Squeal like a pig, Boy! Yee Haaww! It’s time to get dirty down south, in this redneck racer from EA…
Way back this year, we got hands-on with this game. Back then it was called Deliverace, a play on words and a nod to Deliverance, the classic film starring Burt Reynolds and it’s Southern US setting of in-bread rednecks.
EA bought the studio responsible for Deliverace and the game was re-named Reckless Racing. Despite an overhaul of the menu interface, as well as some control and difficulty tweaks, the game remains almost exactly the same.
Played in a top down 3D perspective (with roof tops and tree tops popping up towards you. You race around various tracks, aiming to get the best result or time in order to progress. There are three modes in all; Dirt rally, Hot Lap and Delivery. Dirt Rally is the meat and potatoes of the game, played over 5 tracks, available in both reverse and normal versions (taking the track tally to 10), you attempt to get gold medals on all tracks as you go head to head with the computer AI racers. Hot Lap, is a time trial mode where you can play against your ghost data and try and better your time. Finally, delivery a Crazy Taxi style mode where you must pickup and deliver taxi’s around a selection of tracks within the timeliest and aim for high scores.
All scores can be uploaded to share with the world, but for true online play you can hop into full online racing over Polarbit’s servers. You can host a game but cannot invite friends, so you have to hope no strangers invade your game. Online worked great each time over WiFi, and even supports games over 3G (though expect some lag). It’s a great addition, though I would have liked to see a micro machines style mode where you must adhere to the leaders screen. Fall out of view and you are knocked out.
Controls are usually a sticking point with top down racers, requiring lightning reflexes as you generally can’t see far in front of your vehicle. Pixelbite have created five control methods, and while it looks on paper that they are not confident in any one approach, at least you have a choice and can pick what feels most comfortable for you.
Standard mode consists of on screen controls including forward, back, left and right; Tilt does as expected with tilt for steer and buttons for gas and brakes; Half wheel and Full wheel give you a touch based wheel in the lower left of the screen, and again buttons of gas, etc. For me though it’s Tank mode that I find the best. This control option gives you just three buttons on screen, with left turn on the left, right turn on the right (obviously) and a brake/reverse button in the middle (acceleration is automatic).
The reason I prefer this method is that with your attention on the track, it’s hard to take your eyes off the road to ensure your fingers haven’t slipped of the controls. With tank mode this doesn’t become a problem. This is because you can allocate each thumb to a direction, safe in the knowledge that your thumbs are unlikely to shift position. I also prefer the auto acceleration, and to be honest I don’t really use the brakes. I find the game the most fun when you don’t brake at all, and simply rely instead on over-steer and under-steer to slow you during a drift.
Visually this game is jaw-droppingly gorgeous. I mentioned this before in my hands-on. The environments are lovingly created, and give the impression of a toy village that you might see in a model railway, except living and breathing with fast flowing rivers and swaying flora. Whether you are rushing through winding country, or drifting around a dirt track, the textures and attention to detail are a sight to behold… even better on retina display or iPad.
Overall the visuals really do steal the show. Strip all that back and underneath it is a pretty standard Super Sprint style racer. The online gives it the edge over similar games out there though, and it is fun while it lasts.