When I first heard about Mantis Burn Racing and saw it was a top-down racer my thoughts went back to the old racers that had a fixed camera, and how much I disliked that style. Thankfully while that is one camera option for this game, it turned out I was going to be pleasantly surprised.
With Mantis Burn Racing the camera can be set to follow your car, which in itself can also be an odd experience, but one that is much more playable. The reason I say odd is because Mantis Burn Racing has a focus on drifting and finding the best line to take some pretty extreme corners. This can lead to the camera veering wildly in all directions and if you lack concentration it can be quite dizzying.
Find the right level of concentration though where you focus in front of your car to predict your correct angle of drift and you are in your element. At first the default car you are given will lack speed and grip, but this is soon fixed with the use of the RPG style levelling up that is at work behind the scenes. Even if you lose races, you’ll be gaining XP which unlocks new cars, unlocks new levels, and more importantly provides boosts for your vehicles. These come in the form of upgrades such as grip, engine and nitro boosts. These can be added to the car, and even stacked up to provide plenty of power for the races.
The idea of these upgrades, and the ability to purchase new cars is to promote longevity in the game. To keep progressing through the seasons you’ll need to be at sufficient levels and have enough cogs to move on. This leads you to go back to previous seasons to make sure you have maxed out each race. Coming first is one result you have, but there are also challenges such as drifting for a set number of meters, getting a lap time, and even taking shortcuts. With improved cars, moving back to these levels become much easier than previous attempts.
In terms of graphics, Mantis Burn Racing has caught a lot of attention because of the fact it will be one of the first games to use the PlayStation 4 Pro’s 4K graphics ability. While the game does look graphically impressive, or as much as it can for being a top down racer, it isn’t going to really show off what 4K graphics really look like. I could be proven wrong on this though, I guess we’ll have to see.
With both local and online multiplayer available, people are definitely going to have a lot of fun with Mantis Burn Racing but it will be interesting to see just how much longevity is in the game. There is a feeling of finality when all of the seasons in the game have been completed and while the tracks are interesting enough, there are only so many times you can race on them before they feel a little old. Right now though on release, the amount of racing you’ll do will make it worth asking price.
Mantis Burn Racing is a game that feels like a throwback to arcade style racing games of the past, while still looking like a current generation racer. While it isn’t going to blow apart the world of racing and be a title that rejuvenates the top down racer, it does what it does well and is fun. If it’s already caught your interest, it is well worth investing in, especially if you have some friends to join in the fun.
Mantis Burn Racing is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC now.