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PS3 Game Review

Fuel Overdose


Format: PS3
RRP: £9.69, Euro € 11.99, US $14,99
Click here to buy (£9.69)
Age Restrictions: 12+
Available 21 December 2012

If the advent of casual gaming was a bad thing for the large games developers, it was a positive boon to gamers and the smaller independents. Over the last few years the opening of the games stores on the Xbox, PC and PS3 and, to a lesser extent, Nintendo meant that the smaller companies were afforded instant access to the gaming public who remained, generally, eager for the latest app or game, usually at pocket money prices.

Review imageOf course, as the market developed you had some superb examples of casual gaming as well as copycat games and outright dross appearing. Throwing their creative towel onto the deck chair of gaming, hoping to claim its place in the sun, is I-Friqiya, which has released Fuel Overdose, a retro combat tactical racing game.

Before getting into the minutia of the game, I have to say that I liked it, especially the online mode. It is one thing to play against an AI, and there are some very good ones out there, but somehow there is a deeper satisfaction knowing that the person you're beating, and probably annoying in the process, is a real human being.

Review imageSo, although this is a brand new release the developers have taken a look at some racing games of yore to see what it was that they and many others enjoyed. The basic heart of the game involves you racing against others. Through experience you can upgrade your car, nothing really special or innovative you're thinking, but you can also upgrade your weapons. Yes, this is the ultimate in road rage violence which allows you to strafe with machine guns, blow up with mines and generally cause havoc with munitions. To help the game stand out from the competition, the developers have also included a grapple, useful for tight curves, but also essential for snagging your opponents.

Review imageThis all sounds like a free for all and on one level it is. At times it feels like an insane melee with cars, however, you have to make some careful planning as each of the drivers has special attacks and movements which only they can instigate. Add to that the limited number of resources and planning your route to victory becomes a much more tactical proposition. Of course, you do have the opportunity to enter the pre race auction, the winner of which gets an edge for the next race. Time taken to master the various weapons, especially the grapple is well rewarded during the actual races, allowing you to build up your gauge to perform some fairly unique attacks.

Review imageThe game is presented with a top down view, with various detailed environments, from dirt tracks to town racing; although the feel of the game is retro the look is certainly not.

Like similar games Fuel Overdose comes with a variety of gaming modes, unusually, for this type of game there is also an eight episode story mode, which should take you around five hours to complete. This adds some background to the race and each of the racers as you switch identities throughout this section. The overall story is jazzed up with cut scenes.

Review imageSo, you have completed the story, practiced with your car and learned the nuances of the game, its time to take the gloves off and play to improve your skills and car. To help you the game provides two modes, Championship and Challenge. Both are fairly self explanatory, Championship gets you to race against other cars; the ultimate aim is to get to the end of the five races as the winner. Challenge has you doing all sorts of things, from driving through obstacle courses to running races with handicaps. Win and you can start to earn money, money which can be put towards improvements.

Once you feel ready and your car is humming with upgrades its time to take the game to the next level, on-line multiplayer, where you will discover that every other sod has done the same thing, so you’ll be back to having to consider the tactics of each race. If you want to host a race you can change the parameters, but a full on metal crunching experience is the best.

Review imageLike I said, playing against other people is a lot more satisfying and even at this early stage of the games release I found no trouble in finding a game. The connection to the server seems very stable and I didn’t have a single dropout.

So, if you like blowing the pogies out of other cars, while they try and do the same to you, could do worse than giving this game a whirl, given it price there is a lot of game play to be had here. The only downside I can think of is the camera angle, which will delight retro fans but might seem a little odd to newer gamers.


Charles Packer

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