Destruction AllStars PS5 Review

March 3, 2021 by  
Filed under Features, Reviews & Features, PS5

Game: Destruction AllStars Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe

Developer: Lucid Games Genre: Action Players: 1-16  Age Rating: 12+

Other console/handheld formats: N/A 

Related sites: Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe, Lucid Games, Destruction AllStars

There was a point in time when many of us didn’t have a clue as to what Destruction AllStars was all about. Yes, we knew it was going to be a multiplayer focused vehicular combat game with cartoon-like characters that includes on-foot gameplay, but other than that details were rather thin on the ground for a while following the game’s announcement. When things did become a bit clearer, the game showed some promise, and the reveal that it would be initially released on PlayStation Plus as opposed to the planned full £70 release was also met with open arms as well as relief. It has also recently been revealed that once the game leaves PlayStation Plus it will only cost around £20.

With all the above said, as it turns out Destruction AllStars is hardly full to the brim with content at launch, but there’s still enough here to have fun with it for the next few months or so, although new content will be delivered in due course. While modes and arenas (only four and three, respectively) are somewhat limited right now, with 16 characters and differing vehicles, there’s still definitely plenty to get used to. With 18 hours of gameplay time and over 100 matches in the bag, I’m also finding the game really quite addictive, which is always a good sign.

Each round of Destruction AllStars begins with on-foot players dashing towards vehicles, and whenever you hop into a vehicle its decal quickly changes to the colours of your character, which gives a nice identifiable touch to proceedings. It’s a game that combines on-foot gameplay as well as driving, although let’s start with the arcade-style driving. 

Destruction AllStars

Hitting team mates during a team-based game doesn’t damage your vehicle.

The core driving experience offers a fun time, and is of the pick-up-and-play type. Crashing into opponents is satisfying, and the game is nicely designed in the way that vehicles feeling really quite disposable, with you having to change vehicle frequently (more about this later). You can also make use of a forward or side boost slam (this can also be used to dodge out of the way of a potential crash), which deals extra damage if you are able to hit an opponent, although each one has a short cooldown period. It’s all good, simple fun, and it’s nice that there’s skill and timing involved in the action. You also get access to a unique hero vehicle which comes available over time, and taking control of these allows you to make use of their special Booster skills, whether it’s speeding a vehicle up, reinforcing its armour, cutting an opponent’s vehicle in two, clouding the view of opponents, leaving a trail of fire behind it, or even turning invisible. They really can be the difference maker in a competitive match-up, and using them to their potential while you have got them is of tremendous importance.

Destruction AllStars has four multiplayer modes for up to 16 players. Firstly, we have two solo modes in Mayhem and Gridfall. Mayhem is all about crashing into and wrecking your opponents to score points. Scoring can be achieved in many different ways such as based on the severity of damage to an opponent, ruining vehicles (more points is rewarded if it happens to be a hero vehicle), running an on-foot opponent over, destroying an empty vehicle, stealing vehicles or shaking an opponent off your current vehicle etc. Based on all of this, a good match really does feel rewarding because of this. Gridfall, on the other hand, is more of a survival mode, although the arena gets smaller by losing portions of the floor and you only get one life, with extra respawns eventually rewarded to you through crashing into opponents.

As for the two team-based modes, these include Carnardo and Stockpile. In the aforementioned you and your team generate gears by crashing into and destroying your opponents, and the more you do this the more gears your current vehicle will earn (standard vehicles can store up to 50 gears at once, while hero vehicles increases the total to up to 80 gears), and you can then deposit these gears for your team by blowing your vehicle up at a central tornado point in the arena. With the latter said, it’s definitely a risk versus reward mode, as losing your vehicle means losing the gears that you have accumulated in said vehicle, and seeing an opponent with lots of gears makes them someone that is worth chasing down. Finally, Stockpile is basically the game’s control mode, with you taking gears to three control points in order to take control of them, although at this point in time it seems to be the least popular mode in the game. 

All the modes in the game are certainly fun enough, although what adds a little spice to them is the fact that the game includes some on-foot gameplay. If your car is destroyed you are forced out of it, but it’s also possible to leave your car at any time (you can leave by normal means or even eject yourself up into the air), which is convenient for a number of situations. Obviously, with all them vehicles whizzing about the arena, you are more vulnerable whenever you are on-foot, with it just taking a single vehicle slam to KO you, losing you valuable time as you wait to respawn. There’s perks, though, as you can clamber out of a damaged vehicle before it is destroyed and take command of a healthier one, with the potential to steal an opponent’s vehicle (scoring you extra points and giving you the opportunity to take or destroy the vehicle if you are successful) or to take control of a freshly spawned one. You are also able to pick up shards when travelling on-foot, which helps speed-up your Breaker meter charge. Like the hero vehicles, on-foot characters have their own skills (or Breakers) to set them apart from one another, with some dropping obstacles, others becoming invincible, and so on. Activating Breakers also makes characters run faster and gives you access to double jumps, allowing you to, say, reach a higher vehicle quicker from the ground without having to use a wall run beforehand or having to jump from somewhere else in order to get to it.

One of the issues with the on-foot gameplay is that while you are able to barge into any other on-foot opponents to knock them over as well as make use of their unique Breaker skills, the game could really have done with some sort of proper fighting system also, as the barge often feels really quite useless. Some simple fisticuffs would also add in some extra variation to the on-foot gameplay.

Destruction AllStars

Levelling up will earn you in-game cash, which can be used to purchase cosmetic options, emotes and more for each of the characters.

Destruction AllStars is also feeling a little unbalanced right now, with some characters being clearly better than others, although I’m sure Lucid Games will be able to get on top of this based on the player feedback that they’ll receive over time. On a better note, at least the characters offer cheerful and varied designs (some wonderfully bizarre), and good work has been implemented in some areas to help balance things out, with a good example being one of the hero vehicles having a destructive ability that needs charged before use, whilst other abilities don’t last as long as others, and so on.

As for single player content, Destruction AllStars can be played against the AI in any mode, and there’s also the Challenge Series. There’s a number of Challenge Series’, although sadly you are only able to play one and have to pay for the rest. The seven challenges present are fun enough though, although purchasing the rest (there’s currently two available) could be rather pricey for what you get. Not a huge complaint for a game that is currently being offered as a PlayStation Plus title though.

Destruction AllStars has a small number of issues right now, although what I can’t take away from it is that it also offers a plentiful amount of simple, chaotic and addictive fun inside its destructive arenas. Developer Lucid games has managed to combine driving and on-foot gameplay to good effect. The simple thing of crashing into opponents is also good fun and the four modes are enjoyable. Finally, the game has a well-developed scoring system that allows you to score points in a number of ways, which adds to the satisfaction. With more content and better balance, this is a destructive sport that might just manage to capture and retain its audience over time.