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Review

Wreckateer Review

  • Game release: July 25, 2012
  • Reviewed:
  • X360
Aaron Sampson on Google+

Wreckateer's merry destruction is backed up by enjoyable score-chasing and good Kinect controls.

From stomping sand castles to toppling block towers, most of us learn early on the simple pleasure of smashing things to pieces. Wreckateer channels this destructive delight by letting you use your Kinect to fling projectiles at medieval castles and bring them tumbling down. Collapsing these cartoony keeps is mild fun, but Wreckateer's real appeal comes from aiming your shots just right and maximizing your score. It's a puzzle game, of sorts, and the dual goals of castle-razing and score-chasing make Wreckateer an entertaining way to flex your Kinect.

You're the newest member of a three-man ballista team contracted to travel all over a fantasy kingdom and destroy goblin-infested structures. Your two AI buddies teach you the control basics, which involve mimicking the manual firing of the ballista. You grab onto it with two hands, step back to draw it taut, set your aim, and release to fire. The creak of the ballista's joints and the thunking release of your shot provide nice auditory accompaniments to your actions, and elements downrange light up to indicate where your shot will travel. The Kinect registers your movements well, affording you a good degree of accuracy that you need in order to tally high scores in later levels.

Once your shot is airborne, you can swipe at your projectile to nudge it in different directions. Simply guiding the ball into walls, turrets, and towers brings them toppling down, but there are also sneering goblins, bundles of dynamite, and floating power-ups to aim for. Tagging these things can boost your score and amplify your destructive power, so plotting your shots is as important as executing them. Early levels make it very clear what the best trajectories are, and a powerful, well-aimed shot will reap big rewards. Such straightforward accuracy can get you through later levels, but to earn high scores and better medals, you need to be more subtle with your aim, shot strength, and midair manipulation.

You must also make good use of your different shot types. Bomb shots can be detonated to wreak havoc on dense structures, while flying shots can be steered on curving and swooping paths by spreading your arms out to your sides like wings. The lift shot requires you to shepherd it along by triggering boost charges, which feels like more of a hindrance than a help. The speed shot can rocket forward with damaging momentum, and the split shot spreads into four linked projectiles. Though the camera angle on the latter can make it tricky to judge how close you are to a structure, the sheer breadth of destruction it can cause makes it a welcome addition to your arsenal.

When you pick up a hot goblin, things get a lot more explosive.

Each level has its own preset lineup of shots, so you won't always have your favorite tool for the job. Figuring out the best way to use each shot and then executing your plan gets more satisfying as the levels get trickier. You'll likely end up retrying a shot (raise your left hand) or restarting the level (raise your right hand) more and more frequently as you angle toward that perfect shot and hope for the rubble to fall your way. Wreckateer's chunky destruction modeling adds some unpredictability to each shot, but is consistent enough to make you feel capable of repeated success.

Seeing this success manifested in numerical fashion is satisfying, especially when you surge past your friends or the default high score set by Wreck Wreckington. With score-boosting shields, a destruction multiplier, and emblems for specific feats, there are a variety of ways to push your total even higher. This knowledge comes in handy when competing against a friend locally, and though the player-switching is awkwardly handled, it's still good fun to try to out-wreck your buddy.

There are dozens of levels in Wreckateer, enough to make the 800-Microsoft-point price tag seem very reasonable. The game also features a new, cross-game program called Avatar Famestar, which gives you challenges to complete in order to earn points and unlocks for your Xbox Live avatar. These activities give you more goals to strive for, if you care to, but it's the challenge of pushing your score higher and the satisfaction of causing destruction that make Wreckateer a fun summer diversion. And the best part? You don't have to clean up after yourself.

The Good
Smooth difficulty curve ramps up to challenging shots
Good variety of shot types and power-ups
Busting stuff up is fun
The Bad
N/A
7
Good
About GameSpot's Reviews

About the Author

With his Apple IIGS as the spark and his neighbor's NES the fuel, Chris Watters' passion for gaming caught fire early. Y

Discussion

33 comments
Ripper_TV
Ripper_TV

No BAD section? Talk about a bought review. ☺

idontlivehere11
idontlivehere11

The modern rating system goes 9.0 (0), 9.1 (1) and so on. Its understandable people are confused by any rating below a 9.

RighteousWoman
RighteousWoman

complain, complain, complain. Why cant some people comprehend the simple fact that reviews are SUBJECTIVE. Gamers are the worst in this regard and people wonder why gamers get so little respect. Its like a broken record that been playing for the last 10+ years. Everyone is entitled to their own subjective opinions, period. Not respecting other peoples opinions, and the fact that they have a right to that opinion, just shows a severe lack of maturity.

XanderZane
XanderZane

I'll pick this up later. Haven't tried the HD Tony Hawk. I've gotta test the controls on the XBox first as the D-Pad is a bit iffy. I might have to use my MadCatz to play it instead. Wreckateer looks like a lot of fun to me, so I'll most likely get it before next Wednesday.

Setsuka13
Setsuka13

That's why there shouldn't even be numbers. They obscure the importance of the written text more often than not.

Legolas_Katarn
Legolas_Katarn

Looking at the comments I can't believe there are so many people who don't understand how reviewing something and giving a score to something works. It doesn't have to be a 10 just because the reviewer didn't find anything worth listing under cons. 

mikemaj82
mikemaj82

nice ripoff of Pain, slingshot and all. Just a few years too late.

marlobc
marlobc

i still remember its e3 demonstration XD,that girl was hilarious  

Joeguy00
Joeguy00

Can anybody afford gimmick games or shovelware after the Summer Sales?

 

Edit: Speaking of which. This code gets you 20% off at greenmangaming

PARTP-ALCNO-TIESU. As an example it makes Mass Effect 3 18 bucks. Not bad.

TedSheckler
TedSheckler

No cons listed and still a 7? That's strange... If I didn't know any better, I would say that gamespot considers 7.0 to be GOOD.

Majkic666
Majkic666

hmm.. i would have thought it would have gotten a worse score after their crappy E3 Performance with this game

guildclaws
guildclaws

First Spec Ops The Line and now this, it doesn't have any cons but it only got a 7, this has to be one of the worst reviewer on GS

Vodoo
Vodoo

NOW Kinect gets a game I'd enjoy. Figures... I sold my Kinect last month. Bought it the day it came out, used it for 2 weeks, never touched it again. I know, that sounds exactly like the description of the Wii.  ;)

ClintCommander
ClintCommander

A "hot goblin" would be a good name for a drink or something.

Tremblay343
Tremblay343

 @FuryX-4 @feliscele  There was much in the outstanding department either.  Just because it has no notable flaws doesn't mean it has any outstanding qualities.  Also a 7 is a good score.  I don't know why people always say "only" a 7.  That's well above average.

missonrs
missonrs

The review did say a reasonable amount of levels. This means that while the game is not lackluster in levels, the game doesn’t have enough levels to justify a higher score. Just because there is no cons doesn’t mean the game is perfect. So I would say 7 sounds pretty reasonable. 

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

 @FuryX-4 @feliscele @MacBoomStick I won't expect super-high scores unless the game managed to greatly impress the reviewer.

 

That said, castle-wrecking gameplay has been around for a long, long time. This game just applies Kinect control to it.

RussellGorall
RussellGorall

Probably the price tag for a game like this describes the score. Seems like something for free on Kinect Fun Labs.

aqkamboh
aqkamboh

Very nice game and its a great achievement in this field.

FuryX-4
FuryX-4

This game review has no cons, but yet gets a 7. Interesting.....

feliscele
feliscele

....so why did it only get a 7? The only negative thing I see is player-switching being awkward.

Lazerith91
Lazerith91

 @Legolas_Katarn I almost agree with you except there was a reason he didn't give this game a 10. He should of tried to figure out what that reason was and put it in words. But yes people are making a bigger deal out of it that they should be.

SlimeSwayze
SlimeSwayze

 @mikemaj82 I hated the douchey DudeBro tone of pain and the fact that it basically only existed to hawk additional DLC.  This looks like a more fun, less annoying take on the genre, and there is nothing wrong with that.

Caravellie
Caravellie

 @guildclaws It doesn't matter if it doesn't have any cons. Pros and cons are things that stand out in a game - some games do things in the average way that you'd expect. Just because there aren't any bad things that stand out in Wreckateer doesn't mean it's an exceptional game. Read the review before declaring that Chris Watters is the worst reviewer.

twztid13
twztid13

 @guildclaws

 Do you read the reviews, or just the footnotes? Chris Watters is one of the best reviewers at GS.

FuryX-4
FuryX-4

 @Tremblay343 I have to nothing against review, just kinda questions me why it didn't have a con explaining the 7, it would help me understand what is good and what is not good, and maybe try out the demo for curiosity. Not a bad score honestly.

kkxtrouble
kkxtrouble

 @twztid13 Is there any need to ask? He obviously only reads the notes and looks at the score.

guildclaws
guildclaws

@ShockSplicer Yes but it shouldn't have gotten a 6.5 and one of those cons is ridiculous, stiff movement controls???? really???? only if you have feet for your hands and hands for your feet, the game controls are the same like every other Third Person Shooter.

Wreckateer More Info

  • Released
    • Xbox 360
    In Wreckateer, you use the Kinect to draw, aim, and fire a huge ballista in order to destroy medieval castles infested with goblins.
    6.7
    Average User RatingOut of 21 User Ratings
    Please Sign In to rate Wreckateer
    Developed by:
    Iron Galaxy Studios
    Published by:
    Microsoft Game Studios
    Genres:
    Action
    Content is generally suitable for ages 10 and up. May contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes.
    Everyone 10+
    All Platforms
    Crude Humor, Fantasy Violence