I don’t like Destruction AllStars. I’ll say that straight up here and now. If you’re looking for more positive affirmation that your PS5 is being put to good use with this PlayStation Plus freebie, you won’t find that here.
The concept on which Destruction AllStars builds its game is sound; smash cars into each other. Simple.
Vehicular combat has always been a winning formula, going back to the days of Twisted Metal, Destruction Derby, and my personal childhood favourite, Vigilante 8.
But, Destruction AllStars seems to have forgotten what made these games so good in the first place. What kept us playing in the dark until the wee hours of the morning. What caused us to give our mates a dead-arm for daring to beat us in our own homes. Fun. That’s what Destruction AllStars is missing. Fun. This isn’t a fun game. It’s another grinder to throw on the pile.
You’ve probably got a fair idea of what the game is about, but let me break down the general gist.
You have a roster of ridiculous characters, each with their own special vehicle that can be unlocked during the course of a match. You drop into an arena on foot and you have to hope that you’re fast enough to grab one of the cars waiting nearby. If you’re not, you’re gonna get slammed early, or maybe even kicked by another player, unless you can get up to a platform and nab another vehicle.
Once you’ve got a car you drive around in the hope of smashing into other players, destroying their vehicles, and scoring yourself some points across the four game modes, though honestly, there may as well have been just one. At a stretch, two. But that is a stretch.
The twist here is that you can avoid total devastation by bailing out of your car at any time. You can eject, run around, find a new car waiting nearby, and then carry on with some fresh wheels. Or, you can be a total dick and steal somebody else’s car. You simply go near an opposing vehicle, press triangle to jump on, and then mash the on-screen buttons. Yay. Quick-time events in online multiplayer games. Just what we need…
And that is Destruction AllStars in a nutshell. If it sounds shallow, that’s because it is. There’s not much to it and if you’re hoping for single-player content, you best be ready to open your wallet. The game is focused on the online multiplayer grid, but there is a single-player Arcade mode where you can play against A.I controlled enemies. However, if you want the character-specific story and challenges, you’ll have to pay money. I get that the game is a PS Plus freebie, so that might not seem so bad, but if I’d have paid full price (and some people will), I’d be very, very annoyed at such basic content being locked behind a paywall. It stinks, and I do not support it, even if there are plans to make these modes “earnable” with in-game currency.
The actual mechanics of the game work fine, but there’s definitely room for some tuning. Far too often I would find myself roaming around the over-sized arenas looking for somebody to smash into – and that’s with a full match of players. You’d be forgiven for forgetting that the objective is to destroy other players’ cars, given just how difficult it can be to actually get close. When you do, though, it’s impressive how the cars mangle and fall apart, but not next-gen impressive. I’m not seeing much here that couldn’t have been done on PS4, and I’ve got a personal bet with a mate of mine that Destruction AllStars will get a PS4 port this year. You heard it here first.
The driving is functional but unremarkable, and that’s at least on-brand for the game. It’s arcadey and it’s responsive, unlike approximately half of its player base, who are either screaming into their DualSense controller because their parents have no idea how to raise a child, or, they’re standing around doing these stupid f^&king dances. You can go over and kick them, but in my experience, that tends to equal more screaming. I found the best solution was to just turn the thing off and play something else. There are better games out there.
Destruction AllStars has no depth to it. After a few short, frustrating hours, I’d seen it all and I wasn’t impressed. Over the last few weeks I’ve dipped in and out to try and find something positive, but I just can’t bring myself to do it anymore.
It’s about unlockables, looks and style rather than substantial fun. It’s catering to the new generation of gamers who find joy in stupid TikTok and Fortnite dances. Each and every character is a ridiculous caricature with equally ridiculous dances and emotes. Why? Because Fortnite did it, and Destruction AllStars wants to be Fortnite but with cars. Well, the game achieved something in that respect; just like Fortnite, I’ll never play this game again. Wreckfest is on PS Now and Gamepass, so I think I’ll be giving that a go instead. At least I won’t have to look into the gormless eyes of another soulless avatar as they’re made to do yet another stupid f&*king dance.
Destruction AllStars PS5 Review
Destruction AllStars has the basics in place but nowhere near enough depth to sustain it long term. It’s good for an hour or two, but once the initial “wow, a free PS5 game!” wears off, you’re left with a shallow, tarted-up imitation of better games that came before.
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a copy of the game provided as part of a pre-paid PlayStation Plus subscription. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Reviewed using PS5.