|System: X360, PC, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Frozen Codebase||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: THQ||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: June 18, 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|
One gripe many may have is how short the campaign mode is. Total play time for average gamers will probably be about two hours. However, aside from the standard campaign mode, there are two other ways to play: Free-play and Survival mode. Free-play is probably the most fun and allows you to play through an unlocked map and destroy everything you can without being tethered to rules. Survival mode is also available, but has to be unlocked.
In addition to playing through all of these modes solo, you can also play with a friend via either local, split-screen co-op or online. If you crave competition rather than cooperation, there is also a competitive mode where you can see who can destroy the most in a limited amount of time. These modes really add some replay value to this title and make it more of a "party" style game you can play on the spot with friends.
Graphically, this title looks pretty good. Environments look diverse and vary wildly from a warm and sunny Canadian farm to a cold and snowy European villa. The color palate also ranges widely depending on the setting and helps make each mode distinctively destructive. It's worth noting that Elements of Destruction is presented in 720p HD, although you can't really tell, as none of the levels are incredibly sharp.
Sound here is also pretty good. The level music feels a little generic, but the mad scientist voiceovers as well as the destructive sound effects are quite good. The mad scientist's voiceover definitely provides for some hilarious moments including a diabolically evil version of "Oh, Canada." However, my only complaint is for some reason the voiceover seems to taper off in the later levels. I don't really know why this might be, but I have to say I missed the voiceover when it started becoming sparse. The sound effects in this title are quite good and feature some pretty fun explosion and weather noises. Not only can you see the destruction in this title you can hear it as well!
Overall, I really loved playing Elements of Destruction. Destroying things using the weather is a delightful concept and makes for some seriously destructive fun. That, coupled with the fact that this title gives you so many different ways to play, both by yourself, with a friend, or online, makes this a standout title on the LIVE Arcade and a must for anyone who has a flair for explosions, demolition, and destruction!
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Freelance Writer