Tuesday, 10 March 2015

ScreamRide: XBox One Review

ScreamRide: XBox One Review

Developed by Frontier Developments
Platform: XBox One

Build it up, then tear it down.

It's an ethos which works incredibly well with ScreamRide, the roller-coaster simulator which is there to push the limits of both the characters on screen and also those behind the controller.

Essentially, set in a future world where humans have become disenchanted with the virtual thrills on offer (perhaps a warning from the future here?), the pressure is on to entertain. Step forward, Screamworks, a group determined to push the limits and thrill like never before.

Which is where you step in.

Over three different modes (Screamrider, Demolition and Engineer) and six different locations, you can harness the power of the pulse-pounding adrenaline - and send humans hurtling towards fun times.

Screamrider mode sees you flinging a quartet around in a rollercoaster, pushing the boundaries and buttons by going as fast as you can - and even flinging the machine off the rails to pursue your level target which secures progression to the next round. Hugging corners, pushing the speed limits and timing everything out to perfection, precision is the key.

Demolition is perhaps the more fun one though - as it's simply a case of hurtling humans in a testpod into buildings, through hoops and into explosives to wreak all manner of chaos. This level is all about precision, a bit of maths and a lot of timing as releasing the pod can have different effects - especially if it's done at the wrong time.

Engineering is all about building your own coaster and trying to defy gravity and humanity. It's easy to use and it's fun to see your creations in full flow. Though it's not much varied than the sandbox mode which sees you creating your own worlds as well.

Graphically, it's nothing sensational, which is perhaps a surprise for the XBoxOne format - there's no real sheen or shine on it all and when buildings collapse, it all looks somewhat blocky and retro. It's a surprise that the cameras don't do more in these moments to take in the scenery as it crumbles and you're allowed only a touch of rotation as you whirl around.

The thing with ScreamRide is that it's easily accessible and playable no matter how much time you're willing to invest into it. If you fancy a few rides around a track, then it's all good - and if you fancy flinging people into buildings, then it's all good too. It's from the makers of Zoo Tycoon and Rollercoaster Tycoon but there's less emphasis on curating the place, merely simply getting on with it all and avoiding the daily nitty gritty.

Easy to control and simple, ScreamRide is a fun disposable title - whether it's got longevity depends entirely on your tolerance for a quick game, a game that provokes stupidity rather than depth and while that may seem like a minor insult to those involved, it's actually a compliment - it's equal parts destruction as well as construction. Granted, the UGC will appeal to many and you can imagine elements of Minecraft coming into play as the creations get more grandiose.

Screamride is a blast - it could have done with a touch more polish for its platform but it's definitely worth taking a ride on.


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