Great Old Gaming Gems – Crash Time 3: Highway Nights

Last week we looked at Big Rigs Racing. And it was bad. So the question is are all budget releases bad? Well given we’re on Gems I’m going to put the case forward that no. There are some truly great low budget Gems.

The Crash Time series of games were developed primarily for Germany and are based on their 20+ years long running TV show Actung Cobra Eleven. Its your typical police show but every episode must feature at least two car crashes and several explosions. That’s a German law. Possibly.

You have several free roam maps based loosely on the city of Cologne in Germany and you’re tasked with chasing down the bad guys. Be that car chases, car based shootouts, following baddy cars, or winning street races. And by the gods its fun to play. The controls are quite arcadey but are perfect for the game making it so much fun to drive around the city, blues and twos blazing, chasing down the bad guys. And there are so many explosions. Accidentally bump an innocent car? It goes boom. Hit your baddy car? It goes boom. Its like being trapped in an 80s action movie.

The graphics are solid and do the job. The city traffic all use very low poly models when compared to your car and that is a bit of an issue. Its like a PS3 car suddenly finding all the cars around it were rendered on a PS1.  It’s not an issue for me playing mind you.

There is an elephant in the room with this game and that’s the voice acting. Its awful. It sounds like they hired German actors and has them read scripts out phonetically without said actors being able to speak a word of English. It sounds like this for a reason. That’s what actually happened. Many reviews slate the game for this but to me it adds an endearing quality to it. The voice acting is so bad, so awful, its swung all the way round to being good again. 

You can usually pick the Steam version of  the Crash Time games for a couple of quid and you’ll be glad you did.

There’s a shining gem of a game here that belies it’s budget beginnings.