FutureFive New Zealand - Consumer technology news & reviews from the future
Story image
Game review: Wreckfest (Nintendo Switch)
Fri, 15th Jul 2022
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Wreckfest is a fun racing game that came out for multiple different gaming platforms a few years ago. One of the best things about the game is that it's relatively cheap to buy if you own a PS4 or Xbox One console.

After many years and several ports later, publisher THQ Nordic has finally released the game for the Nintendo Switch platform. Personally, I have played the Switch version of Wreckfest for the past week now, and I'm glad to say I'm having a huge blast playing it.

If you own a PS5 or Xbox Series X, you may know already that these versions can run the game at a smooth 60 fps. While the Switch version can only run at 30 fps due to its hardware limitations, the biggest benefit of this version is that I can play it on the go!

Wreckfest surprisingly runs really well on the Switch as I didn't notice any lag or slowdowns even though there were multiple vehicles on the screen at one time. Sure some of the environments look a little pixelated compared to its bigger console cousins, but the graphics still look pretty good for a game running on a much less powerful gaming system.

Visually, the game is still impressive because you will see a ton of debris flying in the air if you crash into vehicles. I like the fact that this game focuses heavily on destruction and mayhem, as I missed this kind of carnage in the old Burnout games.

Even a modern game like Gran Turismo 7 on the PS5 does not have realistic damage modelling like Wreckfest has. The main reason Wreckfest can get away with so much carnage is that there are no licensed vehicles in the game. Games like Gran Turismo 7 cannot feature too much damage because some car manufacturers don't allow it to happen in some video games.

Another thing that I like about the game is the fact that you can get to drive a variety of different vehicles. Aside from the usual stock cars, I've been able to drive buses, vans, lawnmowers, harvesters and even a drivable sofa! Sure this game might not be realistic, but its wackiness makes it very entertaining to play.

In terms of controls, Wreckfest handles pretty well on the Nintendo Switch. Each of the vehicles handles differently from one another, although there are drive assists available to casual gamers if you're usually useless at playing driving games. If you are good at driving games, you can always turn off the assists if you don't need any help.

The only thing I did not like about the controls is that the Nintendo Switch triggers are too small to play on handheld mode. Holding down the trigger for many hours feels a bit uncomfortable compared to Xbox and PlayStation controllers. I recommend getting a Pro Controller for Switch if you want to play this game comfortably.

However, I have to admit that Wreckfest is missing a few features that make the Forza games really accessible. Wreckfest does not have a rewind function like Forza does, so if you crash in the last lap, you may have to restart the race all over again if you want to come first!

Another thing that Wreckfest doesn't have is a helpful racing line overlay. Usually, a racing line in Forza and Gran Turismo games allows me to see the best route to take during a race. In this game, I have to go with my gut and find out a good racing line on my own, like in old-school games.

Even though this is technically a racing game, there are several other events that you can compete in that make things feel fresh. In the single-player campaign, there are many destruction derby events that you can compete in. These events are really fun because your main goal is to wreck as many vehicles as you can.

There are even lots of standard races that have many laps and sometimes alternate paths. The only problem with some of these races is that they can get repetitive because you have to repeat many laps. You may also crash into slower cars as some of the tracks intersect with one another.

The tracks are usually short, but I do like the fact that the designs are all original. You won't be doing 10-minute-long tracks like the real-life Nurburgring in Gran Turismo 7. That being said, most of the tracks are dirt roads, so you won't see anything too beautiful looking in this game.

Overall, Wreckfest is a pretty fun arcade-style racer that reminds me of the old Destruction Derby video games that I used to play in the late '90s. Sure PlayStation and Xbox owners may have played this game already, but Switch players should pick it up if they like fun racing games.

Verdict: 8.5/10