Mantis Burn Racing continues to expand it’s DLC roster with the addition of Battle Cars into the already brimming top down racer from VooFoo studios. Adding new classes of vehicle, new modes and new mechanics, it’s quite a sizeable update and promises a different gameplay experience too. What it needs to be careful of is building on the core experience and not changing what makes the game fun in the first place, so does it manage that?
Mantis Burn Racing surprised us slightly with how enjoyable it made the top down racing by injecting an element of realism to a genre typically dominated by Micro Machines clones, and then they followed up with the great value Snowbound and Elite Class DLC’s to extend the game. Battle Cars takes it to the next level by giving each player machine guns and mines and lets you blast your opponents off the track instead of simply leaving them in your dust. Jumping, drifting and overtaking still feature and build your boost meter to get that burst of speed, but really this is now about tactically using your arsenal to get ahead and stay at the front of the pack.
Spread over the tracks already in present in the game, but with 3 totally new cars to choose from, there’s an entirely new single player league to keep you busy that takes the existing race modes and adds King of the Hill, Accumulator Rumble and Survival into the rotation to master. All of these are there for you to pick from in single race and online too. It makes for quite a different experience from the standard racing, not least because it seems a lot harder. Given that you’re starting from scratch with new vehicles that are yet to be upgraded, the first few races take some working at. Each of the opponents appear to be faster and more accurate than you can be, and it’s more luck than skill that gets you to the podium. Persevere though and once you’ve tinkered with the new parts and got comfortable with the timings needed to shred the challengers with your cannons, things become more manageable.
Battle Cars is a little rough round the edges though. Whilst the chaos on screen is enjoyable when it’s happening, the lack of rubber banding in the AI means you can spend long sections of races trundling around on your own with no one in sight. I’m all for racing games that don’t artificially restrict your progress, and that works well in the core game, but with combat you really want someone to fight against. The forward mounted machine guns are satisfying and have a nice cooldown period that stops you from rapid firing constantly, and mines are easy to drop on the racing line with three available to cause havoc each lap. Things aren’t necessarily smooth from the point you get taken out – it should be a quick reset to track but on more than one occasion I seemed to get held in place just blowing up over and over again.
Mantis Burn Racing Battle Cars is a nice addition to the game and at the price they’re selling it for it’s worth a punt. It makes for a harder racing experience and can be frustrating, though there’s a lot of extra content to keep going at. If you’ve enjoyed the other DLC’s then definitely get behind the wheel on this.
A review code for the Mantis Burn Racing Battle Cars DLC was provided by VooFoo’s PR team, and is available now on PS4, Xbox One and PC for £1.99.