Break Arts II (PlayStation 4)
Break Arts II is a mech racing game developed by MercuryStudio. The series started out on mobile devices as Break Arts: Cyber Battle Racing back in 2015. The game is a high speed racer with a heavy emphasis on customization. Break Arts II released on PC in 2018 with a PS4 port releasing December 2nd 2021.
The main portion of the game is a racing game which lets you race your custom mech at ridiculous speeds through the games courses. Your mechs also have weapons to destroy anything in the way of you and 1st place. This all makes for a very fast paced racer with a surprising amount of depth. The games speed reminds me of the Wipeout games in the best way possible. The racing is also fairly beginner friendly as acceleration is automatic so all you need to worry about is getting around the track in one piece. Where the games depth comes in is in the boost system, deciding when to go all out on boosting and when to slow down is key to success. One aspect of the gameplay that felt frustrating was how quickly your mech could be destroyed by enemies, putting you out of the race temporarily. Despite this, the racing portion of the game is fun and is a good showcase for the games main attraction: your custom built mechs.
The games real strength lies in its customization systems, which let you customize your own personal mech to your hearts content. You start out with a fairly basic mech but as you level up you unlock more and more parts to add to your mech, changing both its look and how it plays. You can choose whatever stats matter to you, you could make a lightning fast but fragile mech or a slower one that can take a lot more punishment. This customization system has a lot of depth that allows people to make their ideal mech to race around the games courses. This all feels daunting at first but once you start to customize your mech you start to pick it up fairly fast. One feature I would’ve liked is the ability to view other players creations as people will have made some incredible creations with the systems. Overall I feel the customization aspect of the game is fantastic and gives people the chance to make their own personal mech.
The game is split into four main modes, Online Race, Breakarts Grand Prix, Quick Race and Time Attack. These modes are pretty self-explanatory with Quick race being your standard single race, Breakarts Grand Prix being a longer set of races and Time Attack tasking you with getting around the games tracks as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find a match in the online mode which is a shame as playing racing games against human opponents is where the genre is at its best.
The games soundtrack is just as upbeat and fast paced as the gameplay and fits the game well. Each track has its own theme which feel distinct from each other without feeling out of place, this helps a lot to help the game feel fresh. However the games announcer can be distracting in races as it calls out loudly every time you’re low on boost or whenever you take a hit. While this can help you keep track of things, its usually unnecessary as you probably already know if you’ve been hit or ran out of boost. The games visuals opt to go down a more stylized route than a realistic approach. The mechs themselves look great and really pop on screen. Unfortunately, in races other mechs are represented by a diamond which is disappointing as the mechs of the game are the main selling point and the only way you see other mechs than your own is in the top 3 podium at the end of races. The tracks themselves have bright colors and focus on the track itself rather than scenery around it. Personally, I think the tracks look great and fit the games style better than more themed tracks would. Overall, I feel the games presentation as a whole is good despite some frustrating design choices.
Overall, Break Arts II is a solid racing game with a fantastic customization mode to go with it. However, the weapons of the game along with the games announcer can be frustrating at times. The game is definitely worth a try if you’re looking for a game with in-depth customization and high speed racing.
A solid racing game with a great customization system to create the mech of your dreams and race it at incredibly fast speeds.
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