When we originally reviewed Mantis Burn Racing
nearly a year ago, it was mostly positive for the game. It was a fun top down racer that offered more than a few hours of fun. Now, we have the release of the Battle Cars DLC
, a cheap DLC that turns the simple little cars into full on battling machines. Well, there's machine guns, mines and armour at least.
At its base, "Battle Cars" adds weapons and armour into the game. With three completely new vehicles to use, one of each class, these cars come equipped with a machine gun on the front, a mine launcher on the back and armour all around the outside. These are simple if not somewhat strange additions to the game; it was fine as it was so choosing to include these now (nearly a year after the game's original release) seems a strange time to add them in. It also turns the game from a simple racing game to one where you must try and dodge bullets and mines, which actually makes it less fun.
All the weapons seem to do is make the racing more chaotic and not in a good way. The weapons do not come in the form of a pickup; you have them on you all the time, which limits their ability to be used strategically. To try and combat this, you can only use your gun to shoot forward, it is only activated after you pass the first checkpoint and it will overheat if you use it for too long. Putting these conditions on the gun is a good idea in order to stop people just constantly shooting their way through the field. It's a similar story with the mines, which only activate after the first lap and of which you only get three per lap.
The problem with these weapons is that when you couple it with the slow respawning, you can die multiple times from weapon hits before you actually manage to get going again, while probably in last place by this point. The main benefit of them, though, is that it gives you a good chance to make your way through the field, so it's helpful if you do end up quite far back. If you are in the front, however, be prepared to get shot at by everyone and everything, in fact leading the race puts you at a distinct disadvantage (unless you are really far ahead). Because of this, you must now learn to race a different way and realise maybe letting someone go ahead to be able to shoot them down is actually the best option.
In addition to adding these weapons, the DLC also adds a whole new season, along with three new battle based race modes. If you want to play this new season, you'll have to download another DLC, the "Snowbound Pack", as some of the races take place in this snowy environment. Apart from that, you'll be seeing the same tracks and environments you've already played; there's nothing new when it comes to that side of things. The new race modes, however, offer some more unusual racing fun. King of the Track starts one player, the king, further ahead of the pack and it's your job to pass checkpoints while you are the king. Accumulator Rumble is similar to the normal accumulator, but blowing up cars earns extra points. Finally, Survival is how it sounds; if you get blown up you're out, and the person who lasts longest wins. These new modes help keep the new season interesting, and unlocking the usual upgrades and earning more gears makes it worthwhile.
As well as these battle cars being able to be used for this new season, they can also be used in the multiplayer races, whether it's local or online. Playing the local multiplayer against one and two other players offered the expected fun coupled with chaos. The more people in the race, the more likely the chaos, but overall it's still only as much fun as it was beforehand. For the £1.99 price tag (or regional equivalent), it's impossible to expect very much anyway and should possibly be seen as an update rather than an actual DLC.
In terms of achievements there are six to earn, some of which will come naturally and some of which will require a little more effort. You'll want to complete the whole season and earn all of the gears, which will take a combination of time and skill. Other achievements, like blowing yourself and someone else up with one mine and killing someone with the machine gun whilst in mid air will most likely come in natural play. Some of these achievements can also be done in local and online multiplayer, which will make them a little bit easier to get.
For the grand price of £1.99, "Battle Cars" adds three new cars, two weapons, three new modes and a brand new season to play through. It is a decent amount of content for such a cheap price, but unfortunately it just doesn't add that much to the actual gameplay. The weapons, though limited by overheating and unlocking after a certain time, tend to cause more chaos than anything else and take away from the actual racing. The game didn't really need weapons adding to it, leaving the DLC basically a moot point, but no doubt it will bring a little bit of fun amongst the frustration.
- Cheap price for decent amount of content
- Weapons cause more chaos than fun
- Constant weapon use takes away from the racing
- DLC doesn't add much to gameplay
The reviewer spent 3 hours gunning cars down and blowing them up with mines, earning 3 of the game's 6 achievements. An Xbox One code for the DLC was provided for the purpose of this review.