Ignite is more of a drifting game than a racing simulator, which is quite unique in my opinion. However it isn’t limited to just racing or drifting – you can also have a lot of fun by destroying objects, drafting, bashing other players and boosting to reach the top speed. All this can be done in 35 different maps and by using 15 different vehicles.
As I mentioned in the introduction, Ignite is pretty unique. In my opinion, the most unique and important feature of Ignite is the points system. Every player is always getting points for driving a car, although there are four ways to earn more points: destruction, high speed, drafting and drifting. Getting points is important because they are consumed when boosting (using nitro). Another reason to collect them is to shorten your race time: every 1000 points you have removes 1 second off of the finishing time. For example, if you finish 10 seconds later than the first racer and you have 11000 points, you still get the first place medal!
Now after we finished praising the points system, let’s move onto the darker side of Ignite. Even though Ignite features 35 different tracks and 15 different cars, there are only three different game modes: Knockout, Run-out and Race.
Knockout could be called “Last Man Standing” – the last racer to reach the finish line is dropped out of the race each lap, while everyone else gets some bonus points. When there’s finally only two players left, it’s a dual – win or lose everything. It’s a fun game mode, however it is the hardest one, at least to me.
Run-out (which is my favorite) and Race are quite similar – you have to finish first and/or collect as much points as you can. The difference is that in Run-out mode you start with 9999 points and they are running out instead of going up (you must earn extra points in this race), and if you reach zero points, you lose the race.
I have already explained one of the biggest features (points system) in the gameplay section and I have mentioned some other features as well. I believe some of them sounded impressive, like 35 race tracks or 15 vehicles for example, but it sounds impressive only if you don’t know the details.
Let’s talk about the first example – 35 different race tracks. It does sound impressive, right? Unfortunately it isn’t as impressive as it sounds – the environment of most the race tracks is the same and there are no shortcuts. The good part is that there is a wide variety of lighting options, however it doesn’t make up for the lack of different environments, therefore the race tracks get too monotonic quickly.
Pretty much the same situation is with the cars – 15 different cars sounds pretty good, right? Unfortunately it isn’t that good, as most of the cars aren’t really different from one another (and they cannot be customized!). Speed and acceleration doesn’t differ much, only the handling changes – the cars become less “drifty”. Basically the handling is defined by three car classes – Street, Muscle and Sport. Other than that, only the looks (mostly pain-job) and special effects are different. Speaking of which, special car effects is another unique feature of Ignite, they make you use a variety of cars depending on the game mode, instead of just picking “the best available”. For example, I always pick a car with “object score bonus” (as I love destruction), however if the race is knockout, I pick the model that has knockout lap bonus, which gives me more points if I pass a lap (which I logically do, otherwise I lose).
Before even trying multiplayer, I’ve beaten the main campaign, as I enjoy singleplayer more than multiplayer in general. However when I wanted to try it, I had trouble finding players to play it with. I even created a server and kept it for about half an hour - nobody joined. Finally I went to Steam forums and in a day or two I was able to get a hold of a few people to play with. When we connected to a server, I chose the best car. A few seconds into the game I noticed that my opponent is way behind me and I thought that he might have missed the start. However he didn’t even get close to me the whole race, so after the race had ended, I asked him what happened, and he asked me what kind of car I had. At this moment I realized that Ignite doesn’t have any equality system – if one hasn’t beaten the campaign and unlocked the latter cars, he won’t stand a chance against the one who did this. Later we decided to pick Tier 2 cars from Street category (there are 5 tiers in each one of them), but this time we also added some A.I. players as well. When the race started, the A.I. players went way ahead of us with end-game cars and we stood no chance to win the race.
However if we would exclude the inequality, multiplayer in Ignite is really good, it is very competitive. Imagine all five players (MP supports up to five players in Ignite) playing with different tactics – drafting, drifting, destroying objects, burning their points on boost… Multiplayer can be extremely fun with the right people!
Simply said, Ignite offers a great multiplayer experience if you have friends to play with, otherwise the competition might be unfair. Nevertheless it’s impossible to find someone to play with in-game…
Every time when I launch any game the first time, the very first thing that I do is heading to the options menu, and so I did when I launched Ignite. The first thing that I noticed was that Ignite doesn’t offer some common resolutions for widescreen monitors (I can post a list of resolutions on request). Other than that, the options menu is okay, there are as many options as there are in most games nowadays.
The visual effects are of medium quality, and unfortunately the most important part of them are of very low quality – car damage. I understand that this is an arcade racing game and the car doesn’t get any performance penalty, but personally I would also like to see some quality effects when I hit a wall on 200 mph…
Sound is of poor quality as well, and unfortunately even the songs get monotonic quite quickly – the rhythm and the content isn’t much different. I also decided to ask around around about that: most people told me that they simply turned off the in-game music and used an MP3 player instead. Simply said, sound probably is the weakest link in Ignite.
The good technical part of Ignite is it’s visuals. Ignite offers quality graphics – everyone agreed on that.
Ignite is a good game to relax and have fun, otherwise it isn’t the game you are looking for. Ignite could be improved a lot if the racing tracks, environments and cars would differ more. It also offers a great multiplayer mode, however you have to know someone who plays Ignite as well, otherwise you will not be able to enjoy it.
Simply said – Ignite is a mediocore arcade racing game with a lack of variety and/or quality in some sections.
Side-note: the menu in this video seems much more convenient than the one in the screenshot on the side, I wonder why Nemesys Games changed it to this. Everyone I asked agreed on this as well…