Much like my old Vauxhall Corsa, carefully avoiding overheating is the key to success in arcade racer, Fireburst.
Recently released on my favourite internet fuelled, video game addicts crackhouse, Steam, comes an arcade racer that’s hotter than Hotty McHot the hotman of Hottington.
Fireburst has been developed by German company exDream, creators of, amongst other releases, Arena Wars, the popular RTS unleashed in 2004.
This couldn’t be further from a multiplayer RTS though, seeing as it’s destruction racing with a very fiery twist. You see, the vehicles in Fireburst have an explosive special ability, an ability which involves evoking the almighty power of combustion to provide speed boosts and destroy opponents. Simply activate the Fireburst ability and as your vehicle becomes consumed with flaming fury, it rapidly speeds up, and any unfortunate vehicles nearby also suffer the consequences of your incandescent attack, hopefully to the point of overheating and ultimately being burnt to a crisp.
It’s not quite as straightforward as that though. You see, if your vehicle uses the scorching speed boost for too long, it too will explode. Oh drat. This can be prevented by periodically driving into barrels of good ‘ol cooling H20. Rejuvenating water can also be found in puddles, lakes, sprinklers and more. Furthermore, the Fireburst ability comes in four different flavours: Fireball, Fireblast, Firewall and Firewheels. Ooh yeeeeaaaah.
There are 16 different vehicles to unlock, including trucks, buggys, muscle cars and 4x4s. Completing challenges also brings additional artwork and other goodies. Single-player has twelve wacky courses to master and multi-player five. There are also different modes to play around with, these being: challenges, quick race, custom race and destruction. Eight opponents can race in the online multiplayer mode and there is four-player local split-screen too. Wowzers.
The graphics are slick, pleasing to the eye and polished. This is probably thanks to the wonders of the ubiquitous Unreal Engine utilized by exDream. The sound design is pretty much what you’d expect from an arcade racing game involving fire, explosions and gushing water. The musical soundtrack appears to consist of middle-of-the-road, guitar based-rock, but I turned it off pretty quickly to protect my sanity. Voice acting in the game arrives in the form of taunts, which are spoken by the 16 characters, all of which are predictable stereotypes, producing such witty gems as, “beat it, sweetcheeks” and “Dude, I am your father”. It’s weirder than you can imagine.
Controlling the vehicles is pleasing and the physics seem appropriate. It is vital to use the speed boost ability as much as possible, otherwise they feel rather sluggish, but that’s probably the point. The maps require a few run-throughs to negotiate the sudden turns, narrow paths and death-inducing cliff-edges.
PC elitists, such as myself should be satisfied with the included tweakable options: resolution, graphic quality, windowed mode, v-sync and customisable controls via the FSInput.ini file, accessible from the launcher. My 360 wireless controller worked flawlessly, the only slight problem being that I had to work out which button did what on my own. Boohoo. Poor me.
Thanks to Gabe-A-Tron 5000 technology, there are twelve Steam achievements to obsess over and the price is an extremely agreeable six English Pounds at this time.
If you fancy a new arcade racer that channels the irascible might of flame to win the day, Fireburst is pretty much definitely it.
Released April 2012
Developed by exDream
Published by Strategy First
Wireless 360 controller
AMD 4200+ X2 2233 MHz CPU
ATI HD4670 512mb GPU
Windows XP SP3