Burnout with guns!!!
Amongst the more vocal gamers this is the first thing you hear said about the game Full Auto. An automotive destruction fest for the Xbox 360 that is just as frenetic as it sounds and full of high-impact weapons and explosives. Gameplay
Full Auto isn’t going to win any prizes for originality, or for innovative gameplay techniques. It borrows heavily from the idea of such movies like Deathrace 2000
and I often wonder if the developers are fans of Steve Jackson’s
boardgame: Car Wars.
What it does do, is auto-motive destruction on a scale the likes of which only Twisted Metal
ever achieved only in this case Full Auto has linear tracks and there’s no story to the game really.
The controls are typical of many racing games, accelerate, brake, hand-brake and look behind for example. Then in addition to this you have the buttons for primary and secondary weapons, allowing you to fire your machine guns and drop mines with a tap of a button. Some weapons like missiles and the shotgun can be aimed a little and operates off the right stick (press in to fire).
In addition to these controls, there’s the obligatory and definitely needed nitrous/boost and the very Prince of Persia: Sands of Time
rewinding time feature, aptly named Unwreck – and the way this game plays you’ll see a lot of that feature in action.
The game revolves around blasting the heck out of the other cars and doing as much destruction as possible, drive like a maniac and blow thing into smithereens and you’ll be getting lots of Wreck Points. There are three levels of proficiency in the game, Bronze, Semi-Auto and the Full-Auto; usually the Full-Auto requirement involves three criteria: gaining sufficient Wreck Points, blowing up a certain number of Rivals and attaining a set time.
Do well and you’ll unlock new cars, new tracks, new colours and bonuses galore. There is no prize for finishing below bronze, except the fire-laden death as your car explodes out of shame.
There is a Career mode and this is where you’ll do a lot of your unlocking, you’ll unlock new challenges as you complete out the set objectives and eventually open harder and harder race modes. The last most is aptly entitled The Impossibles, this mode has you driving to survive with one life, and no Unwreck.
Along with Career there’s the usual Arcade race mode where you can play with unlocked vehicles, weapons presets and tracks. There’s a two player split-screen option and of course you can go onto Xbox LIVE with some human opponents and enjoy the madness of automotive mayhem between eight of you (with no Unwreck, I presume the logistics of programming that lot in, would have been horrendous) as you drive to survive.
The menu system is easy to use and you can access the game settings, with a tap of the right shoulder button. Setting up a race is simple and as you progress through the game more additional options, such as Weapons Tuning, become available. Weapons Tuning allows you to run through a few presets and switch the levels of the weapons, which are graded from 1-3.
At level 1 the weapons are at their most basic, still fun and still furious, at 2 they become a little more destructive and in the case of missiles they can be aimed via the right stick. At 3 they gain another effect, usually something like fire or for missiles; they now track targets acquired at the point of ignition.
As a quick example set up, you might have a Python with a pair of .50 cal machine guns at the front and a mine layer at the back, you can set these to have level 2 each or one at level 3 and one at level 1 etc.
There are over 20 mean machines from souped up hot rods, SUVs and tuner cars to the mighty Warlord, akin to the Batmobile and just as tough to boot. Every vehicle does have stats but the handling of them seems to be a last minute feature, since the action is so fast and furious you don’t really have time to stop and test those kinds of statistics – they work – Full Auto isn’t about careful timing of turns and racing, its about leaving a pile of twisted metal in your wake and ruined buildings across the track.
These vehicles can be armed with a preset type of weapons and have various levels of armour (durability) which is shown in game by a gauge, once the front, back or side armour is lost you’re left with your car’s important bits exposed and one shot/missile or crash away from a ball of fire.
The Unwreck feature is nice, it works really well and both bars can be filled by driving and shooting like a maniac. Get enough boost and you can fly ahead of the pack, roaring off into the sunset in a motion blur effect and a scream of turbo. Take a wrong turn, smack into a wall or bite the end of a missile and you can turn back the clock, as long as the bar has some energy left in it. Many races have been won (or lost) by us as we used this feature to avoid a sneaky mine, or blast from an enemy car turning our defeat into a swerving victory.
Apart from that the game plays in a no-brainer fashion and does just what it promises on the box, you unleash all kinds of auto-motive destruction and careless disregard for other road users (the perfect Road Rage wind-down game) as missiles, mines, cannons and machine guns leave wreckage everywhere.
The only thing missing for me was a full replay feature, so a lot of the carnage could be viewed at your leisure at the end of a race. It does have a one-touch replay feature so you can see a favourite stunt again and again, but once you drive off there’s no way to save or view that stunt once more. An oversight I hope that they fix in the inevitable sequel.