ride handles like a boat. They might vary in health, handling, and speed, but we didn’t notice any major differences between the wheels. If anything, we never had to worry about our health at all – most of the opposing riders ended up taking out most of the competition on their own volition.
Rather, the problem arose when we tried hitting a turn. The wide angle steering and ramps make for a deadly combination – even the smallest inconvenience would ragdoll our vehicles in something best suited for the world of Looney Tunes. Even when our car was tits up, it was painfully easy to spin right around to back on our wheels. It just felt cheap, like little design went into its engine. It’s telling when the area with the most personality is the names of the rivals.
Those who’d like to bring a friend along are out of luck, as this is strictly a single player affair. Most players will have seen everything this title has to offer within 20 minutes, and with most affairs lasting between three to five minutes, there’s not much staying power for those looking for it. If you’ve seen one thing, you’ve seen them all.
One thing worth noting is that there are a number of graphical settings one can adjust. Tweaks to its lighting, textures, post-processing, foliage, and more are all present and accounted for, but don’t be fooled – this game is far from a looker. It often feels like one is simply playing with stock assets in something like Unity or Unreal, and other than the “totally tubular” announcer, there’s no personality to speak of.
Demolition derbies with weapons should be a raucous affair, but the lack of personality and poor physics make KillSteel feel more like a pretender than a contender in the space.
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