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Crash Time 4: The Syndicate: How It’s Like Burnout, Gran Turismo 5 And Driver


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Adam Barnes

We had a brief hands-on with PQube’s latest open world racer to find out how the upcoming driving game could be a jack of all trades, but master of none.


Published on Mar 27, 2012

Many won’t have heard of Crash Time 4: The Syndicate despite it being on a fourth outing already, but it could well provide a little bit of every kind of racer around. We had recent hands-on with PQube’s racer, and here’s what we thought:

Crash Time 4’s Open World Is Like Burnout Paradise

Most racing games these days seem content to drop you into a track or force you down very specific routes; not Crash Time 4. There are markers that lead the way, of course, but if you know a secret route or can shave off a few seconds by taking an alternate path then feel free. There is an issue in that each district seemed segregated – which could be a little jarring in the full game.

Crash Time 4 Has Driver Style Missions

It’s a shame about Driver: San Francisco. We’re partial to some classic Starsky And Hutch style shenanigans, but Tanner’s latest outing just failed to capture what that really meant. During our hands-on with Crash Time 4 we had plenty of opportunities to take part in high-speed chases, cause unexpected pile-ups and even track down concealed stunt jumps – without any of that nonsense ‘shift’ mechanic getting in the way.

Race Around A Realistic Recreation Of Cologne

Perhaps not the most traditional of choices, Crash Time 4 eschews the more typical racing game settings of San Francisco, New York or Paris. Cologne isn’t exactly well known for a history of car chases and vehicular based excitement – but perhaps that’s the point. It’s clearly targeting a German market and there’s no denying that Crash Time 4 is authentic in that sense, though hopefully the numerous autobahns of the city won’t grow tiresome.

Gran Turismo 5 Style Races Are Also Included

If open world antics aren’t enough for you, there are even traditional race events replete with dynamic racing line and aggressive opponent AI. We only had the chance to attempt one of these tracks, though we could return to try and beat our times. Whether this will affect the realistic representation of Cologne – admittedly we’re not quite sure just how many different racetracks there are in the city – but it proves that Crash Time 4 can offer all types of racing.

An Arcade Feel To Missions

Despite the underlying physics engine tying Crash Time’s racing together, the missions themselves are a little more arcadey in their approach. This might range from simply heading through a set of checkpoints while causing as much damage as possible, or the more taxing high-speed chases with spike traps and armoured vehicles but it’s strangely refreshing to have only one objective to contend with – hopefully the final game can maintain that level of excitement.



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Xbox 360
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dtp Publishing
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Summary: Of course it's a budget title so you shouldn't expect the world, but what we've played so far has enough elements to appeal to everyone.
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