Hardware: Rivals shares few similarities with Rocket League, but somewhere in the build-up to its uneventful release, someone deemed it unlawful to mention Sony's unneeded car combat reboot without tacking a reference to Psyonix's soccer smash on the bumper. That opening sentence is Exhibit A.
The resemblances that it does share are comparable to those between your uncle and Daniel Craig; both games feature vehicles, for example, just like both parties of the aforementioned analogy possess male-centric anatomy. Where exactly are we going with this? Oh, right – Hardware: Rivals and Rocket League aren't really that similar at all.
And that's unfortunate because we'd probably all like to see a "sleeper hit" release more often, and so the comparisons probably stem from wishful thinking more than anything else. But alas, we can only review what's put in front of us, and Sony's latest dip into the car combat well is disappointing – even in spite of its seemingly honourable intentions.
For those not familiar with 2002's hottest bargain bin filler Hardware: Online Arena, this is a vibrant vehicular action title in which 4x4s face off against fierce looking tanks. It's a fine idea: the meatier machines are methodical but pack much more of a punch, while the nimbler Jeeps do less damage but are easier to manoeuvre.
The problem is that none of the four included vehicles are all that fun to operate.
Ultimately, the game feels like a greyhound struggling against a fixed length lead: it wants to stretch its legs, but the developer just won't let it. Even when you're using the fastest vehicle, acceleration is painfully slow, and while you can eventually unlock a perk which improves this, it still lacks the pace of the genre's superior series, Twisted Metal.
It could be argued that the developer – a new internal studio within Sony, apparently – drew inspiration from more deliberate titles like World of Tanks, but the bold primary colours and pick-up power-ups discredit any down-to-earth ambitions; Hardware: Rivals is an arcade game without any of the energy that you would expect of one.
Accentuating this are the gigantic health bars, which mean that you can be tailing a competitor for an eternity without scoring a single point. You'll be snatching up an array of generic armaments from heat-seeking missiles to EMPs, but try to unload them into a well-armoured competitor and you could have boiled a kettle by the time that you'll get a kill.
Again, the studio would probably contend that it wanted to give players time to escape and turn the tables, and it is satisfying when you pull this off – but it also makes most of the arsenal outside of the OP laser feel like it's doing next to no damage at all. For a game that's all about blowing up other cars, it sure does make proceedings uninteresting.
The modes are not much more exciting: Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Domination – you get the drill. They all get the job done effectively, but the enormous health bars mean that a lot of your kills will be nicked – although, in fairness, you'll be stealing plenty of sneaky one-shots, too. It's just the way that the game's designed.
It at least looks good visually, proving yet again that Unreal Engine 4 has atoned for its sins of the previous generation and is now a gift from the gaming gods. The maps are allegedly re-imaginings of the ones from the original game – a bit of unnecessary Hardware trivia for you there – and tend to revolve around a single, central chokepoint.
The one thing that the title does have in its favour are stage-specific specials, which trigger a countdown before the playing surface is covered in molten lava or a particularly potent frost. During these events you'll need to rush to catacombs or underground bunkers, and these are a great way of forcing all players into tiny, enclosed spaces – a recipe for rare chaos.
But even with customisable car unlocks and perks which can be equipped as you level up, the loop simply isn't strong enough that it will convince you to collect them all. Credit could be attributed to the little leaderboard-regulated challenges that prompt you to complete mini-objectives while you're going about your destructive business, but even they don't add much to the bland and bubble-less broth.
Hardware: Rivals is slow and safe – it's a far-cry from the high-octane vehicle eviscerator that we'd anticipated. Its slightest of similarities to Rocket League may have hurt it, but even if Psyonix's excellent on-wheels outing didn't exist, this would still be a pretty darn tedious title. It's a shame because it's not hard to imagine a faster iteration of the exact same game being ten times more satisfying, but ultimately Hardware's only real rival is its squandered potential.
Played a few matches and yes there's some balancing issues but the high health bar is a big problem.
came here because I though it's a game related to HomeWorld.. lol...
Add a cockpit view and Hardware Rivals would be a perfect fit for PSVR.
@whywai88 Disappointment all around, then.
Yeah... As a Plus member, I didn't even bother downloading this.
What a ridiculously forgettable title. And the game isn't much better.
Sony should've simply named this Shovelware. At least it would've gotten the attention of folks who thought it was a game about digging. Actually, that game would've been more fun: Drive around, plant bombs, dig for cover when foes get close, and dig up behind your foes and shoot the hell out of 'em.
@WARDIE If that's what VR ends up being - Sony may as well cancel the project. This isn't perfect for anything in its current form. Its bland on a tv - it will be bland on a headset.
@get2sammyb pretty much spot on, I actually like the pace - my reflexes are not what they used to be. Everything else though is exactly how I feel. I'm giving it another go on Saturday with some of the members here - likely to be the last as we have all ran back to Rocket League.
I really wish we could get a Luxoflux/Activison reboot of Vigilante 8 . I had a PS3 last gen . I understand there was one for the 360 that I missed .
I deleted it after a few game's, bit of a shame really, RL with gun's sound's pretty cool.
Deleted it too, played about 6 hours, nice but forgettable, a missed opportunity.
I played the beta thought that was fun I left my issues then to the side because it was a beta but seeing some of the same issues come up again in full release is shameful
There are some issues with the game but these can easily be sorted out by patches. Match making can pit you 1 aginst 3 but that just makes it more of a challenge and you have to make sure you pick up the right loadout to win the battles. As you level up more you can add perks to suit your style of play. The customisation which I thought was not very good at first is better once you get more salvage and levelled up more. Another low review score for a game I have enjoyed but is all subjective.
Tried it last night for about an hour before reading any reviews and it just didn't click for me, fair review and score.
When you've only got 500gb HDD you simply can't afford to keep game like this on it. Looking at 2tb's but how long before that's full ?
I don't know what's wrong with me this gen. I loved driving games from PS1 to PS3. I just can't seem to get into them so far though. I'm hoping that Gran Turismo reignites my love for them later this year. Also, are there no single player campaign people out there any more? I'm useless playing multiplayer. CoD campaign- headshots, badass etc. Multiplayer- proper noob, can't shoot for [email protected]@t lol. There's usually some scrote that literally eats, sleeps and breathes CoD and spends every waking hour on it. Shoot him 6 times in the head, nothing. A flesh wound from him, gangrene and your head falls off, dead lol. I'm getting old aren't I
@blakey78 Driveclub is a decent game have you tried that? The multiplayer on The Last of Us is a bit more tactical and slower paced than COD so might be worth a go. Getting old starts when you talk about the good old days of...oh well not old just maturing
What a shame, thought this might be capable of tearing my attention away from Rocket League. Ah well, thankfully RL still gets more fun the more I play it!
@dryrain Didn't know the last of us had multiplayer. Mind you I was emotionally exhausted after finishing it so I could have missed it. I must admit that I tend to give any multiplayer game a miss based on the assumption that it's just going to be as frustrating as the likes of CoD. The only time I've ever felt the urge to use my dualshock as a projectile is whilst playing MP lol. I'll check TLOU out though, thanks. As for driveclub, I did enjoy it, and it's definitely visually stunning. It just didn't grab me like Gran Turismo did on previous consoles. I would spend hours retrying tracks over and over trying to shave milliseconds off my time. Also collecting and improving my vehicles. I loved NFS most wanted. I've found the NFS games this gen a little underwhelming. The crew was pretty good, project cars too. I just don't have the appetite that I used to. Ah well, not complaining as the games I am interested in more than keep me busy. This year looks to be the best so far for gaming (of all tastes). Gona be expensive, but ultimately worth it.
@blakey78 The Last of Us multiplayer is actually surprisingly good. If you ever liked SOCOM or games of that ilk, it comes highly recommended.
Why does Sony give us this mediocre game when something like Rebel Galaxy deserves far more attention and far more people playing it?
Interesting to see the specific phrase "leaderboard-regulated challenges" in both reviews I have read on this
Disappointing to see a widely negative response from people, I really liked playing the PS2 original and can't stand the frantic trend that multiplayer vs games have to follow these days.
@MikLSP Bet they used 'the' and 'but', too.
@get2sammyb those are not quite the same specific and otherwise rarely seen phrases though are they
I don't think anyone used the words "rumbled" or "touchy", haha, all I said was it was interesting...like that reaction
not sure what expectations were for this game, but I would like to draw some attention to something the negative comments may not realize. This game is basically unreal tournament in vehicles. It's not trying to be anything else at all. From the weapon pick ups to the health bars and map layouts, it is an unreal tourney style of game through and through. If you enjoy that style of a game then you would enjoy this game quite well. Not saying anyone here is wrong, it is as subjective as anything in life. Don't bash it for not being something it was never intended to be. Nice read, enjoy.
@iDangerMouse_ Thanks Danger ,yea I'm going to have to get one. Keep having to delete stuff that I don't want too , last week was Plants v Zombies and Planetside 2 which I've never even played yet but would've one day ! The wife's even said we need one so nothing stopping me now !
What's sad is that this is the Ps4's first exclusive to be released in 2016, which is kinda a bad start for the Ps4 in exclusives(who made this game anyway?). The only way to get this game right on track is with patches but for now, Rocket League is the only vehicular Combat game worth playing on next gen consoles. Also, what really pisses me off is that for a game about shooting cars, tanks, and causing explotions, there is zero levolution and it's 5v5. Why not 10v10, for goodness sakes?
Though, I think the game's problems were spot on since these were encountered in the beta but I guess the devs just didn't gave a s***. Not only that but the game also looks rushed (4 months and a half I think they working). Although, I don't think is the game's fault (probably). I think it could be Ps Plus what rushed the game. I mean, I DID happened with Dragon Fin Soup and Zombie Vikings.
Right now, I think is best for Sony to make a Twisted Metal game for the Ps4, either remake or sequel. Hell, I wouldn't mind if they remastered Twisted Metal 2012 as long if is better than H:R.
I honestly kinda like it xD Didn't play enough but I would rate it like 7/10 right now...
Maybe it was because I was getting first place everytime xD
Clearly my review is posted years after the Push Review but wanted to share my experience. This was my first free game after buying my ps4 about 4 years ago. And It remains one of my favourites. It's the type of game that requires you to learn the maps, how to use the primary and secondary weapons and when to run for dear life when you need to. There are a lot of strong players that still play the game so you will die a lot when you first start playing and you need. There are a lot of previous reviews saying they install the game and play for a few hours and delete it, this is a mistake. You need to clock up about 30 hours of game play so you can master all the skills I mentioned above
Despite what is written above about the game being slow, the game is actually fast paced, and requires skills and the 15min rounds fly by
IMHO rocket league doesn't come close to the fun of this game. Ignore all the negative comments above and give the game a try, also includes and easy platinum which is a bonus
Give the game a try, would love to see you guys there
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