Video game re-releases are always a bit risky. On one hand, improving graphics for the next-gen while keeping in what people loved can slowly improve the game over time, with a gap of a few generations can be enough for a nostalgia trip. On the other hand, bringing back an old game cuts out originality.

To many, the concept is on par with what George Lucas did to the Star Wars series when he re-released his. New graphics and slight changes that disrupt the original version. Crashday: Redline Edition turns into a curious mix of the good and bad.

There’s not much to say about the plot. There is no real story (although there is a career mode). Instead, what we have is racing/destruction games all over the place. The games range from stunting to insane demolition derby events with mounted weapons. Race against the clock, speed and even just a drive around and try not to die are all game types. Not much in the sense of a story, but these events make up for it. And yeah, with all the types, as soon as you get bored with one, the next makes it at least a little different.

The graphics in Crashday: Redline Edition are a bit strange. They’ve been remastered, but in that way where some are well done, and some look barely touched. The cars look great. The explosions kinda stay in one place while the car doesn’t carry it with them, and some of the damage the cars get seems disproportional a lot, but graphically, it looks great. Then you look off around and it looks almost like solid colors everywhere, or poorly rendered buildings. Even the remastered structured have that tacky feel of being copied and pasted. Concrete was especially notable. The graphics work for sure, and they can look great, but the entire time I noticed little parts wither not looking up to snuff or very obviously not fitting in with everything else around it.

Controls on Steam were fine. I went by keyboard and mouse, and on both they were intuitive, fluid and easily done. Driving, shooting and doing other things at the same time really wasn’t all that hard. Handling was a real whale sometimes, but other than that, the controls did just fine.

And that leads into gameplay. There’s enough game types for variance, and good enough controls to get by and win, but there was something missing. I played in all available modes in a wide variety of ways, and I can say it was just fine. But when your three main features are to drive, explode and shoot, it kinda loses itself. It can do as advertised, but I think what it was missing was purpose. There’s no real drive except to win or not explode it seems like. And I know, car games are often like it. But here it felt that maybe some little extra feature, like maybe exploring other genres of car games, could have helped it and filled out another game type or two. It does great, but again, there was something missing.

The sounds are great – cars zooming, explosions, gunfire – they all fit with the style of the game and have that rare quality of sounding bone-crunchingly dangerous. Music was fitting too, but in a more lazy way. It was all rock and electronic, which is what racing games nearly all play. Generic versions at that. Like there is stock music for them. It does the job, but the music started getting to me, and I started noticing the looping-ness of it after awhile, which wasn’t that good of a sign. Crazy Taxi had far fewer songs, and did a lot more with them. Here, it has that beat going for your appetite for destruction, but at the same time, it can distract because of the blandness.

The frame did chug at times. Crashday was smooth at many points, but when an explosion in conjunction with something else big happening, there was a small moment or two of slowing down. Other than that, there was no real glitch per say, although it was a little off on realistic explosions (Explosions stay in one place if if the car goes flying) and clipping got a little wacky at times.

Overall, Crashday: Redline Edition is a decent update to the original game and improves many things, while keeping a few old problems around and adding one or two new ones. If you like car games, you’ll like this.  For everyone else, however, it might be good to watch a few gameplay videos first.