FUEL Reader Review
The Highly awaited Codemaster's game, FUEL was Brought to the shelves yesterday after being pushed back a week from its original release date 29th march.
Codemasters previous racing games, DIRT and GRID are big hits with the gaming/racing community of today, Where as FUEL seems to fall below its expectations. FUEL features 75 drivable vehicles, 190 challenges, 70 career races and a phenomenal 14,000 km2 of free roam madness. FUEL is set in the modern day America where global warming is at its worst, the citizens have retreated to nearby safe zone cities and all life is abandoned.
FUEL career mode starts you from the very bottom of the pile, As soon as you start career you're thrown into your first race on a motorbike. After completion you've successfully unlocked your first area of the map. Each area of the map has a dedicated camp. The camp is where all races are held and preformed; each camp varies from 3, 6 and 9 races. After you complete a camp another is then unlocked so on and so forth... But Career is not only just about races, there is also an offline free roam where limits are endless and sites from different parts of the FUEL world will simply blow you away.
The world of FUEL is bigger than imaginable, And with such a big space to account for there has to be environmental hazards. While roaming around the world of FUEL you will come across many different settings ranging from driving into the source of a volcano, driving against the battering coastal path and climbing 75 degree mountain Roads. All make a good job of making the game have a unique feel.
From 75 different ways to get around and conquer this harsh environment, you will have a hard time sticking to one mode of transport. From Motorbikes to quad bikes and SUV's to monster trucks YEAHH!!! Every vehicle has its good and bad points for each area of the map.
Storm chasers be aware! FUEL is packed with hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis and bush fires. All these natural hazards are amazing to race against, pulling you right into the action. Falling debris, lightning striking trees, power lines falling over are all near death experiences, and shows great imagination. Hurricanes and tornadoes get terribly close during gameplay, one false move and your next stop will be visiting the Wizard of Oz. Skin piercing rain, sandstorms and deadly snow storms make visibility near impossible.
Now usually you would buy a car from a dealer in cash, would you not? Well not in the world of FUEL, the rules have changed meaning currency is no longer pounds/dollars but is now FUEL! Yes you guessed it, fuel is the new paper, fuel couldnít be easier to come across there are three ways to getting your hands on the money - career races, challenges and having a keen eye, fuel is scattered around the waste land and simply knocking over the barrels adds money to your wallet, plus knock over 100 and thereís a nice achievement in it for you too.
Now everyone loves to customize their ride, just ask the gang at PIMP MY RIDE. But FUEL lacks in many aspects of customization, itís very limited and basically pretty worthless. Customizations consist of simply changing paint jobs and rider clothing. Pretty weak compared to their rival game Disney Studio's Pure, where customization is endless and a big part of the game. Now all the paint jobs arenít all unlocked at the start of the game, thereís a special icon with pops up on your HUD/map called a Livery which most of us call paintjobs. Thereís hundreds of Liverys scattered around the world just waiting to be tankslapped onto your mode of transport.
The map on FUEL is simple and basic and really thatís all it needs to be, BUT There is a revolutionary way to get around without listening to a robotic German speaking out your dashboard giving you the longest route ever to get to the supermarket, The new GPS is one really good point of FUEL now 90% of the time you will be slipstreaming through forest's and getting huge air over uneven ground where frankly roads do not venture. although the GPS does like to keep you to the roads the slight moment you decide itís not for you the complete GPS changes and gives you the best thrill of your life sending you everywhere you would be too scared to go in real life. Also if you love the caveman side of you and prefer to travel by smell and instinct the GPS and compass can be removed by a touch of a button no need for menu searching.
FUEL's Graphics are a touchy subject, The actual Vehicle models themselves are pretty damn good, but graphics seem to have been let slip when it comes to close ups, Burning tree's Look like they should be on previous console games and certain Tree's and bushes look out of date for a next gen title. Also lacks in reality of game physics monster trucks stopped in their tracks by little bushes which simply should just be able to go straight over, Thereís also no Crash engine on FUEL, So being humoured by watching your rider ragdoll into a tree face first is out the window. Also No destructible surroundings such as Buildings and trees, you can break through fencing but that's not as fun as breaking down a house with my MONSTER TRUCK.
Up to 16 players free roam and plenty of races to fulfil means XBOX Live is a great place to hang out with friends. Competing or simply just becoming the new hells angels of the waste you will find endless excuses to miss work or leave the other half doing the washing up. The Track Editor also plays a great part in the game allowing you to completely make a track from scratch for you and your friends to rip up.
At the end of all this my final thoughts on FUEL are, for a casual gamer who just want to let loose in a vast space ofÖ well basically nothing - FUEL is the ideal game for this purpose. But for the long living and loyal Codemasters fans out there this simply doesnít live up to their expectations from previous games such as GRID, DIRT and the ToCA series.
FUEL gets an official Game-Pad 7.5/10
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