Danger Zone Review (PS4)
Remember the good old Burnout games? In particular I want to talk about the Crash Mode of Burnout 2: Point of Impact. It was the best, right? You were given a busy intersection with the goal of navigating your way through and causing the most carnage and destruction possible. Wouldn’t it be great to relive those glory days? Well Danger Zone is here for that exact purpose!
Danger Zone, developed by UK based independent studio Three Fields Entertainment, is the companies third release and is available on both PC and PS4. The game, built on the Unreal Engine, is essentially a carbon copy of the Crash Mode from the early Burnout games. Danger Zone, however, is set within a crash testing warehouse and treats all the levels as if they were a simulation. Your job as the test driver is to smash into as many vehicles as possible, with medals earned for different levels of carnage.
There are a selection of collectables to pick up en route. Each stage will have three bronze cash collectables and two silver. If you manage to collect all five then a gold one will appear. Successfully collect that one and you get a Grand Slam bonus worth $5million! The other type of collectable you get in Danger Zone is the Smashbreaker. Smashbreakers let you blow your car up! When you do so, you can use some aftertouch to help you navigate around the scenario. Come into contact with any other cars while using a Smashbreaker and they will instantly blow up, and throw you up in the air a bit further. Tactical use of the Smashbreaker is the only way you will be able to pick up that Grand Slam bonus and go for the high scores.
As you can see in the above video, the graphics of Danger Zone are not exactly breathtaking. The vehicle models all appear to be fairly low poly and almost as if they were free assets available from some 3D model repository. The setting, as mentioned above, is all within a warehouse, so there’s nothing to look at in terms of scenery. Or natural light. One graphical effect that is quite nice is how the levels build in, making it feel as if it is in some sort of holodeck computer environment.
At first I was worried that there wasn’t going to be much depth to Danger Zone. The first set of levels has nine total scenarios and each of these can be completed with relative ease. However, once you have achieved at least a bronze medal in each, you can progress to Test Zone 2. In here the challenges become a lot harder to even score a medal in, far less get up to the higher end of the leaderboards. Earning Grand Slams become almost a requirement in some of these, making it quite the challenge. The only drawback then becomes the fact that you can’t progress in the levels until you have unlocked a medal. So if you get stuck on a level, you can’t just go off and try the next one and your progress is invariably blocked. Oh, and there’s a Test Zone 3 if you do manage to pick up those medals.
Then we come to the biggest problem I have with Danger Zone. It’s name. The minute I hear the words Danger Zone I instantly think Top Gun and Kenny Loggins. So it comes as a massive shock that there is no soundtrack in Danger Zone. The only bit of audio in the game, other than car engines and explosions, is the small jingle that plays when the Three Fields Entertainment logo appears at the beginning of the game.
Despite the low-key graphics, the lack of soundtrack and obvious plagiarism, I fully enjoyed my time with Danger Zone. It brings back a lot of nostalgia and is great for a quick pick up and play game when you can’t think of what you would like to play. At about £10 on either Steam or the Playstation Store you could do a lot worse…
6.5 smashbreakers out of 10