Crusty Demons hands-on

Imagine a Tony Hawk-style, stunt-focused game with dirt bikes instead of skateboards, and you'll have a pretty good idea of what to expect from Crusty Demons. You'll tear around small, freely explorable levels on the back of a roaring, wheeled gas can, taking on stunt challenges from random weirdos in an effort to make it to the next level. Oh, and you'll get hurt. A lot.

While it's ostensibly about stunts, the main draw of what we've played of Crusty Demons is in watching our riders get slammed around in horrible, horrible ways, usually in slow motion. The kicker is that this actually nets you points, with high scores for especially gruesome injuries (detailed with X-rays of broken arms, legs and necks). So while you can run around pulling off flips and midair spins if that's your thing, you can also get ahead by flinging yourself off a cliff or smashing into walls.

There's a story explanation for all this, of course - it seems the Demons have traded their souls to the devil for immortality, allowing them to survive crash after crash. If they want their souls back, though, they'll have to travel from city to city, performing whatever inane tasks Satan cooks up for them - like breakingwindows. He's hecka-evil.

Despite its cruel bent, Crusty Demons - based loosely on a DVD series and motocross team of the same name - is actually pretty forgiving as a stunt game. Chaining together long trick combos is easy (just pop a wheelie whenever you hit the ground), and if it ever looks like you're going to crash, you can just hit the "bail" button to fly off your bike. See, crashing normally voids your score, but if you hop off intentionally, all those shattered ribs and cracked limbs are considered part of a successfully landed combo. And we have to admit, it's a lot more fun to watch.

Mikel Reparaz
After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.