|System: X360, PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Synetic||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Crave Entertainment||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Aug. 22, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
Crash Time: Autobahn Pursuit is a title where you play as European Cops who are solving crimes on the super-speedy German highway. Many racing aficionados will recognize the Autobahn location from several other games, but instead of being solely about speed, Crash Time turns the Autobahn into a crime scene. Even though the premise of the game is certainly interesting, overall, the whole thing lacks any distinctive features and has quite a few poor elements.
When you start up the first level in Crash Time, there are a few things right away that you will notice are missing. As soon as I started level one, I was pretty sure that I would go through some sort of tutorial mode explaining how the game worked, the controls, objectives, etc. However, I was instead thrust into a mode where I just pressed random buttons to find the acceleration and followed a car with a green arrow on it. There was no explanation, no objectives, or introduction whatsoever. You just press the button and you are instantly playing the game. It feels really awkward, and I did not appreciate being shoved into a game I had no idea how to play. Unfortunately, as you progress in the game, there's never any explanation or objectives given. You'll be thrust into levels, and you'll just have to figure out what to do based solely on your HUD and surroundings. Occasionally, there will be some dialogue given before a level, which will give you a vague idea of what you can expect, but by and large, you're on your own when it comes to figuring out what to do in a level
However, despite the lack of information, the game is actually fairly easy to progress through. But, this isn't actually a good thing. The reason why the levels are such a breeze is because they're all just a mash up of things you've seen in other games. Common levels will have you gathering flags from checkpoints, racing against enemies, or stopping certain opponents from proceeding. These are all very generic-feeling objectives, and there really is nothing that sets this game apart from the truckloads of other automotive games out there. Sure, it's good for cheap entertainment (MSRP is $30) and your car has sirens, but, there is just nothing else about this title that is interesting enough to warrant a purchase.
As you might expect, with a name like Crash Time, this game puts a big emphasis on crashing cars. However, instead of encouraging over-the-top stunts like Burnout does, Crash Time actually discourages stunts, and you can fail a mission by having too many crashes. When you do crash, the game actually pauses to show you an instant replay of what just transpired. Since the game considers nearly all contact with another car a "Crash," you'll be seeing a lot of these replays, which can become quite annoying. When you're in the heat of a chase, the last thing you want to see is a replay of the car whose bumper you just swiped. You want to get back to pounding the pavement! The replay system is just disengaging, and the game would have been a lot better without it.
Another big problem I had with Crash-Time: Autobahn was with the many glitches. The game has so many in fact that it advantages the A.I. considerably. For example, when playing through a level where the objective was to take down an enemy car, I was able to ram the car into a lake. I knew from personal experience that a trip to the lake would immobilize both my car and the enemy car, but I figured since the objective would be complete, it wouldn't really matter. So, I after I threw both our vehicles into the body of water I just waited patiently for the mission completed sign to flash across my screen. However, it never did. While my car was completely immobilized by the water, the enemy car was able to warp out of the watery trap without a hitch. It was completely unfair, and this glitch applies to anything that might kill your car. If you try to knock an opponent off a bridge, pin them between two cars, etc., their car will be able to warp out, and you'll be left scratching your head.