Destruction AllStars Review
How does the fully next-gen PlayStation 5 exclusive car combat stack up? My full review of Destruction AllStars.
Start your engines, it’s prime time in the demolition arena! If you are a fan of car combat games, Destruction AllStars has some frantic fun in store. The game is a little light on content but offers fresh and fun gameplay mechanics worth checking out. The vehicular destruction showdown has been developed by Lucid Games, the creator of Switchblade and co-developer on EA’s Need For Speed Payback. Lucid has high-octane racing in its veins and it translates incredibly well for the action in Destruction AllStars. The game features 16 drivers facing off in a prime-time TV car battle, each with their unique arsenals. Let’s take a look at how the experience stacks up in the PlayStation 5 multiplayer focused exclusive.
Destruction AllStars Details
Become a legend of destruction
The beauty in AllStars Destruction is in its simplicity, hop in a vehicle and create some havoc. Your main objective is to eliminate other opponents to claim victory. There are a few other modes that change up this general formula but eliminating opponents to claim victory is where the game is at its most basic and fun.
Before each race you have a choice between 16 different larger than life drivers. I found their stylization close to Fortnite characters with over-the-top appearances and animations. For example, you’ve got Ultimo the luchador who hits the track in full wresting attire or Lupita who dawns a full wolf suit. They are fun and match the zany “reality TV” spectacle quite well.
Unique character’s special attacks
Just as unique as the characters’ personalities, their vehicles sport different special abilities that really set each one apart. Take for example Ultimo, he has a special that drops a giant barrier in front of his vehicle that adds protection and allows you to mercilessly ram through opponents. Lupita on the other hand has a super that leaves a trail of fire behind it to scorch opponents. The variety of special attacks and dynamic characters really pushes you try out each driver to find which one best suit your style.
Parkour to the finish line
The most unique element to Destruction Allstars is the fact that you can leave your vehicle anytime during gameplay and move around on foot. Each player has the ability to eject themselves from cars in order to change vehicles, parkour around the arena or reach collectibles. At first, I wasn’t sure about this mechanic, but after many play sessions it’s a defining factor for the game.
"It’s a special feeling when you eject from your mangled car and drop seamlessly into a new ride not missing a beat."
It adds something fresh to the car combat genre and sets the game apart from similar titles. This also makes vehicles far more disposable, usually in destruction derby style games wreck your ride and its game over. In Destruction AllStars, a totalled car means you abandoned the mangled mess and go on the hunt for a new ride, either stealing someone else’s or finding a new vehicle scattered about the arena. It’s a special feeling when you eject from your mangled car and drop seamlessly into a new ride not missing a beat. Being able to leave your auto is a very interesting mechanic, it doesn’t tie you to your car and encourages you to vehicle hop at will.
Another big plus to Destruction Allstars is the solid and responsive controls, especially when it comes to driving. The “charge and bash” mechanic is quite addictive, it’s very satisfying to line up a foe and deliver the final blow. You can boost your car by flicking up, left or right on the right joystick in order to boost in those directions. When you land a “boosted blow” it’s quite exhilarating and will keep you motivated and on the hunt for the next big hit.
"When you land a “boosted blow” it’s quite exhilarating and will keep you motivated and on the hunt for the next big hit."
The DualSense controller’s haptic feedback was also a big highlight offering more immersion with the on-screen action. The hardware was optimized extremely well, especially when vehicles are critically damaged, I could feel the “knocks” in the controller as cars dragged along. The gas and break also had a great level of tension in the triggers, I’m hoping more racers in the future take advantage of the DualSense like this.
The areas where the controls fell a little short are when you emerge from your car on foot. As much as I applaud this innovative ability, it isn’t without its issues. I found movement to be a little too “floaty” and unpredictable. It was also hard to grab ledges and vault up in a reliable fashion. This was critical because a mistimed jump meant you were going to become roadkill. Outside of these issues, the car controls were tight and had near pinpoint accuracy in all the calamity.
The cars and arenas look great, as you might imagine on next-gen hardware like the PlayStation 5. The game utilizes an abundance of particle effects as cars collide and the sparks fly in full 4K 60FPS glory. The game loads lighting fast between rounds and the framerate always remains stable, even in the midst of big car pile ups. During night racing the lighting and reflections look great against the backdrop of cities like London and Tokyo. The game is a looker and will provide some stunningly beautiful moments of mayhem.
"The game is a looker and will provide some stunningly beautiful moments of mayhem."
Unfortunately, Destruction AllStars leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to sound design. The cars and characters sound pretty good offering fun banter and great collision sound fx. The background music was pretty much non-existent, and a high tempo soundtrack would have been great.
Final thoughts on Destruction AllStars
Destruction AllStars is a fun demolition derby experience at its core, with solid mechanics and tight controls. It would be nice to see far more additional content to add to the replayability and longevity of the game. The story mode is light with a majority of it locked behind a pay wall which is a drawback for those looking for a single player story experience. All that being said, when the game is boiled down to its car combat roots its extremely fun and satisfying. Where the game really shines is with modes like Demolition and Carnado. The sharp graphics, excellent particle effects and smooth action at 60 FPS add to the visceral mayhem. Overall, there is enough to warrant hopping into the driver’s seat and taking Destruction AllStars for a spin.
Destruction AllStars Pros
+ Excellent gameplay with tight controls
+ Graphics and arenas look great at 4K / 60FPS
+ Vehicles are as unique and funs as their drivers
Destruction AllStars Cons
- A majority of single player content is behind a paywall
- Some game modes are overcomplicated
- Lack of original soundtrack
Overall Game Score
A copy of the game was provided by PlayStation Canada for the purpose of this review.