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Fuel is a strangely ambitious project for a driving game. The developer has built a vast open space set in a post apocalyptic world where Fuel is the commodity for everything.
The player can either free roam at will through a variety of fields, woodlands, mountains and coastlines driving between basecamps where different races are available. The reward for winning is fuel which may be used to purchase additional items.
Racing is fundamentally the point of the game and this is a racer that is certainly like no other. There are a myriad of vehicles to drive and the point of the race is predominantly to get through a serious of checkpoints whilst choosing anyway you like to get there. It is this that proves to be both the best and worst parts of the game.
The concept is a great one as you plot your way through abandoned farms, up and over valleys and through dense woodland to reach the checkpoints first. The ai however does tend to stick to the roads which results in a somewhat stunted challenge as you will probably never see an opponent vehicle which does lessen the excitement.
The graphics are capable without being special and the same could be said of the controls. The music is the usual heavy affair but despite the grand plan of a ginormous race area the game just seems eternally empty with actually very little to do.
Overall this is a steady title which is a good idea but just doesn't quite fulfill its grandiose claims.
The world is torn apart by global warming, and civilization breaks into a post-apocalyptic state, this is the world of Fuel. While that all sounds nice, Fuel is your basic racing game with a interesting story thrown on top, there are a lot of nice things in the game, but there are a lot more aspects of the game that are left wanting.
The graphics are beautiful in Fuel, despite the fact that the world is constantly dying around you, there are some beautiful effects going on with the day night cycle as well as the random weather mechanism making the most of the games engine. With over 5 thousand square foot of area in the game, most of it is rather bland and boring, while it looks nice there isn't much going on at all, although the terrain does play a big role in how the vehicle looks. You'll be driving through mud and slowly but surely your car will get dirty and muddy and so on and so on for the other terrain types such as sand and water. The vehicle are also nicely designed and each one has their own twist on themselves.
This is where the game starts to lack, the whole feel for the actual driving feels weak and puny, at points when you are suppose to be driving multi ton monster trucks you'll feel just like you were driving a motorbike as the vehicle handles so lightly and can jump into the air so easily, none of the vehicle have any weight to them whatsoever. The GPS can also be rather frustrating, with the game being the open world type where you can really go anywhere you want as long as you hit the checkpoints and finish, it makes no sense that the GPS would take you down the easiest route but when you go to take an off road shortcut it will take you out of the way rather than directly to the checkpoint. Multiple times I've strayed from the beaten path in hopes the GPS will help me find my way to the next checkpoint, only for it to take me completely the wrong way leaving me in last place. As well as that the AI is lacking as well, as they will completely dominate the first half of the race only to slow down just before the end, allowing the user to move in for the kill and easily win the race.
Another lacking part of the game is the unlockables, which feel like badly added tid bits. You can unlock thing's such as helmets, or other pieces of clothing for your driver, but at the end of the day they are rather boring and with such limited options to edit your driver in the first place, these unlockables feel boring and unwanted.
So while the game looks nice, it's just another generic racing game that does nothing to revolutionize the genre.
I give Fuel 2/5
I love driving games so Fuel was a no-brainer. I also love RPGs and very quickly realised that Fuel was in essence a CaRPG!
It's set in an free roam apocalyptic world with a variety of different regions. There are towering mountain ranges covered in ice and snow, down to beaches as far as the eye can see, and smoking forests full of dangerous trees. It is also huge, in fact huge doesn't begin to describe it. It is in the Guiness Book of Records for largest game environment and it's completely loadscreen free. It took me over 2 hours real time to drive across the map flat out.
You race for fuel, hence the name. There are different collectibles and challenges available. You have viewpoints to reach (some which involve massive mountain climbing) and liveries (car decals) to find, as well as new vehicles to unlock and add to your garage. The races are all fantastic, and the challenges can get really hard later on.
One of the biggest features are the incredible weather effects; from the fog setting in and reducing visibility, then turning into heavy rain with flashes of lightning tearing through the darkening sky, leading to a beautiful sunsets,
Also, there are tornado races - ok should really be under weather but it's so cool it gets its own section. I honestly can't even tell you how brilliant it was to finally reach the race where there are tornados. Yes, they are scripted so replay them over and over and you know 'this is the part the lorry gets thrown across the road' and so on, but the first few times are truly breathtaking.
Multiplayer is amazing, as it is so much fun driving in a pack of cars across the huge wasteland.
Creating your own races is incredibly user friendly - quick and easy, and the in depth weather settings mean the same race can feel completely different just by changing the time of day or the weather.
Lastly are the little details - jets that fly over, mud or water splatters on your screen, car and driver get covered in mud when offroad but rain will wash if off. I love details like that and I honestly loved every minute of this game. It took me over 100 hours to complete everything and there were still places I hadn't been. Great value for money and an overall great game.
Fuel is a open world racing game set in a post-apocalyptic world dominated by extreme weather that is 'fueled' by Global Warming. So it's like driving a motorbike outside in about 30 years. It was developed by Asobo Studio and published by Codemasters.
What's unique about Fuel and noteworthy is it's giant game world. That is the key element. It is actually 5,560 square miles (14,400 km²), which is roughly the size of the American state of Connecticut. This was the biggest selling point of the game as it earned a world record for biggest land mass playable on a console. Plus there's no loading screens when driving through it.
However, and this is a big but, it's a desolate wasteland with nothing interesting to explore. A giant world is actually a bad thing when all it means is a lot of travelling between points of interest. Plus it doesn't feel big. And feeling is important.
There's around 70 vehicles ranging from bikes to hovercrafts. It seems a lot but they're not much fun.
Save a few interesting missions, like racing a helicopter in your car or bike, the story and world and missions are all boring and repetitive. The 'achievements' (ingame) are barely worth earning and the AI racing mechanics are handicapped, usually winning throughout the race and then slow down towards the end to let the player catch up and win. It ruins the fun.
Overall, a mediocre game that might be worth getting if you enjoy driving around for a very long time in a very big world.