Vroom Vroom... Let's Get This Party Going
A new exclusive has arrived on PlayStation 5... and it's free on PS Plus! With Destruction AllStars, Sony wants to create a new multiplayer phenomenon, based on busting cars. Here, I wonder… Will it succeed?
The race to find representative titles for next-gen consoles continues. The new hit candidate for PlayStation 5 is this Destruction AllStars, a title that was originally presented as a "standard priced" product but became a free to play title. At least until April, as it is included among the PS Plus games for February.
And, on paper, it has some ingredients to succeed, as it picks up the glove of all against all in online multiplayer, which has made games like Fortnite or Rocket League so fashionable, with which it bears many similarities. Lucid Games (made up of veterans of Bizarre Creations, those of Project Gotham Racing) has been in charge of giving life to this Destruction AllStars.
Broadly speaking, the dynamics of this PS5 game is based on driving our car to ram the vehicles of the rivals and reduce all that you can to scrap. you drive within arenas that are full of platforms and traps, which you have to circumvent to accelerate to the top and give the best possible thrusts. It is quite reminiscent of another PlayStation classics: Destruction Derby or Twisted Metal, Oh it’s been a while.
Each game begins with our character jumping from a platform along with the other competitors. After that, you have to run to get into one of the available vehicles and there you go, start rampaging. Now, if you get hit too many hits, you can press a button to eject the character and look for another vehicle. Take care not to get run over. Now here is where it gets Bayonetta-ey, If a vehicle already has someone in it, you can quickly dodge their car and you can try to steal it. The player character will climb to the ceiling and you will have to overcome a quick QTE while our rival moves from one side to another to get you off them.
Each character, of the 16 available, has very distinctive. We have the typical big Mexican man focused on wrestling, a girl dressed in wolf skin as a predator, a very kawaii girl with a pixelated monitor on her head (Tw!NkleR10t, my personal favorite) and many more…
It is appreciated that they have sought a great representation of all kinds of ethnic groups or groups and have even included a kind of Paralympic athlete (which has an absolutely awesome design, If I’m honest with you). But it is not just that aesthetically they make us laugh, but each one has an ability according to their appearance. While you are on foot, you can activate a special mode of the character (after having accumulated enough points based on collecting crystals and hitting the stage) with which you run more and even double jump.
But when you are in your hotrods, you can also activate abilities. After ramming enough rivals, you gain the right to summon our "hero vehicle", a car designed specifically for the hero you chose that has a unique ability available: generate a drone that attacks rivals, leaving a trail of fire, to become invisible and again, many more…
When all of these elements work together, games can be immensely intense and fun, although I do think there are some unfortunate issues in how Destruction AllStars works. One of them has to do with the scenario-character ratio.
As the arenas are so huge, it is quite common to find yourself arriving at one point in the arena... And there is no one around, they’re all crowded together at the other end. When you go by car, all you have to do is propel yourself there, but in the case where you’ve had your car destroyed and you are on foot, you can find yourself at a standstill, and reaching a new car can be frustrating. Above all, if you take into account that the games last only a few minutes, so losing valuable seconds on foot can sometimes cause you to lose the game.
In addition, since the physics of the vehicles have been exaggerated to give rise to more spectacular crashes and rollovers, this causes that sometimes I have a car in front of me, but I cannot ram it because it continues to stay in the air after being hit by another rival. Logically, that component of chaos is part of the grace of this type of game, although it is true that I would have liked to have more control over what I can see. For example, the camera is locked and you can’t rotate.
Still, controlling the car is actually very comfortable and intuitive, with cars moving very smoothly and the ability to execute a front or side turbo every few seconds, simply by flicking the right stick.
Now, when it comes to the different types of game modes, the selection is definitely… OK. If you want to play alone, you can enter the Arcade mode (which are just with the same games as in multiplayer, but against the AI, similar to Overwatch) or in Series of Challenges, which proposes us to control specific characters and face a rival, at the same time that you have to try to fulfill secondary objectives (finish in a certain time, get X pieces...). If you meet all the objectives, you will unlock new cosmetics for the character.
No game is perfect, and Destruction AllStars does have its serious flaws, for example, the first trials of the Challenge Series are completely free, however, the subsequent trials must be purchased with Destruction Points. A virtual currency of the game that can only be obtained... by paying with real money on the PlayStation Store. Lucid Games have already commented that in the future the currency will be able to be obtained by overcoming the challenges of the game, they confirmed that this feature will come in Summer but will that be too little too late.
All in all, the main attraction of this PlayStation 5 game is its online multiplayer mode. When entering, we have 4 modalities: Mayhem (Chaos) is the classic all against all destruction derby, my personal favorite because it’s very simple to understand and play, the one who gets the most points wins by hitting the others, that’s it. Carnado consists of doing the same but, when we can collect a maximum of 50 points, we have to go to the center of the stage and in what seems to be pulled out of George Miller’s head, we sacrifice our car against a giant tornado to cash in your points, then rinse and repeat; then we have Gridfall, in which we have limited lives and the stage is filling with more and more holes. The last one standing wins.
The last mode is Stockpile (accumulation) and it is the least interesting because it complicates things too much: when hitting the rival team, pieces appear on the stage. We have to get out of the car, collect the pieces on foot and find a "bank" in which to deposit them. After a couple of games, you will lose interest in this mode.
My biggest negative towards Destruction AllStars is that it only presents these 4 multiplayer modes are just that, 4 modes, I don’t feel like it’s enough, now, it has been announced that there will be content added in the future, but the reality is that today, there is not much to properly sink your into, beyond those modes and some menu to customize the look at the admittedly cool characters. The number of stages is also quite short: there are only 4, in Tokyo, Las Vegas, London, and Barcelona.
I do however want to speak in favor of the technical performance of the game. You can see that being exclusive to PS5, the developers clearly took advantage of the available power of the PS5, allowing the game to run at 4K and 60FPS, additionally, the haptic feedback function of the DualSense works absolute wonders when your car receives hits, another example is that the triggers will show resistance when trying to put the pedal to the metal.
My Final Thoughts
Basically, I think Destruction AllStars is a very nice game and is definitely ideal to entertain you on some boring afternoon, although I think it desperately needs a shot of content and some tweaks in the game’s dynamics if it really wants to earn that “All-Star” badge of honor. But hey, If you have a PS5 and PS Plus, get it free as in my opinion, it definitely deserves a try.