Harm's Way should NOT be free. The quality of the title is of such a high standard that I almost want to pop round the developers house and stuff 800 Microsoft points in their collective pocket.
Harm's Way is almost two games in one. Players can select to race or to shoot at the start of the game and each is a very different experience.
Let’s start with the Racing portion of the game as it’s easiest to explain. You play as one of 4 vehicles and must race on one of three tracks (with multiple routes) and come first. There are some basic power ups scattered about and you can earn Nitro by power sliding or performing a barrel roll of the many jumps that litter the tracks. So far so simple.
Selecting the Shooter option, places you in a turret on the edge of the track. There are a series of turrets around the course and all are visible on the on screen map. The player must hop from one to another and do as much damage as possible to the racers.
The two modes run along side each other and make for some fantastic and unique gameplay experiences. The game shines in multiplayer, where a racer and a shooter join forces. The racer’s game doesn’t change much in the mode as his objective remains the same. For the shooter however, you must now help your team mate on the track by shooting enemies, shooting open short cuts for your driver and causing environmental chaos for the rest. Communication is essential and with a trustworthy pairing you have a co-op game like no other.
Graphically the game manages to impress, there are some great flourishes in game, everything runs smoothly and the UI looks great. Many times I found myself comparing the game to the early PS3 title Motorstorm, While Harm’s Way isn’t quite as good looking as that, there are moments where its VERY close.
Achievement hunters are well catered for as a full 200Gamerscore is available, and most are very easy to get. It isn’t Dash Of Destruction easy, but it’s not far off.
While 4 cars and 3 tracks might not be much for a full price title there is a lot of fun to be had with Harm’s Way. With a little luck, developers Bongfish have the makings of a full price sequel in the pipeline, with a full suite of modes, tracks and cars.
My gripes are fairly minor, its not that easy to nail tricks and early on its very easy to loose track of where you are heading, and the easy Achievements feel a little too easy but that’s about it.
Harm’s Way is part of a competition run by Doritos and you can vote for either this or Crash Course as your preferred title by downloading a free Gamer Pic from Live. Get the pic for this and hope we see that fully featured sequel next time!