Extreme sports games are a strange bag.
It’s a niche market for sports fans in an industry that hasn’t been known to churn out great games aside from the Tony Hawk Pro Skater and Skate series of old. There have been a number of recent attempts to make a mark in the market with games like Steep and MX vs. ATV SuperCross, but none have really been able to bring the genre back to its glory days.
Snow Moto Racing Freedom is the latest attempt to do so, but poor physics and a just generally dry experience has this game failing to reach the finish line.
Players take control of a created — color of uniform and snowmobile — snowmobile racer, and can choose to take part in various events like SnowCross races and stunt events. There’s really no rhyme or reason to the order of which you do the events. The only thing that creates any semblance of purpose is the fact that circuits need to be unlocked by racing, and having success. Other than that, it’s just constant racing with some stunt events to change things up a bit.
Speaking of the racing, it’s extremely unpolished.
The controls feel extremely loose as you quickly find yourself losing controlling of your vehicle after the slightest of movement. Your snowmobile feels like a very lightweight toy that just flings itself around the course. No matter how fast or slow you’re moving, the direction of your snowmobile during turns is determined by the position of the front of your vehicle when the turn starts.
The physics of Snow Moto Racing Freedom often leaves players scratching their heads more often than not. At times you can launch yourself high into the air and land with no issues, while other times you find yourself being ejected from your seat, losing valuable position. And it’s position that’s pretty tough to make up due to the fact that the AI rarely makes mistakes.
Players can do tricks during any event they’re in, which is kind of fun. Pulling off a Superman or CanCan while coasting to a first-place finish is pretty damn enjoyable. Unfortunately, you’re only beating the CPU.
There is online play available, but there are virtually no other players online to test out the netcode of the game. It might actually be pretty fun to play with others in stunt races, but because of the (extremely) limited player base there’s no chance to utilize the mode.
From a presentation standpoint the game is pretty bland. The snow, landscape and snowmobiles look nice, but it’s just, well, boring. The sound of the vehicles is awful and sounds like stock audio, and the sound of the snow on the track being raced on is enough to cause bits of rage. Think of nails on a chalkboard, and multiple that by two or three.
At a cost of $29.99, there just isn’t enough of a potential return on investment to justify Snow Moto Racing Freedom. The game wasn’t bad to the point of being unplayable, it was just boring. And that can be almost worse than being unplayable.
FINAL SCORE: 3.5/10
NOTE: A copy of Snow Moto Racing Freedom was provided by the developer.