If you took Psygnosis’ classic Destruction Derby game but mixed it with members of Watch Dogs‘ Dedsec crew who could all do parkour, then you’d get somewhere close to Sony’s Destruction AllStars. That’s the sense I get from the latest gameplay, anyway.
The game’s launching with a surprising lack of fanfare: it’s launching on February 2, and will be free for PS+ members until April 5. (The game was originally meant to be a PS5 launch day title, but got bumped weeks before the console’s launch.) Sony’s obviously hoping for a bit of Fall Guys-level success here, although I have some questions as to whether it’ll stick.
Firstly, the basic gameplay. There’s four different modes: Mayhem, Gridfall, Carnado and Stockpile. Mayhem is the basic deathmatch mode, and it’s playable offline vs bots, solo vs other players, or in teams.
Carnado is another solo/team mode that works by gathering Gears (points, basically). Smash into other opponents, wreck other cars, and you’ll collect gears that then have to be banked by driving into the void at the centre of the map. You’ll earn more points the longer you roam around, which naturally increases your risk. Stockpile is basically domination with cars, while Gridfall is a 16-player battle royale-esque mode with limited respawns.
That all sounds pretty straightforward. But where the spice comes in is via the various heroes, as well as their abilities when you’re not in a car. Along with double jumping, wall-running and the various parkour-esque things video games let you do these days, players on foot also have the ability to dodge incoming cars — and then jump onto the hood of their roofs. From there, you can either throw the enemy driver out or destroy the car entirely via a button mashing mini-game.
Given how easy it seems to dodge incoming traffic, I can imagine a situation where people focus on wrecking vehicles simply by … not driving around in them. Being able to have characters that just go invisible or zone out characters by laying trails of fire seems like a good way to steadily gain points.
You don’t get as many points for a wreckover as straight up annihilating someone by driving into them, based on the notifications visible in the trailer. But we’ll see when the game launches next week on how fine-tuned that balance is and what emerges.
On the brightside, if people are after a more traditional version of car-based carnage, there’s always Wreckfest on PC and consoles. FlatOut 2 is still available on GOG as well, and while the retro arcade racer only supports multiplayer over LANs, you can get it working online through some shenanigans like Hamachi, ZeroTier or Radmin.