Crash Drive 3 (Switch) | Review

More car-flipping, van-spinning, buggy-boosting fun is to be had in the third entry of the Crash Drive series. If you enjoyed the previous entries, then you’ll no doubt still appreciate what’s on offer here, though it’ll no doubt feel all-too familiar to what’s been and done before in the past.

In it, you can buy cars, do some stunts a la Tony Hawk’s Underground, waste cash on useless cosmetics, and upgrade your vehicle’s acceleration, steering and boost by… well, accelerating, steering and boosting a lot. Nothing too daunting or time-wasting, thankfully. In this one, vehicles not only come in different types (light, medium and heavy), but now they come with their own unique stats, so now the vehicles don’t feel like rehashes or reskins of one another. And, trust me when I say, there’s a lot of variety on offer, from taxis and buggies to food trucks and hippie vans.

The Switch version isn’t quite as pretty as this, but it still runs well and looks good.

 

Just like before, Crash Drive 3 is more or less like a sandbox driving game. You get a handful of large and expansive locations to explore at your own leisure. There’s a castle, complete with catapults to fling yourself from — a decent place to start in but it gets a bit tiresome to explore. Once you acquire enough cash, you can pay to fast-travel to other locations. In the icy glaciers, you’ll be able to seamlessly drive through the water and slide across the frosty surface for maximum fun. The desert dunes are filled with bumpy terrain and insanely long ramps that stretch out to the sky. Then there’s a crater of the moon — low-gravity jumps and debris to bounce off of are all guaranteed here, and it’s such a blast.

The sheer size of each map is massive and are creatively designed, with plenty of ramps and decoratives alongside. Annoyingly, it’s entirely possible to get yourself wedged into the numerous tight gaps in any of these maps. After a short while, you’ll have seen everything it has to offer. 

Knock ’em off for points, but don’t slip off or you’ll lose some yourself…

What’s left unchanged is how you can basically defy gravity and physics. Think Rocket League, though perhaps not as tight. It’s perfectly possible to drive up a 90-degree angle with the right technique, for instance. This free sense of movement was a highlight in the previous entries, although it comes at a price. Namely, the camera can be a tad wonky when you flip your car or get too close to a wall.

In each level, events will periodically take place. Once again, you can participate in optional races, coin collecting, tagging props by doing stunts off of them (again, like the mid-noughties Tony Hawk games), and more. New ones include Cops And Robbers, and battering an oversized beach ball for the most damage. When there are enough players willingly joining in, it can be a lot of fun, and there’s always a competitive element to it. Thankfully, said events are very frequent, and brief breaks take place in between. They’re still playable offline, but each level seems barren without other players. It does try to ramp up the challenge by tightening the time limit around you, though you obviously can’t play the ones like the crown-hoarding mode.

Cross-play is indeed here — drive with Android and PC players as they drop in and out of servers!

Making a return is the tank deathmatch mode. Nothing much else to say about this one, aside from the fact that you need to visit an island to participate, instead of simply choosing it in the menu, for some odd reason. It’s pretty basic but a fun time-waster from time to time, where you need to punt other players off of the floating stages in the sky with your cannon. Other tank types can be unlocked, each with varying stats as well. Don’t expect any flashy power-ups or unique level designs, though. It’s worthplaying only sporadically, overwise the novelty wears off fast.

The thing about Crash Drive 3 is that it still remains a ‘been there, done that’ experience if you played either of the first two games. If not, it should be enough to gratify, so long as you play it in relatively quick bursts. It’s still an upgrade over the original, with some general gameplay tweaks, new maps, and better visuals. To be fair, as the saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” — perhaps that’s the direction the developers took here.

If only the decoratives, like the boost flames and licence plates, had an actual purpose in order to justify their price…

If you read our review of the second game, most of what we said is still applicable here as well. It’s still goofy fun with plenty of competitive challenges to take part in, but gradually grinding to level up cars may start to feel stale after a few hours. Like using nitro in a race, sustained bursts of play time will promise more of a worthwhile experience.

Review code supplied by M2H.

Rating:

3 Stars

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