Blood Drive review

  • Moments of fun amidst the frustration
  • Inventive profanities, like "shit-biscuit"
  • Thankfully not based on a true story (for now)
  • Shockingly sluggish performance, with bugs
  • Lazy and punishing campaign structure
  • Light on content with limited multiplayer

On a conceptual level, the spiritual blending of Twisted Metal and Dead Rising to create an undead concoction of car combat and horrific violence sounds like a surefire smash. How could it miss? Sadly, Blood Drive proves that killer concepts alone don't make for great gaming experiences, as the half-decent core gameplay is buried by endless performance issues, crummy controls, and a miserable tournament structure.

Blood Drive draws heavily from car combat standards, letting you pick one of eight weapon-loaded vehicles and run rampant through six arena-style stages set amidst a Las Vegas-style gambling town. Granted, these arenas are populated by thousands of the shambling undead, and some event types focus on their mass elimination, while others are focused more on wrecking your opponents' vehicles. You'll also find a King of the Skull game like Halo's Oddball mode, as well as race-like checkpoint events, which are immensely frustrating and an absolute low point of the experience.

Admittedly, the game has its brief moments – like in Dead Rising, there's a certain thrill to exterminating zombies en masse, especially in a comical manner. But Blood Drive suffers continuously from very obvious technical shortcomings, like a sluggish framerate that steadily cripples the action and car handling that feels like commanding a schooner through an ocean of bee's wax. We even noticed times where we'd make a quick turn and see a screen devoid of zombies for a few seconds, at which point they'd suddenly appear out of thin air.

Sidhe Interactive – best known for GripShift and last year's excellent Shatter – packed the game with a lot of personality (read: swear words), and the style certainly hints at grander ideals. But the rather slight amount of content is only compounded by a lazy single-player structure that packs its events into incredibly long tournaments that have to be toppled in one setting. Each of the last two 30-event tournaments takes about two hours to finish, and if you don't place first, you're starting over from scratch.

Even the multiplayer comes up short by supporting just four players, though we assume the game would likely collapse upon itself if tasked with anything more. It's a shame to see such a sloppy effort from a stellar independent studio, but more than that, it's baffling to see this kicked out the door by Activision just days before the release of the massive and expertly polished Call of Duty: Black Ops. We'd call this one a dud at half the price, but for $50, it's damn near an outrage.

Nov 18, 2010

More Info

Release date: Nov 02 2010 - Xbox 360, PS3 (US)
Nov 18 2010 - Xbox 360, PS3 (UK)
Available Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3
Genre: Racing
Published by: Activision
Developed by: Sidhe
ESRB Rating:
Mature: Blood and Gore, Strong Language, Suggestive Themes, Violence
PEGI Rating:

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  • brentsonier - November 19, 2010 2:17 p.m.

    geez gamesradar, i see these same spammers on every article. cant y'all cancel their accounts?
  • NeelEvil - November 19, 2010 10:27 a.m.

    @Ultima Actually if you compare it to Carmaggeddon 64 it's like an HD remake.
  • ManlyPanda - November 19, 2010 4:46 a.m.

    I knew it was going to be terrible considering that they just announced it a couple months ago
  • Ultima - November 19, 2010 4:04 a.m.

    What a shame. It looks alot from Carmageddon from the screen shots but thats obviously where the similarity ends
  • Spybreak8 - November 19, 2010 2:34 a.m.

    Overheard from the devs haha: Eh our game didn't test well with the target testers. Oh I know let's throw in Zombies! Everyone loves zombies right!?
  • n00b - November 19, 2010 12:52 a.m.

    when is activision gona learn that they don't have release all their games in the holiday season. this and blood stone probably could have been a lot better if they spent more time on it
  • chilarome - November 19, 2010 12:40 a.m.

    My friend recommended this to me. First thought "HOLYCRAPSOUNDSGREAT!" But this review made me stay home and not spend my $50. Thanks Radar
  • killerflyingsquirell - November 18, 2010 11:46 p.m.

    This dissapoints me. I'd figure this would be better.
  • hardcore_gamer1990 - November 18, 2010 11:36 p.m.

    @Claymore - Amen to that OT - Killing zombies is always more satisfying man-to-zombie horde, can't say I'm totally suprised by the score.
  • Claymore17 - November 18, 2010 11:14 p.m.

    Too bad, car combat seems like a really cool genre that's only been done well with mario kart balloon wars.
  • QWERTYCommander - November 18, 2010 11:11 p.m.

    I knew this would suck the minute I heard about it.
  • deformedorange - November 18, 2010 11:02 p.m.

    hmmmm an Activision game