BY DEATHTECH: Antigraviator is a fast-paced racing game set to some great music and interesting gameplay, but is it worth your time and money?
Players take control of one of the titular anti-gravity racing ships. Antigraviator at the time of this review boasts 15 maps excluding the reversed versions. Antigraviator also boasts 15 traps throughout the 15 maps and 4 game modes to play around with.
So without further ado, let’s get into the review.
The Antigraviator Review:
Now I know most of us probably skip the tutorial but for those who are new to gaming or genuinely enjoy doing a tutorial so you can start the game informed, this is for you.
The tutorial sets you off in a unique tutorial track. It lets you play and as it spawns in things to explain the game to you, it also shows prompts and slows the game down into a type of bullet time slo-mo so you don’t have to worry at all about “the flying parts” while you read.
Overall, the tutorial is very well made but sadly lacks several bits of key information that will be contained within this review.
Antigraviator places those bits of key information before you start the tutorial. When you are prompted with something that looks akin to a hints window. Which of course gets completely ignored as no one assumes a hints window contains anything but hints. Instead, it contains those missing explanations such as the game mode explanations and a list of all the traps.
Which in turn meant I played ages without understanding any of the special game modes at all until I decided to retry the tutorial and then after finishing it a second time found out it was explained in the hint menu…
Your ship in Antigraviator can be customised in two major ways:
- Parts that affect ship performance.
- Decals and colours that do not affect the game.
Each part has 3 potential parts that can be used to make your Grav a bit more unique.
They do alter the course of the game and cost in-game credits to unlock. These credits are unlocked by winning campaign leagues which you can always redo to get some extra cash.
The game lets you choose from a few decals (6) and over 40 different colours by their count. By my count, it is 10 as the 30 others are “slightly darker shades” which I do not count as a different colour.
When it comes to tracks in a video game, it really is make-or-break for me personally.
I can not stand tracks that are unfair, unstable, confusing or plain downright unplayable.
And for the most part, I find that Antigraviator does okay with the tracks, however!
Some of the tracks in the game have the following issues:
- Several tracks with hills both up and down that easily ruin the race because you can’t see anything.
- A track that at one point just simply has a massive gap and another one with the road jumping and going into another direction where you will most likely get insta-killed, without any warning obviously this will ruin the race as well.
- Several tracks where at one point or another the track deviates and any semblance of balance goes out the window especially when you can go into a tunnel as first and can leave it as 8th without seeing a single person passing you by.
The worst of those being the latter for at least shall I say, the level I call, “Oh god, trees, trees everywhere, also it’s dark and ooh looks like I hit one, and another one. Why did we not install any lights on these ships?”
An extremely large amount of emphasis should be put on the idea that you have to memorise to the point of being able to fly the course in your sleep in order to be able to competently master the game as the tracks are otherwise brutal.
Well, I suppose combat is a bit strongly worded considering you have absolutely no control of anything but your ship.
The game offers a ‘trap’ combat system where unlike Mario Kart games where you pick up weapons, you actually end up picking up ‘booster points’ which have nothing to do with traps as the trap system seems to be based on the following factors (and this is guesswork):
- Your position
- Other other players position
- The type of traps available on the map
So basically the only way for you to “launch a trap” is when the game detects one or multiple of your opponents are within range of the “trap” and you are close enough to them you can trigger it. You also can’t trigger a trap if it is already in use by another player.
Triggering traps doesn’t cost you anything except for the fact that sometimes the window of opportunity is so small it’s a millisecond which just makes me get an urge to keep bashing the trigger button through the whole race otherwise you can miss pretty much all opportunities to do so.
So to be fair the only thing I can really class as “Combat” is the fact you can knock other players away by barrel rolling into them. However, doing the barrel roll attack almost always results in loss of speed for both players involved which means you really are just punishing yourself.
The game modes:
Antigraviator boasts 4 game modes.
- Single Race
- Deathmatch Race
- Countdown Race
To start off with the simplest, a single race is a simple straightforward race.
A Deathmatch race is a normal race except if you die you are out. Additionally, when the lead player hits the finish line, the player in the last position becomes eliminated.
Antigraviator also has the weird countdown race which is more like a time attack type race with a twist.
Instead of being a normal time attack where you are alone you are actually competing with other players while trying to get to the next checkpoint mark to increase the remaining time on the timer. (However, you will never see the timer because all other HUD elements are on the back of your ship while the timer is in the top left of the screen.)
Finally, there is training which is what it sounds like. You train the track.
And this is where we have been leading up to. How is the gameplay?
As stated before Antigraviator is fast paced and actually quite fun. It’s mostly bug-free as far as I could find anything wrong was on the level with a huge drop where it killed me and respawned me at the edge of the cliff. Which is a bit of I bug I hope.
All the way up to silver league the game was fairly well balanced with the AI steadily getting a more difficult ramping up pretty decently. At no point did I feel the game was unfair or unbalanced. (Until silver league.)
The reason silver league was a bit insulting because two maps get introduced that have too many open paths (see the tracks part of the review) which meant the AI stepped over me like I am a bug.
That is bad to go from 1st every race to 8th just because the worst part being that all the other maps were pretty well balanced but those two aren’t which meant I got genuinely stuck because of the terrible map design of those two.
But up to that point, the game was fun, challenging and engaging.
At first, the game was mostly me and my ship scraping all the corners and after a few races, I was pretty much golden, really getting into the swing of things.
All of the features of the game complement each other pretty nicely when in a match.
If you really are into racing games that go so fast most of the time you can’t even mentally realise where things are until the next time you pass by them then this is definitely the game for you.
What is important to do good in the game:
Most of the skill is bred from repeatedly doing the same map until you start remembering the track.
Other than the map memory the skill is hitting the boost pads, picking up the booster charges, boosting at the right times, not hitting anything and most importantly evade the traps. (Quick hint, the only way to avoid the missile is by out-speeding it far enough for it to hit something else.)
Gameplay: 6.2/10 (31/50)
- Singleplayer Campaign: 4/10
- Multiplayer: CNR (Could not review)
- Customisation: 3/10
- Playability: 6/10
- Entertainment: 9/10
- Bug/Issues: 9/10
Final Score: 8.1/10 (24.2/30)
Antigraviator I would score at an 8.1/10 even though it definitely has issues with the gameplay aspect. The graphics and music really make the experience enjoyable and coupled together with the fun (but a bit flawed) gameplay. It is a solid game I would definitely recommend for anyone who enjoys fast-paced racing gameplay.
However, if you get motion sick, car sick or quick changes in scenery make you feel sick then do not get it because the game loves to bounce you around and make some rather mental track location decisions.
I won’t mention scenery because I didn’t see it much except for the trees I flew into repeatedly. The game moves so fast that your focus is intensely on the grav and not the beautiful visuals.
Just keep in mind if you hate games that have the issues mentioned in the tracks section to avoid the game because it will aggravate you to the point of smashing a wall.