Latest news on Crasher: Destruction Derby meets MMO!

Due to be released on Steam this month, Crasher is the brainchild of French studio Punchers Impact.

The latest screenshots show rather a pretty looking vehicular deathmatch that will remind older gamers of Destruction Derby; an arena filled with cars that aim to crash into each other. Just like how a deathmatch game takes the concept of ten people trapped in a maze trying to kill each other and makes it fun, Crasher takes the idea of a ten car pileup and makes it satisfyingly crunchy. Yet they say games are a bad influence!

Crasher is presented as a hybrid of MMO, MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) and team play deathmatch games. Players are split into two teams and aim to protect or invade the appropriate bases, from 2 cars versus 2, up to 5 cars versus 5. The category of each vehicle chosen determines the special abilities and weapons available, creating an RPG-like tactical choice dynamic. When playing you earn experience to customize your vehicles. There are even some quite random sounding mystical abilities; special moves as it were that heal vehicles, shoot fireballs or even modify the terrain (this dynamic is certainly the one I look forward to seeing, after playing Excite Truck and falling in love with the ability to put a hill in the path of a fellow driver).

Skills will be split into two categories; passive skills picked before the match and those used during the match. The pre-match skills are known as Control skills; Jump which will open up certain raised areas during play, or Boost which will enable access to anything on the other side of a large gap. The tactical considerations are evident. During matches there are Regular skills and Situation skills. The former are special attacks of the kind mentioned above, regulated by a cooldown and ‘mana’ system. The latter are launched when certain situations arise, requiring a player to carefully achieve the right conditions.

The video below showcases the Firestorm vehicle, which I am reliably informed belongs in the Melee Destructor class, one of the 6 classes. One can imagine what it does; close combat destruction. Naturally the classes of vehicles determine player’s role in each battle, from a head on fighter to an engineer-like character setting traps on the periphery. Some examples are; two wheeled vehicles that are fast and aerial, good for recon and fast attack, ‘Saboteurs’ which are three wheeled speedy vehicles that set traps and such and ‘Tankers’ which are your typical four wheeled armoured death cars.

All of this points to a potentially very enjoyable game, occupying a space between the vehicle maps of Unreal Tournament and a Borderlandsesque rolling RPG upgrade system (that title sprung to mind due to a shared cartoonish graphical style). Of course potential is not always fulfilled; this could easy be a one-crash pony. The proof, no doubt, will be in the gleeful destruction.


by Bret

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