Tech News on G4
Screamride provides thrills, chills'
Mar 4, 2015
By John Powell - G4 Canada
Failing has never felt this fun. While the whole point is to succeed in Screamride, the roller coaster simulation and more from Microsoft Studios and Frontier Developments, screwing up beyond total belief is just as fulfilling on every possible level.
Watching your coaster full of unsuspecting crash test dummies careen off the tracks, their bodies flaying every which way, the coaster car itself smashing through nearby buildings before you reset things, are some of the most comical video game moments I have had since Bugbears hysterical racing series FlatOut. In effect, that's what Screamride reminds me, all of the sadistic joy I had purposely crashing in FlatOut just to see the faceless passengers fly through the windshield, bouncing and rebounding Bugs Bunny style.
That kind of merriment never, ever gets old.
As an employee of a futuristic transportation coaster company in Screamride, you can take on the career of ScreamRider, Demolition Expert or Engineer. It doesn't take a rocket scientist though to figure out which of these professions is the most entertaining. Supervised by a disembodied voice resembling Portal's GLaDOS, you are given specific tasks to complete as you advance in your chosen career. As an Engineer, you are tasked with puzzle solving, finishing off or building tracks to completion using the tools at your disposal. Alas, your task is even made more difficult by the fact that ScreamRider's camera doesn't always play nice making it hard to line up things properly.
As much as I like puzzles, I left Engineer for last because in my mind, why build things when you can smash them up REAL good? As a Demolition Expert, you become a one person wrecking crew leveling structures, clearing the way for more coasters, because in the ScreamRider world; there can never be enough roller coasters, right? Using the same mechanics as Angry Birds, you control a pendulum wrecking ball with more of those indispensable crash test dummy volunteers strapped into them. You calculate the angles, adjust the speed and then send that sucker flying through the air at whatever needs to be destroyed, which could include blimps flying in the air, coaster tracks, buildings, bridges, anything that is in your way.
Why are there people inside those wrecking balls in the first place? Well, why the heck not?
What's better than blowing buildings up? How about sorta blowing people up? Being a ScreamRider definitely provides the most thrills, spills and giggles. As the test driver of the coaster, you must maneuver it and your passengers through all the tricky hills, turns, and corkscrews putting the coaster through its paces. This is ScreamRide though so you know being a ScreamRider is no walk in the amusement park. Taking things to the next level are all sorts of zany obstacles, such things as missing tracks forcing you to time a perfect jump and obstacles on the very track itself which can only be avoided by carefully using your turbo boost and tipping up on two wheels. These and other complications must all be dealt with while careening around the track at breakneck speeds and using your stored turbo boost power to clock the best time you possibly can.
The absolute best part of ScreamRider though are the consequences of missing those turns, crashing into those objects or messing up those jumps. As bodies scatter everywhere, you can still control the coaster itself as it rockets through the air. You can aim at other buildings or anything cruising around in the airspace if you get high enough. Getting reprimanded by GLaDOS 3.0 for your reckless behaviour is certainly worth it.
If you want to build things from scratch a sandbox mode is also included and even though there is no multiplayer there is an online leaderboard. The lack of a multiplayer is a noticably missed opportunity. Can you imagine trying to negotiate a track as a ScreamRider while a friend is trying to obliterate it as a Demolition Expert? Man, that would've been all kinds of crazy.
Frontier Developments has taken inspiration from their past projects like Thrillville and the RollerCoaster Tycoon and created something fresh for the next-gen era of gaming while honouring what made those games so challenging for so many. ScreamRide is much more than a guilty pleasure though. It represents the evolution of construction simulation games into something bigger and better than ever.
Rating: 7.5 / 10
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