No matter what everyone thinks of indie or arcade games on the PS3 or Xbox 360, there have been several fantastic games been produced from a small budget compared to AAA titles. The fantastic games I am referring to include Limbo, Trials, Joe Danger and Journey to name but a few. One of the latest games hoping to make a similar impact on the gaming market is ‘Fireburst’ from exDream which is available now for the PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.
Fireburst is a racing game, wishing to follow in the footsteps of successful racing titles on the digital marketplace. Fireburst isn’t your typical racing game, however. The gameplay heavily relies on using fire to help you and, in turn, decimate your opponents. Sounds promising? This is where the plus points of Fireburst end. The ideas sound good, but in reality are poorly executed.
As someone who has played many racing games down the years, I failed to see any game I could compare to Fireburst and I still can’t think of one. There are various game modes available including quick race, career as well as two custom options which allow you to create your own races including a destruction derby type of race.
The gameplay mechanics of Fireburst make little or no sense. The right analogue stick (for the 360 version) allows you to view the car at different angles but once you have to turn a corner, the camera stays in the same place you left it. This makes driving impossible at times as the camera, even when straight behind the car, doesn’t always stay in that position.
As I learnt more about the fire aspect of the game (after some tutorials) I thought I would use what I had learnt on the track. You can use a flame-boost to make your racer go faster for around 2 seconds before the car catches fire and you need to stop the boosting otherwise your car will explode. The way to counteract this is to hit water barrels and drive through large puddles to ensure your car doesn’t catch fire and can use flame-boost for longer. As well as having water barrels on the tracks, there are also gas barrels which explode if you hit them, causing your racer to explode if impacted while boosting.
As mentioned, you can use fire against your opponent as well. Some cars disperse flames directly behind them causing cars behind to heat up quicker and explode after a few seconds. Other cars have a flame aura which, once deployed, destroys enemy cars which are within the aura. I found that using fire is very hard to use, even with the tutorials. The fire mechanics do seem like good ideas only for them to be poorly executed and results in shambolic gameplay. The game does feature an online multiplayer mode but when I tried to search for opponents, it couldn’t find anyone. I tried this various times on numerous occasions but found myself playing against the computer each time as no one was online.
The graphics in Fireburst look as though they should belong on a PS2, which may seem harsh but it’s true. I don’t see how we have had beautiful retail and arcade games this generation and at the tail-end of the generation, there is a game as poorly made as this one. If there is one good feature of this game, it’s that the soundtrack and music in the menus is enjoyable although, it does become repetitive after a few plays.
For 800MSP, there are so many better games you can buy for the same price. With the Xbox One and PS4 around the corner, it is no surprise that many people in the gaming industry are looking to the future but with Fireburst it seems as though this game is stuck in the past, where it belongs.