I don’t know about you guys, but I always get a little niggle when I start playing a new game series at a high number. Luckily, in this case, there doesn’t appear to be any overarching narrative. No, what we have with Crash Drive 3 from M2H is a pure arcade hit; a brainless drive-em-up where anti-social behaviour and ridiculous stunts are not only welcomed, but are indeed mandatory. So come with me to a world of boost, biomes and blistering speed…
First off and it should be mentioned that Crash Drive 3, while it can be played offline, comes alive only with a bunch of like-minded hooligans online. The controls are simplicity themselves: one trigger makes you go quicker, the other slows you down and makes you go backwards. A boosts, X is your handbrake and that’s about it.
When I said in the introduction that this is an arcade-style game, I really meant it: you can soon be jumping off a cliff, boosting and then doing ridiculous flips and spins before landing on your wheels and driving off, like you were in the finest Fast and Furious movie. Stunts, when you land them, give you much-needed currency, which you can put towards either new cars or the price of admission to other worlds. Gaining access to the other worlds is not just a matter of accruing money, however. You see, as you drive around each world, you will notice green rings floating in the air, usually over a building or in a crazy position in mid air. Your task, in order to go to the next world, is to collect 8 of the 10 rings, and to ensure you have plenty of money in the bank.
Getting cash is a big ask in Crash Drive 3, and luckily the mini-games that start every 30 seconds or so are the key to amassing a fortune. There are 10 different mini-games to take part in, from damaging a beach ball (which isn’t easy when there are a bunch of other petrol heads boosting at it at the same time!), right the way up to an almost serious race, seeing you hitting gates in order to win. There are stunt challenges too, and collecting games, and so on.
Honestly, after a while, these mini-games do get a little annoying, especially when you are lining up a big jump for the last green ring, and the game teleports you to the start line of a race. It’s possible to beep your horn and cancel the teleportation, leaving you to drive to the start line, but breaking the flow brings frustration. Also, another annoyance is that if you are engaged in a mission, there is a marker over the car in the form of a giant arrow, that points where you need to go. Each time a mini game starts, it points to the game instead, making it difficult to progress in the mission you are trying to achieve.
Graphically, Crash Drive 3 is very nice indeed, with a very good field of vision and great draw distances. The car view is fixed above and behind in a third person style, with the only exception being when you reverse, when the camera swings to the front of the car. This camera is however another bone of contention, as you can’t swing it around as freely as you’d expect. You can’t have the camera behind the car while going backwards, so it make lining up jumps a bit of a hit and hope ordeal. You have to be driving forward to see what’s in front of the car, if you follow me, and that leads to many missed jumps in tight spaces. Otherwise it’s all decent enough though and the audio is fine as well; with honking horns and revving engines, it very much sounds the part.
The gameplay is the star here though, especially playing with other people. In a great move, Crash Drive 3 is set up with cross-play right from the start, so you are never sure if the guy you are trying to steal the crown off is on Xbox, PC, Switch or even PS4, and the way it works is absolutely seamless. Tearing around, ramming other folk, performing stunts and generally having a whale of a time is very enjoyable, and beating others in a stunt contest delivers a great feeling.
The offline mode, should you not be feeling sociable, plays out in exactly the same way except the goals in the mini-games are changed a bit, with it giving you a target to beat in order to win and gain pennies. Other than this, it’s actually easier to hunt the rings in this game mode to be honest, as there’s no-one trying to ram you all the time.
Crash Drive 3 is a fun little game. There’s not a huge amount of longevity here, especially not once you’ve unlocked all the worlds, yet it’s all good as a quick pick up and play affair, before forgetting about it again. Playing with friends is always better than strangers, but even if no one you know is online, with cross-play support it’s easy to get into quite intense contests.
Crash Drive 3 is now available for you to burn rubber in, on Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One