Buckle yourself up and hold on to your butts, we are hopping into floating cars and accelerating to ludicrous speeds within RGX Showdown!
RGX Showdown comes from the creative minds of ShortRound Games, a team which contains some of the amazing people behind Burnout and Split/Second, and is published by the late Telltale Games. At its core, the game consists of online “one vs one” futuristic street racing down a busy highway. As you progress through the game, your rank will go up and you’ll earn the ability to race within ‘higher bracket’ matches.
Every hour, a new tournament starts. You will compete with several hundred other ‘real-life’ players in order to win races and gain points which are rewarded with each of your victories. The more victories you have, the higher you will rank on the online leaderboard (clearly). You’ll also gain a score multiplier with each win you achieve until you lose your winning streak. After the hour is up, you’ll get prizes that correlate with where you fell on the leaderboard upon the final moments of the tournament.
The races themselves are fairly straightforward. You simply race on a busy highway from points A to B, a very similar sight if you’ve played early Burnout games like Burnout 2 back in the day. There are no big jumps or sharp turns to worry about, just the ass-end of the traffic and your opponent. Before the match starts, you can use points to buy yourself “mods” which will assist you in the race. These mods are Better Acceleration, Higher Top Speed, Better Handling and Fast Nitrous.
It’s completely optional to use the mods, but you clearly gain an advantage if you choose to do so. When you have a high winning streak though, I highly recommend you invest in the various abilities in order to keep the streak active so your overall multiplier continues to grow!
The one issue I had with the tournaments is that, just like Pringles, Once you pop (start), you just can’t stop!. If you chose to manually leave the game, you basically forfeit any and all rewards you would have received for the entire tournament. As such, I highly recommend that you have enough free time spare to play out the entire session/tournament before you participate within it!
Fortunately, each match is relatively short, clocking in at under ninety seconds per ‘race’. Due to RGX Showdown being so frantic and fast, the last thing you’ll want to do is to blink and accidentally smash into the back-end of another car. If you do, this will stop you dead in your tracks and end up costing you precious seconds which will most likely eventually lead to your opponent getting the edge within the race and leaving you in the dust.
Outside of the tournaments, racing is where RGX Showdown falters greatly. There is nothing else for you to do as far as gameplay is concerned. You can go to the garage to purchase different designs and colour schemes for your vehicles and you can do practice runs on the same track that you race on – that’s about it. There also doesn’t appear to be an option to choose to race directly against friends that may have also purchased the game as well. Honestly, the game feels like it is not complete due to this.
RGX Showdown is a racing game that comes from the creative minds of great developers of yesteryear racing games. However, this game feels like it is only in Early Access at this point. That being said, it means that ShortRound Games can make this into a really fun game by just adding a few options such as co-op against friends, as well as a single player vs AI option. The game has great potential, however, the missteps it has begins to drag the game down. I hope to see ShortRound Games continue to work on the game in order to make it feel like a much more complete experience as it has the potential to be really great.