Mantis Burn Racing on PS4 – The DVDfever Review

Mantis Burn Racing Mantis Burn Racing is the PS4’s first native 4K release and for some, this will mean a lot. For others, 4K is four times better than HD: bigger, better, faster, etc.

First impressions include that the game didn’t take too long to download, which isn’t always a great sign, but as I switched it on, I was greeted to some crisp intro and a banging progressive base-filled track. I was buzzing around the living room, head bumping with my headphones – damn this is how all games should start. I had to admit that I was impressed.

After a number of hours playing through the different modes, plus multiplayer with friends and online, here are my thoughts…

Graphics are a good place to start because this is Playstation’s first 4K release and, therefore, it should be a real showcase of how crisp everything could look with such a high power system. There is a little problem though – I haven’t got a 4K Tv, so before I wrote this review, I did play it at my friend’s house who DOES have one. Hence, I must say that I have seen this game run at its full potential. And my thoughts on the graphics are… well… they are bog standard. I mean, yes, they are crisp, and yes, the colours look strong, but it’s a top-down racer (similar to Micro Machines) with backgrounds and environments that aren’t exactly made to show off the graphics. I felt myself being cut short – I mean, the Xbox One has Gears of War 4 and Forza Horizon 3, while the PS4 has this. As you will see from images/footage this game looks quite plain – the tracks are a little dull and don’t offer the table tops and bedrooms that I used to roam around in whilst playing Micro Machines. I just don’t understand why Sony weren’t in more control over their first native 4K title.

For the sound, I thought it would be good to write about something that impressed me at the start, considering how disappointed I was with the graphics, so let’s begin with the music – as I have mentioned, the first song you are greeted to is an absolute banger. Then, you move into the game and begin to race. The next track is similar… this is where I must say that the car sounds are quite standard and remind you a little bit of a toy car racing around. However, I don’t think this game was made for the realistic car sounds – it was made for fun and excitement online or with friends. When you’re playing games like this, you need a good, fluid soundtrack. So, the race begins and I find myself racing around to a track similar to the first one. Yeah, I’m nodding my head and I’m pumped. Then, the song seems to end and there’s a little bit of a pause… before the same song comes back on … seriously.

Firstly, the pause – how can a game like this have a break in the music? Makes it sound like a rubbish DJ who can’t mix properly and has to have a slight pause before he can grab an LP and place it on the decks in time. Secondly – why am I hearing the same track again? Actually, this moves us on to the biggest issue: all the darn songs sound the same. Ahh, this reminded me of one of my few ventures to a house night out. This game was getting close to being switched off as a result, but I promised myself that I would give it a proper go, so I stuck with it… purely for the sake of the review. Overall, I would give the sound a 5 as well. If they could have fixed the errors, it really could have had a great soundtrack.


Mantis Burn Racing – PS4 Pro Native 4K 60fps Analysis + Frame-Rate Test – DigitalFoundry


Gameplay: Okay, as I am sure you have noticed I really wasn’t having a great time so far playing this game. However, that was mainly due to the soundtrack and the graphics, and not so much the gameplay. The game itself played quite well and the different cars offered you a slightly different experience. I do emphasise the word ‘slightly’, as even though the data showed that certain cars had a lot more power than others, I couldn’t necessarily feel a lot more power and only a slight change. The controls are simple, which is what you are looking for in a game like this. You can go forwards, backwards, and even do a little sneaky boost which I saved carefully on the last lap (I always get nervous and begin to drive recklessly). At times, the gameplay reminded me of Micro Machines, hence the the memories of that were what I was hoping this game would provoke.

When it comes to a challenge, I found this game quite easy on single player and incredibly hard against friends. One thing I would say about Mantis Burn Racing, is that it is unforgiving. If you make a mistake you can’t rewind time and try again (a feature on a number of racing games now), so if you crash at the last minute and get stuck, you’ll probably have to accept last place. This frustrated me, but was actually pretty cool as sometimes I do feel like a cheater when I randomly rewind time just before the moment of the fatal crash…

In terms of longevity and variation, I feel this game suffers. There are a few modes, but after a little while, the single player becomes very boring and the online play just doesn’t seem to offer enough fun to keep you going. I was hoping it would make me feel as addicted as Rocket League – once it did, but the boredom set in too quickly.

What is worth noting is the game doesn’t suffer from any lag problems, and runs smoothly whether you are online or just playing at home.

Overall I would say that the gameplay deserves a 7.


Mantis Burn Racing (PS4) – Gameplay Walkthrough Part 1 – Prologue (Full Game) – Shirrako


Enjoyment is a section left until last, because it pretty much summarises everything I’ve been talking about so far. Firstly, and before I get in to the nitty gritty of it, I did enjoy playing this game for the start of my sessions. It was just after a while, I began to get bored and irritated by its unfinished design. I found myself playing in a daze and not really having fun. I suppose that is what gaming is about: having fun and if you are not having it you won’t keep on playing. What was enjoyable, however, was the initial feel and the first few races before it came samey. It was fun playing with friends and playing online… until it became samey. It was fun using different cars until… that also became samey. I think you are seeing a theme here. What frustrates me most about this game is how much of a disappointment it is for the Playstation and what sorry times it shows. No wonder the Xbox One sales have topped the charts for the last few months.

I would have to give enjoyment a 5 – I know it is only £12.99, but I still would have preferred more than a single hour of fun….

Mantis Burn Racing is out now on Xbox One, PS4 and PC/Steam, and click on the packshot for the full-size version.


Mantis Burn Racing Career Mode Part 1 – First Impressions (PC/PS4 Gameplay HD) – TheApexHound


Important info:

  • Publisher: VooFoo Studios
  • Players: single-player
  • HDTV options: up to 1080p
  • Sound: DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1


GRAPHICS
SOUND
GAMEPLAY
ENJOYMENT
5
5
7
5
OVERALL 5.5

I have been a video game player since 1993 and a music fan since I can remember. I studied Film and Journalism at university and ended up becoming a Primary School teacher. Video games changed my life and sent me on the right track and have stayed with me ever since.
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  • Ben Exell

    Regarding 4k…. You need a PS4 Pro to run this game in 4k which hasn’t been released yet…

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