Crash Drive 3 is a cross platform arcade racing, free-roaming game designed to be played with a large number of players. Published and developed by M2H Studios, the game marks itself as the third installation in the series with the predecessors being on mobile devices and Steam. A lot of the cars from Crash Drive 2 return, with some changes made to the looks. Other familiar parts return as well from the second instalment and help provide nostalgia for a whole new generation. Crash Drive 3 isn’t exclusively online; if the player chooses, they may play entirely offline and against bots for the battle mode.
The gameplay for Crash Drive 3 is filled with 10 different game events: Coin collect, King of the Hill, Tag objects, Score, Checkpoint Race, King’s Crown, Find the Ring, Damage the Beach Ball, Cops and robbers, and the unique Tank battle mode. The first 9 listed all take place in the main 4 maps that are unlocked by exploring, collecting, and winning in the events. When the player first loads into the game, they will be forced to finish the tutorial which teaches all about the controls. The player can drift, use a recharging boost, and perform stunts off of ramps scattered around the maps. The first car is unlocked by default and is a Junker, so the player should be saving money up to buy a new car once maxing out the current car’s stats. The car levelling system in the game is fun and is a helpful gauge to how often the player should be switching cars.
There are 4 different parts to every car that can be improved by using the vehicle. The four stats are Acceleration, Top Speed, Boost, and Handling. These are very easy to max out and are displayed on screen to track. The game will also notify the player every 20% gained per each stat. The purpose of the levelling system is to save your in-game money earned from winning events since you have the choice to max the vehicle out before even driving it. This option shouldn’t be taken if the player wants to unlock and max out all of the vehicles in the game. There are currently 47 cars to unlock and max out in the base game. In order to unlock a new car for purchase, the player must max the previous vehicles. A huge benefit to unlocking everything is that all your cars will turn solid gold.
This being a primarily online game, I tried to play as much as possible with others when reviewing this game. The lobbies are auto filled and players can play across PlayStation, Xbox, PC, Nintendo Switch, and mobile. The option to switch between three regions in the game if having a hard time finding others is available, this shouldn’t be an issue when the game releases since lobbies will be filling up. The events that are random have a 30 second buffer before announcing the next one. If someone desires, they may opt out of the events, but this is the core of the game. There are hidden Easter eggs hidden through the maps, such as a fake wall in the first map with some aliens next to their space ship. There are also two types of collectibles the player can collect while not participating in events. There are 10 Rings to drive through and 10 M2H logo collectibles hidden around each map. Pausing the game isn’t an option, even in offline mode. The player can press start to check current progress of collectibles on the current map or can also see at the billboard. The billboard is where players will go to be able to fast travel to previously discovered maps and also shows the number of players in the bottom right. The 4 main maps all run events except for the tropical location. The Tropics map is explorable in free roam, but no events run since the map is intended for the battle mode which happens on platforms looming high above the islands.
The Tank battle mode is something familiar from Crash Drive 2 and players can play against bots or real people. The tanks can only shoot forward and you have to turn your vehicle to aim. This can be hard thanks to the camera shifting with reversing or accelerating since it tracks the vehicle. When traveling to Tropics and driving into the garage, which usually allows the player to switch their car or purchase accessories, shows the 10 tanks unlockable. Some require finding all the collectibles in other maps and some may be purchased. Just like the cars, the tanks get better as you progress. When the player presses start, the option to visit the garage is available. Choosing so will teleport the player and can be useful if getting stuck on the map in any area. Some of the edges of the maps have hidden away ledges you can get stuck in. Surely these will be helpful in the events for holding the crown or maybe cops and robbers. There are also accessories available for the cars: antennas, unique boost streams or some backgrounds for the License plates (tags). All the tags should display a shortened version of the players username or gamertag.
The arcade portion of the game behaves differently when playing offline. When offline, the events will be random with the exception of those that require more than one player to begin are removed. The beach ball event will require the player to inflict 100 damage to win the event. For the coin or tag events, the amount required will be set and seem to increase along with player level. If playing these events online, it will just require the player to outperform others. Giving the option to play offline is extremely helpful for achievement hunters. The achievements in the game are fun and give plenty during the first few hours of gameplay. Fifty-three achievements in total, yet the big ones will require players to win 100 events and earn $1 million in cash. Each event awards $2500 in cash for solo, and winning in public lobbies will yield more money, but the money also slides on a scale to how many are in the event and how the top 3 are rewarded. (There is currently one confirmed broken achievement in the game and a possible second, but I already contacted the developers and alerted them. They aim to fix the issue with the next update.) The lobby sizes are up to 10 players with 2 additional slots reserved for friends you may invite. It would be really nice if the events weren’t so random and if the players had control of a playlist or voting for next event. I played roughly 6 hours with others in the lobby and was rarely the robber in the Cops and Robbers event. Hopefully the influx of new players will change this.
Visually the game is simple in design, the textures look cheap and there are maybe a few dozen objects uniquely designed for each map. The level design uses large circular maps with interest being drawn to the center for each. The physics can be frustrating when driving over a small bump and losing control. Each vehicle behaves differently and I found that these small bumps didn’t prove an issue with heavier vehicles, but in turn you will lose speed with using a heavier car. The designs for all the cars are wonderful with small minor text issue like on the back of a delivery van the text was mirrored so appears backwards. Some of the cars have unique horns or sirens that can be used with the ‘B’ button. The game has been visually improved upon from its previous games adding more variety of color. The cars all look like new hot wheels toys and add to the arcade feel for the game. The player can’t interact with most of the environment though, there are movable objects but are very few in number. The first map has the most movable objects and sometimes can continue to roll long after touching a car.
Audibly, Crash Drive 3 is lacking in variety. There are wonderful sounds for the vehicles differing from each other. Not all of the horns are unique and sound the same for most, but the music is tied to the events. Being the core aspect of the game, it makes sense. When starting an event, the music will begin to play until you finish the event or it concludes and will vary from the type of event. It would be nice if the events had more variety of sounds when ending. I eventually turned the music down to be able to listen for the collectibles hidden around the map since they emit a sparkling sound effect and wasn’t missing much. The main menu music will change as it plays videos showing each map.
The longevity for Crash Drive 3 is high since there are daily log in rewards, 80+ vehicles and accessories to unlock. For the most part, players will be grinding events wins or cash alone, but the game shines with more players in the game. The point of the game is to have a small fun play session with friends or strangers to make some progress on a car. Playing on a new vehicle is fun and improves the stats. It takes usually 30 minutes of driving to max out a car’s skills so encourages smaller play sessions. The $1 million cash achievement can be grinded out or passively earned with the consecutive log in bonuses. For each day a player logs in they will receive $500 and then is multiplied by the number of consecutive days played. So, playing for just over two months each day will net you enough money without playing (rewarded at main menu). As a gauge to how long it will take, I played 12 hours before writing the review and have earned 75% so far with 130 event wins. The events will be harder to win in public lobbies, but will feel more rewarding. I also read on the store description that prestige is also in the game and isn’t an option until all cars have been unlocked. When I played early access with developers, I was seeing levels as high as 283 and their rank was golden but their cars weren’t. The levelling system is tied to how many cars you’ve purchased and maxed out. There is incentive to keep coming back to this lovely arcade indie title thanks to the challenges that renew and the daily log in reward.
My main issues with this game are the small variety of events and the camera. Driving moves the camera into place so it becomes hard to move the camera. This can make collectible hunting a bit of a chore since its hard to angle the camera easily. I’m hopeful that M2H will continue to add to the game, it would be great to add some feature or new map or events to bring players back to the game. The main demographic for this game is going to be the youth or those who love arcade racers. However, this isn’t your typical arcade racer, it plays more as a toy car collection with fun competitive events. There are a lot of cars and unlocks to gather which leads me to believe most players will get bored of the handful of maps available. I wouldn’t recommend this to the average solo player wanting to just race, this game isn’t exactly that. It’s meant to be experienced with others and even has a usable emote system with the D-pad.
In Conclusion, Crash Drive 3 is a stellar game to play with friends as the events will be more competitive. The more the merrier, but it does provide the option to play solo if you’re just working on earning cash or wins. The cross-platform system works and I’ve managed to play with players from all systems while I was on Xbox. There are small issues like the simplistic design of textures or lack of music variety when playing the game, but those can be overlooked when playing with friends and laughing about the ridiculously fun events that are random. They only ensure no repeats occur so it could be a while before seeing your favorite event show up. It would be amazing if M2H adds a playlist function in the game or allow to choose the game modes. I disliked the beach ball event when alone, but some events are easier with different cars and the game was created to play with others. The visuals and audio may be lacking in quality, but the game shines when performing stunts. Playing on the Moon map allows to perform harder tricks, so I’m sure the Stunt event will be a fun challenge in a full lobby. The maps aren’t gigantic, but are filled with Easter eggs and fun collectibles.
Crash Drive 3 is a wonderful idea of a game and plays with no major issues. The game is a wonderful addition to the series and the hard work invested by the team shows. Lovers of goofy arcade racers will enjoy.Become a Patron!
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by publisher.Want to keep up to date with the latest Xt reviews, Xt opinions and Xt content? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.