Mantis Burn Racing (PC) Review

By Gabriel Jones 12.10.2016

Review for Mantis Burn Racing on PC

With the deluge of racing games out there, it's always important to have an angle. Mantis Burn Racing takes this suggestion literally via its top-down view of the action. Gamers everywhere can test their driving skills by participating in races, time trials, and other events. Boasting a full career mode, online functionality, and even split-screen competition, this game surely delivers in terms of options. However, does it have what it takes to keep up with the pack?

The career mode is designed to ease first-timers into the game. There are a multitude of different race types, distributed among a variety of tracks. The goals are simple enough: reach first place, beat the fastest times, and so on. Completing races will award gear points, which are used to unlock the next leg of one's journey to become a Mantis Burn Racing pro. Gears are also awarded under special conditions, like drifting for x amount of distance, or winning a race without using any boost.

The vehicles are relegated into three different classes: light, medium, and heavy. Many of the races will limit players to a specific class, so the onus is on them to learn their advantages and disadvantages. Lighter vehicles have a lot of grip and good acceleration, while heavier vehicles have higher top speeds and can knock rivals out of the way. Vehicles can be customised through the acquisition of upgrades. These are awarded by levelling up and winning certain races. They're handed out in generous portions, but they're also limited, which adds a touch of strategy. It's worth taking the time to figure out which parts are best suited for each car.

The races themselves play out in an arcade-style fashion, and the controls take seconds to understand. Handling is paramount to success. It's not just a matter of avoiding crashes. The player also has to avoid needless braking, while approaching every turn with care. Losing a tenth of a second probably isn't too horrible, but as the mistakes pile up, so does the time. The difference between winning and losing a race is a lot subtler than the arcade moniker lets on. It's not just the massive crash or running off a cliff that can lead to a loss; sometimes all it takes is an unsightly skid.

Screenshot for Mantis Burn Racing on PC

After getting halfway through the career mode, the player is entered into the Pro League. At this point, they have access to better vehicles, but it's a double-edged sword. When everything is moving faster, that means there's less time to react to turns, and it's easier to lose control in a hectic situation. Proper judgment is essential, and the AI opponents can be difficult to shake. Every now and then, one of them might hit a rock, or slow down for a turn, but that's probably just to keep things fair. It will take more than a few retries in order to win every race, which makes the load times pretty annoying.

The graphics are quite nice, particularly the depth of field effect that's used to highlight changes in elevation. The cars have a more simplistic look than the tracks they race on, but it helps them stand out. The dust and particle effects are also pretty good, even when seen from a bird's eye view. While the tracks look great, the lack of diversity in the locales is unfortunate. A few forest or beachside tracks would have been greatly appreciated. The music also gets old rather quickly, but it's not a huge deal. Just throw on a favourite album like The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, an eight hour Eurobeat mix, or whatever else tickles those fancies.

Above all, this racing game doesn't attempt to mix things up with weapons, or include any of the other absurdities that permeate similar titles. Everything learned in the first race can be useful over the course of the entire game. It's all a matter of learning the vehicles, adjusting for differences in handling, and efficiently drifting around every corner. The few other techniques like drafting and boosting have their purposes, as well. Mantis Burn Racing keeps it light on the fluff by focusing entirely on creating a lean racing experience.

Screenshot for Mantis Burn Racing on PC

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

Mantis Burn Racing is a decent racing game, albeit rather lean on content. On the bright side, there are plans for a few major updates, which will include more tracks, vehicles, and a greatly expanded career mode. The controls are approachable for anyone with even a casual grasp of racing games. This makes it a good title for pick-up-and-play groups. Just hand someone a controller, and they're ready to go. Although, they might complain that there aren't any blue shells or flaming hoops to jump through. This is a pure arcade-style racer, which is kind of a lost art in this day and age.

Developer

VooFoo

Publisher

VooFoo Studios

Genre

Driving

Players

4

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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