Compared to previous generations, the PlayStation 5 launch lineup was fairly solid. It featured some high-quality cross-gen games like Spider-Man: Miles Morales, and was headlined by the exclusive, gorgeous Demon's Souls remake. Even so, the PS5 launch lineup was lacking true exclusive games, with one of the planned launch exclusives, Destruction AllStars, delayed at the last minute with promises to bring it to PlayStation Plus. And it's a good thing that happened because there would have likely been a lot of unhappy customers if they had paid $70 for such a content-deficient game.
Destruction AllStars is free to PS Plus subscribers for at least two months, but it's hard to see how the game can ever transition to a full-priced title as was originally intended. An online-focused vehicular combat game, Destruction AllStars gives players a measly four game modes to play online at launch, and only two of them can actually be played in a party with friends.
At launch, the Destruction AllStars online multiplayer modes include Mayhem, Gridfall, Carnado, and Stockpile. Mayhem is the standard game mode, where the only goal is to smash as many enemy cars as possible to rack up points. Gridfall is about knocking players in a pit, whereas Carnado has players collecting gears, which can then be deposited in a tornado in the middle of the arena. And finally, Stockpile is similar to Carnado in that players are collecting gears, except they have to leave their cars to collect them and there are three points on the map where they must be delivered.
Carnado and Stockpile scratch the same itch, and unfortunately, those are the only two modes that are available to play in a party with friends. Mayhem and Gridfall are solo-only modes, and while Gridfall's solo exclusivity is understandable, it's bizarre that there is no team version of Mayhem. It's a major oversight that hopefully, the developers will rectify in future updates as new content is added to the game.
Developer Lucid Games has already fixed a troubling Destruction AllStars voice chat issue, so the developer is clearly quick to address fan concerns. But besides quick fixes for technical problems, Lucid Games' support will likely also include new content updates. This should hopefully help with Destruction AllStars' lack of game modes, as well as its lack of arenas. Addressing these areas will go a long way in making Destruction AllStars a more worthwhile experience so that players have more to do while smashing cars into each other.
The main gameplay hook of Destruction AllStars is wrecking vehicles, and to its credit, this aspect of the game works great. Players zip around the arenas at top speed, carefully initiating thrusters to smash into opponents at the right time to maximize damage. While the game modes may all have slightly different objectives, they all boil down to driving around and crashing cars, and so it's good that this part of the game works well and is fun.
Destruction AllStars sets itself apart from other vehicular combat games through its roster of playable characters. Taking cues from hero shooter games like Overwatch, Destruction AllStars has 16 drivers, all with their own unique special abilities, vehicles, and distinct looks. The Destruction AllStars special vehicles can be a blast to drive around in, and the abilities associated with them add an extra layer of strategy to the game, as players have to determine the most opportune time to activate them. None of Destruction AllStars' playable characters are locked behind a paywall, so players can choose whoever appeals to them the most.
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