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Gas Guzzlers Extreme Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . With a good sense of speed and a well-rounded collection of licensed cars, Gas Guzzlers Extreme makes a great first impression. Too bad it's marred by a horrible sense of humor and rubber band A.I. drivers. If you can get over these minor setbacks, you'll discover that Gas Guzzlers Extreme is a fun little racer that is exclusive to the PC! Rating: 71%
Gas Guzzlers Extreme
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  • Review Score:

  • B
Gas Guzzlers Extreme is an arcade-style racing game exclusive to the PC, a platform that isn't known for arcade-style racing games. Oh sure, Steam sees the occasional Need for Speed and Burnout ports, but these days it's the home console market that leads the charge. However, there's one developer that's ready to buck that trend. They go by Gamepires, and they seem determined to bring the high-octane thrills of arcade racing games to the home computer.

Gas Guzzlers Extreme is not Gamepires first stab at the genre. Last year they released Combat Carnage, which received mixed reviews and seemed destined to drift off into obscurity. But even with middling scores, PC gamers embraced the over-the-top racer and it quickly formed a cult following. One year later, Gas Guzzlers Extreme builds on the themes in Combat Carnage and definitively proves that Gamepires was on to something good.

Gas Guzzlers Extreme (XBLA)

Although you may not guess it from the title, Gas Guzzlers Extreme is a weapons-based combat racer. Each of the game's 18 vehicles can equip a number of high-powered weapons, from a shotgun all the way up to rockets. Your goal is to come in first, even if that means blowing up every racer that stands in your way.

The game's single-player campaign is nothing more than three tiers that have you climbing a ranked ladder in hopes of reaching first. You do this by taking on races, which are split into a few different types (each with their own point value). For example, the battle race allows you use live ammo, while the power race turns weapons off.

There are several other variations on the racing types, including knockout, which eliminates the last place player after each race. Beyond the mostly traditional races, Gas Guzzlers Extreme also features arena battles, where the goal is to be the last man standing. And don't forget about the capture the flag mode that pops up from time to time. Thankfully, the game allows players to choose what types of races they want each and every time.

Gas Guzzlers Extreme (XBLA)

There are a total of seven unique environments to race through, including desert highways, snowy mountains, the Midwest oilfields, a junkyard and more. The action is fast and Gas Guzzlers Extreme has a surprisingly good sense of speed. It doesn't hurt that there are explosions happening all around you.

Gas Guzzlers Extreme suffers from a lot of the same problems that plagued old school arcade racing games. The most glaring problem involves the computer-controlled opponents, who have an uncanny ability to sneak up on you at the very last second. It doesn't matter how far ahead you think you are, that final stretch will most likely involve a neck-and-neck struggle for first place. Rarely did I lose because of the rubber band A.I., but it's an old-fashioned problem that stood out in a bad way.

Unfortunately, Gas Guzzlers Extreme does suffer from one other problem -- a bad sense of humor. Perhaps they figured they needed a gimmick to set this arcade racer apart from Burnout or maybe it's something that is lost in translation, but whatever it is, this game is not funny. Instead of clever jokes, the developers opted for cheap gross-out puns and the type names that only work in one of Bart Simpson's prank phone calls. You get Jack Kass, Alotta Fagina, Perry Noid and other gems; each more eye-rolling than the last.

Gas Guzzlers Extreme (XBLA)

The boneheaded attempt at humor is especially bad because the game doesn't need it. The races are exciting enough to stand on their own; there is no point in doubling down with these juvenile antics. Nothing is gained by allowing players to choose announcers like Duke Nukem and Arnold Schwarzenegger, especially when they are poorly recorded sound-alikes. This does nothing but cheapen an otherwise solid racing game.

Gas Guzzlers Extreme may be a barebones experience, but it gets enough right to be an easy recommendation. The different races are fun and the presentation is explosive in all the right ways. Unfortunately the game's immature sense of humor gets in the way, but that shouldn't keep players from enjoying the game online and off.
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