Crash Time: Autobahn PursuitCrash Time: Autobahn Pursuit is a mission-based driving game released for the PC in 2007 and Xbox 360 in 2008. It is based around the German television series Alarm für Cobra 11 – Die Autobahnpolizei, and features several characters from the show working their way through criminal cases based around the road network of a small area of Germany. The developers created a "Pathfinder" to ensure that the AI vehicles do not always follow the same path during a pursuit. It was not received well by critics, with graphics and plot being of concern. Two sequels have been released on Xbox 360 and through online content provider Steam.
Crash Time: Autobahn Pursuit GameplayThe player assumes the role of one of several officers in the fictional Cobra 11 team, from the television series Alarm für Cobra 11 – Die Autobahnpolizei, a police unit in Germany assigned to patrol the Autobahn and other road networks. The player usually takes the role of either Chris Ritter or Semir Gerkhan, but there is one early mission (Beginner's Luck) where the player take the place of the "rookie". The officers are charged with stopping and questioning suspects about various criminal activities. The game presents the player with a series of fictional "cases" which need to be solved in order to progress. Cases are split into several missions which can be of the following types;
Race - a straight race against a number of vehicles
Pursuit - pursuing another vehicle followed by one of three actions:
Maintaining a position alongside the vehicle
Causing the vehicle to make a momentary stop
Incapacitating the vehicle
Shadowing - staying within two predefined distances away from a vehicle
Navigation - finding a route past a number of checkpoints to reach a target destination
Screenshot showing a blue car progressing towards a red checkpoint circle, surrounded by green and white police vehicles. An arrow points towards the checkpoint. There is statistical data around the outside of the screen, and a map in the top right corner.
Screenshot from Xbox 360 version of Crash Time: Autobahn Pursuit.
To increase the difficulty in completing missions there can be a limit to the amount of damage the player's vehicle can sustain, and/or a time limit. Between missions there are cut scenes that help to move the story along. The game takes place over two maps, one set on the Autobahn and in the countryside surrounding it, the other a city based area. There is traffic on the roads that the player must avoid.
In addition to the "Cases", there is a mode in which the player can set up and engage in races against CPU controlled opponents using vehicles and tracks that are unlocked as the "Cases" are solved. These unlocked vehicles and tracks can also be used in local two to four human player races.
The vehicles in the game that the player can unlock and use vary from standard road cars to coaches. There is only one licenced vehicle in the game, a Seat Leon, which can be unlocked both in a standard form and as a tuned version. Other vehicles include MPVs, small commercial vans, 4x4s, an armored vehicle and a limousine.
ReceptionThe IGN Xbox Team rated Crash Time: Autobahn Pursuit as one of the five worst driving games on Xbox 360, mainly referring to the German police setting to the game, and the poor voice acting in the English-language versions. In a review for IGN by Ryan Geddes there was criticism that what could have been an exciting game has been reduced to the mundane. The difficulty curve was labelled "inconsistent", with "cakewalk levels being followed immediately by nearly impossible ones". The "Cases" mode was criticised as the player cannot tell how many missions are left until the case is completed, making the planning of a game session impossible. The missions have been described as boring and dull.
There was praise for the crashes, and it has been noted that the explosions are poor, but their resulting debris is a nice touch. Francis Clarke of AceGamez stated that the graphics are not acceptable for a modern game with textures not standing up to close scrutiny, and a clipping effect when driving through fields. There has been criticism that the vehicles in the game pop-up, which is emphasised by the speed at which the player is travelling.
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