Beam Breakers
Genre Sport -> Racing
Today's Rank 29182
USA
Date 2002-06-01
UK
Date 2002-11-01
United Kingdom Retail Box ArtBeam Breakers brings the thrills of anti-gravity racing in the 22nd century to your PC. Set in the metropolis known as Neo York, you get to zip amongst the skyscrapers in a variety of vehicles, while trying to earn a reputation as one of the baddest drivers in town. A variety of modes are on offer, including the Championship, a 30-stage race around a collection of city locations marked out by a green pulsating tunnel track with checkpoints. You represent one of five gangs, aiming to put together the highest cumulative score. On your laps around the track, bonus packs can be picked up by driving through them, with the likes of Turbo pack, Repair pack and Shield available. While aiming for these, you must also avoid the high-tech architecture and the rush hour traffic, which will cause damage to your vehicle, slowing you down. It's not just racing on offer though. A collection of missions can be undertaken, which guide you through your career as a gang member. Firing off Pizza delivery boxes at targets may not make for the most enthralling start, but the scenarios soon progress, with more adventurous missions, faster vehicles and upgrades becoming available. Survival mode, where you evade police capture against the clock and Multiplayer options are also provided to keep Beam Breakers from getting stale. The controls are intuitive, if basic, with four directional keys, accelerate, brake, turbo and use/fire about the limits of your needs. It gives the game instant pick-up-and-play potential, but does prevent too much depth. The cars' handling is very forgiving, as surely all cars in the 22nd century will be. The graphics are impressive, with some nice lighting effects and detailed cityscapes to hover around. However, they lack a sense of involvement, which is compounded by the mediocre sound effects. If you were looking to design the perfect futuristic racing game, taking a pinch of Wipeout and adding a dash of Grand Theft Auto would seem to make the perfect recipe. While both these ingredients are present in Beam Breakers, there's a certain je ne sais quoi missing, which leaves a less than perfect taste in the mouth. Not to say that Beam Breakers is a bad game. It's good fun and light entertainment, but lacks the pure adrenaline that made the aforementioned games classics. --Jason Weston
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