Fast cars, weapons, one-liners, explosions and speed; Gas Guzzlers Extreme seems like every thrill-seekers ultimate guilty pleasure. It would be quick to write-off Gas Guzzlers Extreme as a mindless racing game with little substance, but that is far from the truth. With no multiplayer content of any kind, the development team doubled down on single player modes. Before you stop reading, consider the possibilities. What they came up with is a car combat racing game that keeps your foot on the gas and a smile on your face.
Publisher Iceberg interactive described the game’s content best, I will share it below:
“The game includes 12 game modes, 42 tracks, 12 arenas, 8 different environments, 21 customizable and upgradable cars with 12 unique weapon types and 22 distinct zombie variants to wreak havoc and total carnage!”
The campaign puts you in the role of a novice driver, you have a crummy car and you literally start at the bottom. By competing in races, you earn money to upgrade your car’s attributes or buy new cars altogether. You can purchase different weapons, upgrade armor, tires, brakes, ammo capacity and the engine. It didn’t take too long for me to fully upgrade my first car and then it was on to purchasing another vehicle to do it over again. I could choose my favorite color scheme, customize my license plate, change features like rims and add sponsor decals. With 21 different cars and plenty of customization options, everyone should find something they like in the garage.
As you are driving there are item pick ups, usually ammo, nitro boost, defensive weapons, health or money. In addition to the regular weapon like a machine gun, shotgun or rocket launcher, there is a secondary item slot for things like: oil slicks, mines and temporary double damage. Nothing felt sweeter than picking up an entire crate of ammo and then a double damage bonus and letting weapons free. If you manage to destroy an opponent, they are out for the race.
Career mode has different race types such as power race, battle race and knockout. Power race has no weapons but defensive item pickups, battle race has the same plus weapons and knockout is like elimination mode in other games; whoever is in last place is dropped after each lap until the last man is standing. Every so often there will be a team sponsored event which gives you an opportunity to earn a lot of money. I liked being able to pick which events I wanted to play in any order I desired. All the racers have silly pun names like: Mary Juana, Otto Mobile or Stu Pitt. I didn’t mind these names or the driver having “bro” voice options in honor of Duke Nukem and Arnold Schwarzenegger, but I can just picture the girl gamers rolling their eyes as I write this.
Graphically, Gas Guzzlers Extreme looks good in motion. It’s no Forza Horizon 3 when it comes to photo-realism, but it’s obvious that graphics was a focal point in the development. The music in the game is of the rock and metal variety, it fits the theme of the game and is a little generic, but still enjoyable. I would have preferred shorter loading times, as GGE will keep you waiting upwards of 50 seconds to load each level. The A.I. in the game is prone to rubber banding, a common trait in the car combat genre. No lead for the player is too big as opponents will suddenly appear on your heels. In turn it’s often difficult to fall too far behind as the opponents seem to slow as you underperform.
Playing a game like Gas Guzzlers Extreme in 2016 was very refreshing, taking me back to the old days when I played for hours against bot opponents. The game is easy to recommend provided the purchaser knows what they are getting into. There is no multiplayer of any kind, local or online…I didn’t mind this, but I know many people will. The game is about unlocking the best cars and rising to the top of the league rankings. If you want to just have some mindless fun, fire up a survival arena and blast some zombies for an hour or two. The racing itself is tight and responsive and it looks very good for an indie game in a realistic style. There is a lot to enjoy here for a solo gamer.