Tony Hawk with gore
The similarities to the Tony Hawk’s series don’t relate only to the stunts within Crusty Demons but the story-mode also takes part in a free-roaming environment where you pick up missions and objectives from NPCs, ranging from crashing into set targets and creating as much impact as possible to shooting over a ramp and bailing out in mid-air to achieve a long distance score. On a positive note, there is a huge variety in the challenges and the animation of the rider crashes, complete with rag-doll effects, is amusingly detailed. You can almost feel the rider’s pain as his legs twist in all directions or his neck breaks, but after a short period it all becomes a bit bland and the stop and go gameplay - falling off your bike continuously and hopping back on- becomes more of a chore than any sort of fun.
During the crashes the animation slows down and as your rider hits the ground or any other static object on the way you’ll see the score rack up and a breakdown of the self-inflicted injuries appear on the screen. It's a nice idea and for a while you'll spend some time trying to smash your biker's brains to a pulp in order to get more points, but it starts to become rather repetitive.
Before starting on your road to self destruction you can choose a bike and a rider, each of which boast a number of stats. The rider has four statistics, air control, flight, smash-ability and trick skill and after trying out a number of different riders it’s clear to see that these attributes do have an effect on your rider's ability over the various courses.
The stats of the bikes revolves around wheelies, spins and even a nitro boost, which is ideal for getting some ‘air’ of the numerous jumps and ramps.
The controls work by using the directional stick and pressing one or more, or a combination of buttons, in order to pull of a trick or a combo. As you progress through the game you’ll learn more complicated combos, but although the controls are responsive and the animation of your rider is impressive, the controls and the way you pull off the tricks has been done so many times before it feels quite tedious. Gamers who’ve never played these games will no doubt enjoy pulling off a wheelie whilst keeping a pointer in the middle of the skill gauge, but gamers who are hoping for some unique gameplay elements will be slightly disappointed. Crusty Demons does have a couple of new gameplay elements though, including the ability to bail from your bike by pressing L2 and watching your rider fly through the air. The new injury system is an attempt to make the action more appealing to an adult audience, but there’s only so many ways that you can crash your bike and find it amusing.
The locations are fairly impressive as you travel across the likes of Texas, New York, Amsterdam, Rio and Tokyo on a various courses where you’ll find plenty of ramps and objects to fling yourself into, but it’s not enough to save the game from being fairly dull. Extreme sports should be exciting, but you’re more likely to check to see if your pulse if still beating rather than needing to take any drugs to suppress your racing heart.