Ben-Hur, More Like Ben-Dur
By Brett Wolfe
Reviewed on Xbox One
Released August 9th, 2016 on Xbox One
Developer: Float Hybrid / Krome Studios Publisher: AOL
Welcome Gladiators! Do you like life-threatening danger? Do you like adrenaline rushes? Do you like sand? Well if the answer is yes to all of these then we have the place for you. Welcome to the Colosseum, the best racetrack and death pit money can buy in 80 A.D. All the action you could ever want. So grab your favorite chariot and your prize-winning horse and let’s go to the races.
Ben-Hur is a racing game developed by Krome Studios and published by AOL, and is currently available for free on the Xbox One. The game is a kart style racer in vain of Mario Kart, but without power-ups and such. It takes place in the Roman Colosseum and as such is a circular track that adds obstacles as you advance from race to race. Starting with race one, it has little to no obstacles, with the final race having larger hindrances more frequently around the track.
This game doesn’t provide much when it comes to gameplay as it only contains a campaign. No multiplayer, no time trials, nothing that you would expect out of a kart racer. The game’s campaign is a racing season; however, it is only three races in the whole game. The track that you race around in Ben-Hur (besides the aforementioned addition to obstacles) does not change in the slightest between the three races. Your starting position can differ, but besides that you go down the same stretch, turn, etc. The largest difference between the three races are the number of laps. Going for two laps on race one to four on race three. See the difference! Yeah, me too! One mechanic that was pretty nice in the game which makes in a kart racer instead of a driving simulator is the ‘Whip’ mechanic. Your character and every other race have possession of a whip that can do damage to the other characters. This is the only way to damage other character besides ramming, in which will also damage your chariot. While ramming, you can force other racers into the obstacles to ensure maximum damage. This title does provide health potions if your health gets below 50% which will fall into the track in set locations. You really do not need to worry about running out of health as the potions fall very frequently and you are the only racer that can pick them up. The race is over in the events that: you win, you eliminate all of the other racers, you lose, or you run out of health. If either of the latter happen then you need to restart the race over at the beginning, which isn’t a huge deal due to the low number of laps. It is worth noting that you only need to restart the race that you are on. So if you are on race three and you lose then you only have to restart race three. This game is not difficult in the slightest to win the races and you will finish it without much trouble at all.
The visuals and sounds in this game are (with most of the game) something that could be better. You character model is the only one that differs from the rest, as all of the other racers look identical except for maybe a color difference and the chariots too look identical. Your chariot has a white horse, while everyone else has black horses. That is the only slight variance. When you bring sounds into the mix, the actual soundtrack is one or two songs. The voice acting for the announcer of the race and the other racers sounds like two different voice actors (which isn’t always a bad thing). Until you realize that they only recorded four or five lines of dialog for the game. The title also does not have much replayability unless you are into achievements and then it still is not much. This game will net you about 35 minutes of entertainment if you are not into achievements and maybe 45 if you are. Ben-Hur is a download, play, and finish all within an hour or hour and half if you are really into this game.
All in all, I would recommend this game since it is free, but if it was not it would be a definite NO! This game is such as shell game it is not even funny. However, when looking at it, I feel this game was made as a playable teaser for the movie of the same name that is releasing on August 19th. I believe it was meant to be just a simple ad tie-in. However, for being a playable teaser, Ben-Hur is a decent game and worth the download to get the achievements. The game is a very easy 1000 Gamerscore and it is one of the only reason I would think someone would play this game.
Final Score: 2/10
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