Since 2008, we’ve had quite a few console games being developed in India. These have been developed by various studios and are spread across different platforms, but they've all had one thing in common – they were bad. While some were worse than others, they were all a far cry from what we’ve come to expect from international games. Another thing they’ve had in common is that they were all distinctly Indian in theme, whether it was the Indian mythology of Hanuman: Boy Warrior, the Tinkle license-bearing Cart Kings, or most recently, the Bollywood tie-in Ra.One. So it’s a welcome change to see an Indian game that isn’t going after solely the ‘desi’ audience.
I'm getting a bit dizzy to be honest
Can someone hit the lights?
Vehicle handling is quite inconsistent too, and even within the same event, you’ll find your vehicle suddenly losing grip or sliding around in certain parts of the map. Cars with exceptionally high acceleration ratings will sometimes be slow out of the blocks. These aren’t persistent issues, but the fact that they creep up every now and then is quite disconcerting. Environments are quite varied, with a mix of large sand-box like spaces and smaller arenas. Opponent AI too is quite competent, but again the hit-detection issues hamper the experience in events like the destruction derbies, where you’re never sure how much damage a collision really has on you and your opponent.
Overall, the campaign is quite barebones, but there’s a decent amount of content in there, with lots of variety in event types and frequent rewards in the form of new vehicles. It’s enough to make you see the campaign all the way through. The game also includes a two-player split-screen multiplayer mode that features only a few of the event types found in the campaign. The checkpoint races are quite annoying as the GPS pointer seems to go haywire, and the plant/diffuse the bomb is pretty much useless. Destruction derbies can be fun, but the experience is sullied by frame rate isses, and a couple of times, the game froze on me during multiplayer, forcing a hard reset.
Your new ride
Smash n Survive is a commendable first effort by Version2Games. It offers a surprisingly large amount of content for a downloadable game, and there’s enough variety here to keep you interested through the campaign. It falls short in the presentation department and some technical inadequacies hold it back, but at the core it's a fairly competent vehicle brawler. It may not give Twisted Metal a run for its money, but it’s certainly proof that Indian developers can definitely create games for a global audience rather than restricting themselves to “desi” themes.
Updated 19 May, 2013, 5:16 pm IST
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