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Wreckreation

Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X
Genre: Racing
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Developer: Three Fields Entertainment
Release Date: 2023

About Andreas Salmen

I'm sure this is all just a misunderstanding.

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PS5/PS4/XSX/XOne/PC Preview - 'Wreckreation'

by Andreas Salmen on Sept. 28, 2022 @ 12:30 a.m. PDT

Racing is awesome! Creating is awesome! So development studio Three Fields Entertainment, the team behind Burnout and Need for Speed, has combined these two elements in Wreckreation.

When the Wreckreation announcement trailer was released, I categorized it as a likely sequel to the successful Wreckfest by Bugbear … until I saw that Wreckreation is developed by a completely different studio altogether. Sure, some minor vehicular destruction is part of the game, but it's mainly focused on the creative side so players can create ridiculous track layouts that can be altered, edited, and shared on the fly.

That isn't the whole story, though.

Wreckreation aims far higher than a few customized tracks. There's an entire customized world that's authored by the player, renamed and decorated to one's liking, and easily shared with friends. Wreckreation is developed by Three Fields Entertainment, which consists of some team members who used to work on the Burnout series. We sat down with the developers for a closer look at what Wreckreation is — and most importantly, what it isn't.


If you've decided that Wreckreation is an open-world racer, you're wrong. It's a racer, and there is an open world, but they don't combine in the usual way. Wreckreation is a set of tools more than it is a game; it's a platform where you can create any car-related shenanigans you can dream up. That's the idea, at least. The title currently allows for online play for up to eight players, which makes sense since it's developed by a team of seven, but that may change. A great many things could still change before and beyond its release date, all in the service of creating a fun online racing platform where most of the content comes from the community.

While we didn't see the most extravagant track designs in our brief demo, we saw the tech working in real time, and it certainly has potential. Each player governs their own world and can build tracks or alter its looks at their own convenience. Street names can be renamed, a certain soundtrack can be tied to sections of the world, and there's even a range of wacky alternative heads-up display UI designs. That's just the cosmetic side. You can have high scores per street, and you can even lock certain high scores in your world if you're not ready for a friend to crash and burn your achievements when you invite them to a game.

Most importantly, you can create racetracks. Loops, twists, and turns: Not only do you have the usual freedoms of a track-building tool, but you can also edit your world in real time with your friends. If you want, you can place a ramp in front of a group of friends while they're mid-race and send them flying.


It gets more interesting once you factor in custom rules. Wreckreation lets you create entire game modes to your liking, such as: don't touch the railing, don't touch the floor, make a jump in three tries, drive a section backward, and jump through the hoop. It seems pretty open from what we heard, and elements can be combined as you see fit. Build your personal Ninja Warrior track for cars, where each track section has different rules and hurdles to overcome. That all sounds very neat, and Three Fields Entertainment has the resume to suggest that they know how to construct a good racing game. The game features an unprecedented amount of freedom over every aspect of your own experience, and that sounds pretty good, but it comes with a caveat.

Everything is unlocked from the start, so you can swap and customize cars, and you can access all tools and features. This isn't an open-world racer because there is nothing but the world when you start, and you get to create the fun — preferably with a few friends by your side. I can totally see the appeal of that. There seems to be a genuine goal to make every aspect of the game your own and share the experience with your friends and the community. Whether that works as well as advertised in the final release is the question, as is the question of longevity. Even with full freedoms, communities want to be upkept and sustained by content and updates, which at this stage seems to be a question for another day.

The good news is that Wreckreation already looks reasonably polished and feels like a solid arcade racer. It's still in an early state, with some performance issues and features that aren't fully built out or weren't explicitly shown. Wreckreation is slated for some time in 2023, but given the scope and ambition of the project, I wouldn't count on a release before the end of that year (or maybe even later). If Wreckreation can deliver on its promises, it could be worth the wait.



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