Villordsutch reviews Mantis Burn Racing…
I’m a fan of racing games, though I tend to shy away from the ultra-realistic games with a hundred or so real-life models, engines fine-tuned to meet race-worthy standards and handling so sensitive a fool like me – who doesn’t understand the meaning of “brakes” – is guaranteed to slam into the first wall on the meticulously crafted track. I like fun racing games, so I was instantly attracted to the look of Mantis Burn Racing from VooFoo Studios.
Here was a game that from the initial look sang to me of Micro Machines from Codemasters on both the Megadrive and the PS1; the top down look on the dune buggy, micro muscle car and the heavy-armoured vehicle smashing through barriers grabbed me and insisted that I installed it upon my machine. So not wanting to be rude I did.
The first thing you’ll notice about Mantis Burn Racing is how truly beautiful this top down racer looks. The landscapes you’re delivered from wharfs, night-time cityscapes and quarries are detailed down to the bumps in the road. At the start of the game I was losing positions as I admired details that had been hidden in corners, like streams within caves or gouges on roads. The graphic designers over at VooFoo Studios certainly need praise for the time and effort they’ve given up making the tracks look splendid.
The game begins with the standard vehicle being dropped into your lap and you can do little with it at this time bar change the colour. You’ll progress through the “campaign” section of the game collecting points to spend and upgrades for your vehicle through a variety of rounds which include the Knockout (if you’re last on each lap you’re out), Accumulator (first to reach a set number of points wins), Time Trial (if you don’t know this you shouldn’t be playing a racing game). You’ll have your favourite round and you’ll have the one you despise, but as you progress you’ll also be unlocking new cars with the additional points you earn. Dune buggy for speed, but poor handling, and the Heavy armoured vehicle for strength, you can smash through barriers to make a shortcut, but drives like you’re in treacle.
It’s in the “Campaign” section where you build up your vehicles, make them faster, give them better handling, longer turbo etc. then you take them online to battle it out against people across the globe. Unfortunately this is where I came unstuck – for whatever reason I couldn’t connect or find another lobby to join. However I did manage to play split screen in my own home and as it was as expected enjoyable, but I would have enjoyed it more online putting my car through its paces.
There really aren’t many negatives to pick at from Mantis Burn Racing as the game does look rather splendid, the cars are easy to get to grips with and even a fool like me can pull of a few beautiful drifts. Some of the time-trials are unbelievably punishing and the knockout stages feel like they’ve been put there to remind you that the PS4 is actually the best, but other than that I quite enjoyed my mad run around this intense little world; it’s just a shame I couldn’t get online. Mantis Burn Racing is a game that puts the fun back into racing.
+ Looks fantastic
+ Easy to pick up and drive
+ Upgrade system not overly complicated
-Couldn’t get online (though this is probably local to myself)
-Some levels are soul crushing
Mantis Burn Racing was reviewed on the PS4