Smashing cars into other cars and watching them explode as I race by is one of the simple pleasures in life that is exclusively enjoyed (legally) through videogames. The combination of speed and destruction gives a rush that’s hard to beat, and thankfully even in the alpha-testing phase, Motor Strike: Racing Rampage delivers.

Players can choose from multiple modes in both local and online play, although all modes revolve around the same premise of what could be termed “battle-racing,” where gunning down enemy cars is as integral as racing toward the finish line.

Each mode begins by picking a car, many of which are parodies of famous vehicles, such as versions of K.I.T.T. from Knight Rider and the Mystery Machine from Scooby Doo. At the time of writing, only three out of fourteen planned cars were playable, and I was partial to the totally-not-the-Batmobile. Each ride has its own stats that make them unique beyond cosmetic differences, and they also have three different skins to choose from. For example, the not-the-Batmobile has a Joker-colored skin).

After picking a car, players then choose their weapon loadout. Everyone has missiles and shields which recharge over time during gameplay, but each also has a unique weapon and a few main weapons to choose from, including things like gatling guns and small laser cannons.

Players can then select the track to play on — only two were playable when I was sitting down with it, but there looks to be twenty-four planned for release.

The courses are standard multiple-lap short racetracks, with one average-looking dark course through what looks to be a mining town, and the other being a bright neo-Tokyo course that embraces a New Wave aesthetic. Gamers can also pick track modifications before playing. For example, one adds ramps throughout the course for a quick speed boost.

Once every car is ready, it’s time to start the race. All modes involve outrunning and outgunning the competition in order to come out on top. Everything besides the main weapons are auto-aimed and work on cooldowns. Blowing up isn’t the end of the race, though — cars respawn where they was destroyed within a few seconds.

The driving itself is arcade-style racing, with responsive controls making it easy to drift around tight bends and maneuver through congestion to the front of the pack. The art style compliments it with a sleek, toy-like aesthetic to match the gamey controls.

Overall, Motor Strike: Racing Rampage shows a lot of promise, and any fans of combat racing-style games such as Burnout and Twisted Metal should keep their eyes peeled for further news on its release.

— Mitch Zehe

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