PG 1 | PG 2
Gripshift developer Sidhe switches things up with their car combat game 'Blood Drive.' Tagged with the slogan “Brains, Stains& Automobiles,” this release is not Xbox Live Arcade safe.
The premise behind 'Blood Drive' is pretty simple, destroy the other cars and run over any moving half-dead humanoid you see. 'Blood Drive' doesn't waste anyone's time with some outlandish storyline placeholder, it's straightforward and gets right to the point, racing and killing.
From the main menu there are two main modes of play, Single Player and Multiplayer. There is also a tab for settings and extras, which are unlocked through gameplay. The typical extras can be found including a gallery, movie section, full blown statistics, and the credits. Most of your time will be spend in the Single Player events, and since I had the game, I've tried to log-on at various times for an online match and couldn't find anyone playing... yikes! It's very disappointing because I was looking forward to getting into some online mayhem, but I guess everyone is too busy with 'Call of Duty.'
Breaking down the Single Player component you have the 'Tournament' mode where you progress through several tournaments to claim first place. The events start with your basic assortment, best of three in one zone and ramp up to the 'Blood Drive Hardcore' championship that has 30 events over 6 zones. You will need some free time to pull that one off in one sitting. Events are the game modes that modify each round with a different win condition. The foundation is always zombie killing (no living humans harmed in the making of 'Blood Drive') and car combat. Zombies will always be in a round, even if they are not the objective. From events like 'Zombie Roadkill' were you simply have to kill the most zombies, to full out demolition derby bashers -- 'Blood Drive' is always focused on running over zombies while you shoot your mates. It is surprisingly that 'Blood Drive' didn't branch out too far from the norm. Almost all the events are just subrogated from the same formula. Why even bother with checkpoint races when you have a town full of zombies and cars that shoot saw blades? 'Blood Drive' certainly could have been more imaginative.
Before you head into the arena for some vehicular combat, you can change your rides load-out. The options are used to balance out of weaknesses or accent your strengths, well that is at least how I like to play. Each selection has overlapping traits, so finding a good combination isn't too hard. For specifics here is quick example of three of ten tunings. 'Triple Threat' - full range + full boost + and engine upgrade. 'Tank' - double ammo + durability increase + impact increase. 'Speed Demon' - full boots + engine upgrades + durability increase. Choosing the right load-out for you is important, and will likely help you earn that number one spot.
The tournament mode surprisingly requires some skill, and took me several tries before I even won a single event, let alone the entire tournament. One nice perk added into this system is 'Rival Roulette,' a roulette wheel that decides your rival in the beginning of each tournament. Rivals are a focal point for you to try to stay ahead of, even if you're not winning around. Each time you finish a round ahead of your rival you will earn a bonus point that adds up in close tournaments. At the end of the tournament you will also get to talk some smack, or take a verbal shot or two with your rival, which is good for a laugh. Blood Drive is a "M" rated title and aside from the gore, this one spews out the big "F" word every chance it can.
The rival system and charm (if you can call it that) of 'Blood Drive' is its assortment of characters. Each character has their own distinct personality and ride along with one special power-up that fits their unique look. You can tell a fair amount of development time went into the characters as 'Sidhe' has gone so far as to make up Biography for this fictional racers, even if they are "typical" for this type of game.