Destruction AllStars is the most fun, cathartic game we've played in ages
Here is our review of the brand new PS5 game.
As you're zooming around the arenas in Destruction AllStars, you might start making a mental checklist of all of the games it reminds you of.
For us, that includes, but is not limited to: Twisted Metal, Fall Guys, Destruction Derby, Overwatch, Rocket League and Titanfall.
There doesn't appear to be a single original bone in the game's body, but the creators have lined them up to create an entirely fresh feeling creature, one which will have you saying "Okay, just one more game..." until the wee hours of the morning.
Across four types of game, you can choose between either every-driver-for-themselves, or an 8v8 teamwork game, but the goal of each and every round is essentially the same: smash or be smashed.
And we wouldn't want it any other way.
As you start off, you'll choose between the four game modes, which break down as follows:
- Mayhem - a free-for-all derby, where the winner is based on who does the most damage to the other cars and drivers
- Gridfall - imagine a game of the Floor Is Lava, except you're in a car, and the amount of driveable floor keeps shrinking, and other cars are trying to smash you into the lava... that's Gridfall
- Carnado - two teams of eight attempt to destroy the other cars, collect bits of the wreckage from those cars, and then bank them in a tornado (yes, a tornado) in the centre of the arena
- Stockpile - another 8v8 mode, and I'll be honest, I played this mode a few times, and I still don't fully understand it. There's something to do with banks and collecting wreckage again, but for the life of me, I couldn't figure it out, so I just continued to drive around and smash things
From there, you'll get to pick your driver, one of 16 available, each with their own special car which you can call upon mid-match once you've built up enough points for it, and special abilities for in and out of the car.
You're then dropped into one of four arenas around the world, and you begin the game on foot. You scramble against other players to make it to a car first, and blast off into the match. Or if you don't make it to your desired car first, you can jump on to it and begin a mini-game with the driver.
If you win, you can either take over the car or blow it up; if the driver wins, they successfully shake you off, throwing you into the middle of the arena while you're still on foot.
Thankfully, you can accomplish a lot on foot, including wall-running and trap-setting, while also collecting the pink gems scattered around the arena that will build up your points, allowing you to call upon your special car. Each character's vehicle and special moves do give them a unique individual advantage, so they are more than just cosmetic differences, and you'll soon find yourself leaning towards one or two of the characters with cars and moves that match your preferred play-style.
But the meat and potatoes of the gameplay is the pure car smashing of it all, and the PS5 really makes these violent delights look absolutely spectacular.
The cartoon-y nature of the characters make sure that it never feels too real, while the cars themselves handle fantastically well, with special forward and sideways boosters that hammer home the satisfying crunch of damaging or completely wrecking your opponent's car. Once they've been destroyed, they simply need to leg it to another of the vehicles dotted around the arena to get back in the game, all while avoiding being run over by the other drivers.
Clips via PlayStation
All combined, it makes for a hugely fun and satisfying loop of gameplay, one that rewards reflexes as much as short-term strategy.
There are a few issues with the game itself, not least of which is the insidious arrival of micro-transactions right from the get go, to help you use real world money to boost your in-game driver and car. There is also the arrival of the game itself, a PS5 exclusive, which is currently only available for those who are members of the PS Plus subscription. In a way, yes, you're getting a free game, but only for as long as you're consistently paying for access to it.
Is Destruction AllStars the killer app that the PS5 has been waiting for? No.
But is it a game worth signing up for a monthly (or longer) access to PS Plus if you already have a PS5? Absolutely.