Fired Up PSP
Published by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
Developed by London Studio
Release Date: Out Now
Fired Up, an introduction.
Our final PSP launch title review is of Fired Up, a vehicular combat game. Whilst many of the launch titles have already been reviewed many times over, thanks to the PSP being released ages ago in Japan and the US, Fired Up is a relatively unknown game by comparison. With a lot of driving games available for the PSP on launch day, Fired Up will need to be something special to stand out. Let's take a look at the game.
What's the game about?
Fired Up offers a Story mode and Multiplayer mode. The Story mode offers three environments to battle in (although initially only 2, Capital City and Northern Mountains, are accessible). Essentially you'll drive around these well thought out maps taking on various challenges (that have time restrictions) such as taking out a certain number of enemies. You'll also have to collect scavenger icons (you'll collect these to unlock new weapons) and drive over other icons such as health, shields and new weapons. Basically you'll drive around and keep going until you complete all of the available missions in a given location. Sadly we couldn't get to play the multiplayer game (against opponents anyway) but there are races and deathmatch type games available to play.
What's good about the game?
Fired Up is one of those games you can jump into and feel instantly at ease with the controls and mechanics of the game. Personally it reminded quite a bit of the Smuggler's Run games on the PlayStation 2 which I quite enjoyed. The game is a no fuss, full of frills action game. Your objectives are always straightforward and always very achievable. The vehicle control is also very arcade like and satisfying which makes the whole thing much more pleasant. You don't need to complete all the missions in a given location in one sitting as when you quit a level your progress is saved, which is very useful. It's also worth mentioning that the game has three save slots meaning two others can enjoy the game with you. Like Wipeout Pure, additional content will be available for download in the future.
What's not so good about the game?
Whilst Fired is a solid game in most respects, what will disappoint you is the brevity of the single player game. You're looking at 4-5 hours in all for the single player game which is a brief gaming experience in anyone's books. The multiplayer supports ad hoc mode, but not infrastructure mode, so that means you're not going to be playing online which is a shame as it would have meant you're more likely to experience the multiplayer game and this would have offset the disappointment of the single player game being so short. Whilst the enemy AI is OK it doesn’t provide too much of a challenge and seems intent on always going for a direct assault rather than having any kind of strategy.
How does it look?
Fired Up actually looks quite good. The environments you'll drive around are all quite detailed. The textures don't always look the best but for the most part they are fine. Explosions do look quite impressive though. The frame rate is generally fine but slowdown does occur when the action becomes hectic. Thankfully though, whilst the dip in frame rate might be a little unsightly it doesn't spoil anything.
How deaf gamer friendly is the game?
Deaf gamers won't have any problems with Fired Up. All information is given in text so you'll always be aware of what needs to be done. Missions briefing and character backgrounds are given in text. During a mission all challenges are given in text and countdowns are also displayed visually so you'll always be aware of any time restrictions that are placed upon you. Pausing a game mid-mission will remind you of what the various coloured icons mean too which is handy.
Fired Up is actually a very playable game that will keep your attention from beginning to end. Unfortunately the time it takes to get from the start to the end of the single player game is disappointingly short and if you don't have access to the multiplayer modes (because your friends don't have the game and a PSP) then it's tough to justify the asking price for such a small amount of single player action. That said though, it's definitely an enjoyable experience and a more substantial sequel would definitely be welcome.
Overall Game Rating: 6.5/10
Deaf Gamers Classification:
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Fired Up is actually an enjoyable game but the single player action is just too short. If you are able to experience the game in multiplayer mode then this isn't too much of a problem but otherwise it's tough to recommend.