Summer is approaching fast and it may get quite agonizing when the sun scorches the closed curtains of stuffy gaming rooms. Swedish Zordix AB offers a virtual remedy for the summer exhaustion by inviting us to the snowy landscapes of Scandinavia, the Rocky Mountains, and the Alps for snowmobile races. Sadly Snow Moto Racing Freedom isn't as exciting as it sounds.
The snowmobiles handle well enough even though there is some wonkiness to the driving. Maybe it's supposed to be realistic, or maybe not. I wouldn't know because I haven't steered a snowmobile in my life even though I'm Scandinavian. For Snow Moto Racing, you'll participate in three different race events contained within single races or championships. Sprints are like slalom races with gates to pass through from different directions. Snowcross is more traditional racing over three laps on closed circuits while freestyle is based on doing tricks on back of your snowmobile.
Each championship consists of up to eight rank levels that are unlocked by succeeding in the previous rounds. There lies the first problem with the game: championship races get boring fast. There's not much room for variety and the snowy landscapes end up looking the same. Zordix AB should have opted for one big championship instead, mixing different events within it to keep racing interesting. You can always drive around in a free roam but I really wonder why should anyone bother. The graphics look somewhat outdated and the game doesn't exactly pass for a scenic cruise.
New snowmobiles are earned by completing championship ranks. That's another problem. Almost every racing game, even arcade ones, offer at least some rudimentary tinkering to the machine's speed, handling and such but in Snow Moto Racing Freedom there's absolutely no tuning to do. You can only customize the colors and your driving avatar by choosing the gender and... the colors of your winter overalls.
The motivation to keep racing runs thinner by every outing because you're forced to play against AI. I couldn't get into a single online race during my time with the game even though it has been out for a few weeks now. Online activity was completely nonexistent. There's a local split-screen co-op but hey, the grounds of the game are so dull it won't help much. The only redeeming factor is snowcross which can get suitably chaotic with snow powdering around as the racers skip out of the track. Until you get bored of racing against the same AI competitors again and again. The asking price of almost 30 bucks is ridiculous for the limited content the game offers.
Snow Moto Racing Freedom is not a bad game but it's hopelessly mediocre in every aspect. The major problem with the game is it's all too grounded. The developers should have made it sexier by adding a flight of fantasy to it. Have fireworks and flair, an option to race around in unrealistic settings and reward players with gratuitous things such as different racer skins and soundtracks. As it is, the game is like a grumpy hermit in the Northern Scandinavian wilds, living in his little hunting cottage and settled with his bleak surroundings, baltic herring meal and the radio with one channel for weather forecasts. It's snowing everyday.
Video game nerd & artist. I've been playing computer and video games since the early 80's so I dare say I have some perspective to them. When I'm not playing, I'm usually at my art board.