Back in the days when internet gaming was not as commonplace as a McDonald’s store or a Starbucks, people used to play their games on consoles more than their PCs. It was the norm when you would invite your friends over and have a competitive and screwball-type of romp that F-Zero, Mario Kart, or even Crash Team Racing bring (and by typing those game titles, I realize how old I am now). It was a much simpler time then, and games such as these were the epitome of multiplayer goodness. Fast forward a couple of decades, and the landscape of games has changed, to say the least. Nowadays, when one speaks of multiplayer, right off the bat internet access comes to mind. It comes as no surprise due to the fact that most of the games being played right now require an internet connection in order to play with others. The only difference is, the number of available players available to play with grows exponentially when you’re playing online – crashing on a friend’s couch takes a whole new meaning.
But with the advent of the internet and the grander scope of multiplayer it brings, it is quite noticeable that there has been a shortage of racing games that have that combat and zany multiplayer experience apart from the more recent iterations of the aforementioned titles that was pointed out earlier.
The people from GameArt Studio has seen the shortage of reputable combat racing games, and took it upon themselves to create Quantum Rush, the new free-to-play, MMO racing game that enables players to compete with one another using futuristic vehicles and a variety of weapons, shields, armor and other power-ups to ensure that first place rightfully belongs to the fastest (or the craziest) racer of all! Does it have what it takes to start the resurgence of combative racing games? Let’s find out in the Quantum Rush Review!
Steer Into the Skid
Quantum Rush has three modes that players can choose at the moment. These are the Death Race, Time Trial and Practice Modes, respectively. The Death Race mode has the tracks littered with power ups, and the objective is to be the first vehicle (or last vehicle standing) to cross the finish line. Apart from the innate weapon (a blaster or a gun) each vehicle possesses, in this mode, getting the right power up means the difference between winning and being turned into twisted metal (…alas, another old school game that I miss dearly). The Time Trial mode, is essentially pits players in a good old-fashioned race where speed and technique is essential to win. There are no power ups in this mode, which is a letdown, and there are times when you’d just like to blast the opposition to oblivion but couldn’t ’cause you’re stuck playing this mode. Finally there is the practice mode which helps you get more versed with the different kinds of vehicles at your disposal, as well as getting the hang of the power ups and the various race tracks. There is also a tutorial mode that aids you to become a better racer by having you complete a multitude of tasks. There is also the Arena mode but is not yet available for players (at least from my last play-through), so one has to wait and see what this mode is all about.
Controls-wise, Quantum Rush has gamers utilize their keyboards to steer and control their vehicles. This kind of takes a while to get the hang of, as at first it feels awkward and clunky; once you have practiced enough and have your hands be acclimated with the controls, you would get past the whole all-keyboard-controls. But one thing worth noting is that Quantum Rush can incorporate the use of handheld USB controllers for those who are not too comfortable with using the keyboard for driving their vehicles.
The Little Ship that Could
Speaking of vehicles, Quantum Rush offers players a variety of racing ships that have different strengths and weaknesses. For new-comers, they have access to three tier-one racers that cater to what a player wants for his speedster. One handles very well but is not as speedy, the other is essentially a rocket that zooms past competition but is harder to handle, and the last one is a racer that is somewhere in between the previous two. As you progress in the game, winning and losing some races, you acquire in-game currency that help in leveling up your tier-one racers into more powerful vehicles as well as the ability to research weapons, armor and other upgrades to your present racers. You can also customize your vehicles by purchasing different skins; these are purely cosmetic, but having the ability to personalize one’s vehicles is a nice touch that could have players invest their time to pimp their rides up.
A Nod to the Past, Made Present in the Future
Being a combat racing game, Quantum Rush has its game design rooted with the old pre-internet console titles, most notably F-Zero. From the futuristic vehicles that use anti-gravity technology to the power-ups and even the map outlays are very reminiscent of the old racing game. While others might scoff at this and think that there is no originality with its game design, one cannot but feel nostalgic with thoughts of playing such racing games at your best friend’s old house and let him know that you’ve smoked him right off the track! The only difference here is that instead of going up against your friend and computer pilots, all your opponents this time are actual people.
The race tracks have also been designed to keep in line with the futuristic feel of the game. There are freeways that are cut off and can only be jumped over by driving onto a speed pad, tunnel stages that players can zoom through and end up being on the roof of the said tunnel (doing a full 360-degree spin was awesome, to say the least) to surprise your enemies and even yourself! The background music in the game is also worth noting, as the fast blaring techno and electronic dance music complements the game and give each race that little extra sense of speed, to the laid-back drone that plays when you’re in the main menu screen or sprucing up your racer. These little touches make the game more immersive and enjoyable.
Speed is Key
(for your Internet Provider)
Quantum Rush is not devoid of some areas that needs improvement, however. There is a significant issue with the game’s latency. As Quantum Rush is a racing game, having a smooth connection is essential because one frame skip or lag would often result to your racer hitting the sidelines often, and that is NOT a good thing to experience. One can see a stark difference with the lag when you’re playing against human players to when you’re in practice mode; there was one instance where my vehicle felt terribly slow compared to the other racers because of the lag that I just stayed in the starting line and watched them whiz by me.
Also, there are some hit detection issues that makes the game frustrating at times – instances when you want to get a power up or position yourself to run across a speed pad would sometimes make you miss your objective all together because you were a couple of inches to the left or to the right. It is frustrating because your racers are not compact and have wing spans (well most of them, anyways), and it would have been nice if the hit detection for the power ups and the speed pads would be fixed.
With the latency and some glitch issues aside, Quantum Rush is a nice combat racer title that takes the great stuff from its older brothers, puts in some nifty new ideas and takes them into a plane where many players can experience. With a fast-paced gameplay, a respectable roster of vehicles that accommodate any and all racing styles that can be upgraded and customized, Quantum Rush is well on its way to reintroduce an old favorite in a more contemporary audience. If winning a race by hook or by crook (or in this case, by guns and lasers) is your thing, then Quantum Rush is a game worth trying.
Pros and Cons
– throwback to racing games with power-ups
– players can use the keyboard or USB controllers for comfort
– fast-paced gameplay
– customizable and upgradable vehicles
– cool background music
– internet strength a factor for latency
– controls may take a while to get used to