I do like a game bundles, especially when the titles included are decent and the price is right, so luckily the ‘Dangerous Bundle’ from developer’s Three Fields have nailed both. The two games included have been previously released as standalone titles on the PlayStation store this year and both have received mixed reviews, but for the asking price and longevity offered from both games It seems a no brainer.
First off is Dangerous Golf and if you’ve ever dreamed of whacking a golf ball around a beautiful decorated room with vast arrays of expensive items to smash into pieces, demolish a stunning bathroom, or wreck a hotel kitchen then this game will help realise that (weird) dream.
Stretched over 100 stages in four beautifully designed locations Dangerous Golf is certainly not a finish in one sitting title, in fact the amount on offer is quite staggering from such a new developer and the carnage you can cause with only a golf ball can be breath-taking at times.
But Dangerous Golf isn’t a simple whack it and see, you have some control of your ball’s direction from the initial tee-off and once you have gained the required amount of damage points you can activate “Smash Breaker”.
This engulfs your ball in flames and gives you complete control of its speed as well as it’s direction maxing out your ultimate destructive capabilities, this assists in gaining the required high score to proceed onto the next stage or if aimed correctly can smash open locked doors leading to hidden extras.
“Smash breaker” is however a limited function and once its drained you are required to putt the ball into the hole from where ever it finally lands. This is something I recommend you master as finding yourself a room away with unbroken obstacles in your putting path will end badly with your overall score being halved if you don’t sink the ball. But a beautifully executed” Smash breaker” should leave you inches from the hole with an easy putt or an offer of various trick shots to finish in style.
All these extra points not only open the further levels but gift you with other special features and manoeuvres such as the ‘bucket blast’ – buckets of water placed strategically around and if hit will cause immense damage, or ‘Pistol putt’ which allows a laser-sight dot for pin point accuracy.
Every item within your current environment is destructible offering an unlimited amount of points but certain objects (which can be highlighted before teeing off) are deemed as obstructions and need to be avoided at all costs if you want to rise the world rankings.
Graphicly Dangerous Golf is beautiful to look at with damage physics beyond amazing – there’s something very satisfying watching minute pieces of fine China or champagne bottles scattering across the entire TV screen, or expensive wall and floor tiles from a dream bathroom smashed into dust. However, there are two minor faults that hold review points back which are the controls, these can take some time to master and the amount of information you are required to take in from your first tee off feels overwhelming. But these are things that you can adjust to and once you’re comfortable the game is just exceptional fun, especially playing in a group where everyone is trying their best to beat the last players score or sneakily watching hoping for a little nugget of knowledge to put your next score above your challengers.
Dangerous Golf for me is the sort of game you put on at gatherings for a bit of fun or when you can only grab a sneaky half hour on your chosen console, and with so much on offer it is a game that will draw you back time and time again.
And now to Three Fields second offering in the Dangerous Bundle.
Danger Zone is a game that brings back fond memories from developers Three Fields. It’s clearly a nod and almost duplicate to The Crash mode in the classic Burnout Revenge, and why wouldn’t Three Fields bring it back as it was some of these talented people that created that extra add-on that everybody played and continued to play once Revenge was done.
The premise of the game is to drive your test vehicle in to various traffic scenarios to cause complete and utter mayhem by initiating a crash, this results in a game that can only be described as a stepping stone puzzler.
Simply driving into oncoming traffic isn’t the only thing to do, very similar to the PlayStation 3 physics based game “Pain” you can (and need) to extend your destruction by hitting certain items (tokens or vehicles on the road) gifting you extra explosions and momentum all while trying to manoeuvre your wrecked car towards the cash pickups to help increase your final total and gain a top place on the leader boards.
Earlier levels see you having to obtain 3 hits before you can initialize “Smash breaker ” (these increase with difficulty) which basically slows time giving you the ability to manoeuvre your car where you want to get the necessary hits/smash or money tokens dotted around the course. There are 38 single players levels to complete using various vehicles (seven in total), each requiring you to reach a certain score before proceeding but none are overly difficult and moving forward is never hindered.
But the real star of Danger Zone are the car physics and visual carnage that awaits, it’s fantastic with explosions and pieces of vehicles constantly clouding your views and with slow-mo. activated it’s very reminiscent of the car chase sequence from The Matrix Reloaded, even when your personal destruction has come to an end you watch as unaware drivers continue to plow into the crash chaos you have created adding to your overall score.
Sadly, the environments can’t match the visual flare of the crashes with nothing more than the boring grey walls of the test centre which is a shame because if the developers could have made time to render city backdrops then I feel this would have only added to the overall aesthetics’ of the presentation and giving the player that little more realism.
Presently cars emerge from invisible walls so unfortunately there’s no real idea of where your next target car will come from which sometimes leaves you sitting in a burning lump of metal in the middle of the road surrounded by the remnants of various wrecks bringing your current run to an abruptly end for the umpteenth time.
The real triumph for Danger Zone though is its ability to urge you to play just that one more time, to make you want to climb the leader boards and ultimately to see how much more carnage you can create, it’s this that stops you from putting your Dualshock down. Because through all its minimal faults Danger Zone is unbelievably addictive and now with six new scenarios to challenge you (and a new car) it can’t help but bring out the “Crash voyeurism” in you.
Danger Zone is the best of the two games in the bundle but both offer some beautifully designed physics and in my opinion, is well worth the £17.99 asking price due mainly to the replay ability both games offer and given it’s the party season I can see this becoming a hit (if purchased) at gatherings over the Christmas period.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.