Monster Truck Destruction Review
PCAlso available on Apple Mac
Ever wanted to experience a monster truck rally? Well, you may still have to wait a while. Monster Truck Destruction, in its current form, is a broken game. Developed by Odd Games, an Australian start-up, it was originally released for mobile devices, but has now been ported to Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux with disastrous consequences. At this moment it offers players very little beyond the promise of engines and burning rubber.
The gameplay in Monster Truck Destruction is a composite of both championship events and exhibition races. These championship tournaments have a couple of gameplay variations including drag races and freestyle competitions. Drag races require precise movements to navigate around small courses, dotted with obstacles to jump and crash through. These are relatively brief, but require a high level of skill from the player to traverse successfully. The freestyle mode, on the other hand, is the easier of the two. This puts players in an arena with a variety of hurdles to jump over in order to perform tricks. It is these moments that can be captured in game and shared via social media, should you so wish. By switching the camera to its cinematic mode, you can record your stunts and try to wow your friends, if you happen to be adept enough.
Controlling the monster truck in the game is cumbersome, and requires a lot of getting used to. The current build of the game is experiencing major problems with both controller support and reversing. This means that you will often find yourself spinning out of control or losing mastery over the vehicle, only to be trapped hugging the sideboards. This is a huge disadvantage to both game modes, as it strips away any fun to be had from controlling the trucks themselves. It raises the difficulty greatly, leading to a large amount of time spent fumbling around the same courses over and over again in the hope of success. This is not helped by the fact that very little guidance is given to new players upon starting the game. The only option instantly accessible under the controls menu is the ability to change the sensitivity of the truck’s movements. This lack of support will definitely alienate those who decide to pick up the game, as they will most likely struggle to grasp the controls or put up with its constant failures. Currently, the developers are working on addressing these issues. But, at this moment, the game’s controls remain broken.
Competing in races and championships is another necessary element of the game. They are used to win prize money to improve your vehicle. By winning events, players can update their truck and buy new parts to increase their performance in the arena. They can also invest in a brand new vehicle altogether. Tired of your old wheels? Then simply put some money aside and buy a new set. This is a nice touch, which is spoiled by the problems elsewhere. Hypothetically, if the game were working, it would give players a superb motive to win each race, in order to accumulate the necessary funds to build the truck of their dreams. It would also contribute to a player’s sense of ownership over their truck.
Customization also has an additional purpose in the game, given the title’s current problems. It permits the player to build a more stable ride that they can assert mastery over. Purchasing new shocks and a better engine is responsible for these improvements in control. This helps correct some of the issues with the driving, but not all of them.
Another problem is that the maps that are playable in the game feel quite empty, despite having some items that can be interacted with. These stages are comprised mostly of painted white lanes, ramps, and stationary vehicles to jump and destroy. Unfortunately, these levels are also extraordinarily short in length. This makes the experience of playing the game feel quite hollow, in comparison to some of the more complex racing titles that are available elsewhere. It also reduces the margin of error whilst playing, as your opponent can finish the race before you have the time to even correct your position. More trucks in each race would go some way to correcting this issue or extending the track length itself to give the player time to catch up. This would lower the difficulty and fill the levels with a lot more onscreen action.
The game altogether still feels like a mobile title in its scale and scope. It continues to give the impression that it is meant to be enjoyed in short bursts over a long period of time, rather than all at once. It has kept that pick up and play quality, which is supremely frustrating given that there was the potential to expand the gameplay beyond its mobile origins when ported over.
Other elements of the game that are worth criticizing are its heavy rock soundtrack and its presentation. The music is one of the game’s weakest additions, primarily because it fails to inspire in any way. The soundtrack is bland throughout and gets particularly annoying as it continuously loops over gameplay. Nevertheless, the game does allow you to reduce the volume on the music alone, so you can enjoy the sound of clashing metal instead until your heart’s content. Similarly, the presentation of the game is lacking as well, with fonts and other work appearing as an eyesore that distracts from the game’s genuinely interesting features. The above could have been solved relatively quickly by investing more time working on these areas.
If you’ve ever wanted to get behind the wheel of a large monster truck, then this game will no doubt disappoint you. After all, it fails to capture the thrill and spectacle of live monster truck rallies. With tons of vehicles to choose from, there is some incentive for you to play, though perhaps you should wait until the game is working as intended. All in all, Monster Truck Destruction is an unsatisfactory experience at present that is best avoided, at least for now.