Review: Bang Bang Racing
Bang Bang Racing is pegged as a top-down “family friendly” racing game. With a similar camera angle and toy-car style as TNT Racers (released earlier this year) you’ll race with four different car classes among three gameplay modes in an attempt to earn the gold trophy in each championship circuit. Bang Bang Racing strips away things like power-ups and weapons in favor of a simple and pure racing game. Unfortunately what’s left is a rather boring racing game with little in the way of any replay value.
Aside from a boost meter that refills over time each track in Bang Bang Racing is littered with traffic cones, exploding barrels, oil slicks and other obstacles to avoid. Most of these usually cause you to slide across a turn as you helplessly watch as everyone else passes you. For the most part these obstacles aren’t difficult to avoid but in the opening moments of each race when you find yourself with very little breathing room it can be a bit too easy to get pushed into an oil slick finding yourself at the back of the pack early on. The racing itself in the game is okay at best. With the exception of the final car class there’s very little sense of speed and the handling on most cars is quite bad. This is made worse with the fact that the default camera in the game has a hard time keeping up with you. Most tracks are composed of numerous twists and turns in which the camera rotates just slow enough so that your view eventually gets blocked and you’re driving towards the screen. Switching to a fixed view camera only makes this issue even worse.
Beyond the game’s terrible rubberbanding, the AI in Bang Bang Racing is just strange. Sometimes they’d drive straight into a wall without even trying to make a turn while in other situations they’d navigate the track perfectly. In other situations I’d get passed by a car only to have it stop in front of me and slide causing my car to get stuck and watch as the rest of the cars passed in the time I fought with the controls to reverse.
Despite these things it’s not uncommon to still have fun playing racing games online with friends. I was pretty surprised when I found that, beyond leaderboards, Bang Bang Racing has no online play at all. You can still play up to four player split-screen but the lack of online is just disappointing.
The only piece of replay value in the game is the numerous skins you can unlock for each car. Unfortunately I never felt like there was much of a difference at all between cars. Despite each car having one specific special feature (better acceleration, boost etc.) I never felt like I was using a different car besides the change in appearance. This alone makes going through and unlocking extra skins seem rather pointless to me.
Bang Bang Racing isn’t a terrible game but it is boring. The handling isn’t as good as it should be and the lack of online seems bizarre. The only two positives are that it’s a nice looking game and it does sport some decent music. To be blunt I’m not sure I would recommend this to anyone at all.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here. This review is for the PlayStation 3 version of the game.
What I Like:
- The music is pretty good.
What I Dislike:
- Rubber banding AI
- Poor handling
- Camera seems to have a hard time keeping up.
- No online
- Cars don't really feel different besides how they look.