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Micro Machines World Series Review - The franchise charm with little substance

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Micro Machines World Series was announced back in January by developer Codemasters and publisher Deep Silver. In the announcement article, I talked about how much I loved the Micro Machines franchise and how I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the game. Unfortunately, my quest for table-top domination was cut short, in more ways than one.

The game is, in essence, still Micro Machines, which I have always found charming. However, Micro Machines World Series has a small amount of content, little depth and is simply put, lacking in most aspects.

A word about Multiplayer

I played the game on a 4mb ADSL line and experience no connectivity issues throughout. The gameplay was smooth and fast, so there is absolutely no issues to report, except for one. When searching in Quick Play and the wait is over 90 seconds, the game automatically matches you with AI. Now, I do understand that waiting around for other players might not be ideal, but I would have at least wanted the option to do so.

It is still Micro Machines

Even though I found the game lacking in many aspects, which I will explain in the next section, I first want to tell fans of the franchise that above all else, the Micro Machines charm is still very much there. From the retro music to the personality of the vehicles and all the levels to race on, it is definetly still Micro Machines.

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I loved picking GI Joe Mobat (the tank) and driving around, bumping my opponents off the edges of tables and seeing them explode. All the great personalities of the vehicles are intact and they do look great while driving around a track or while doing battle against each other, which is why nostalgia came flooding into me in my first few hours with the game.

Playing on my Xbox One, I felt at home in the Micro Machines world yet again. It was like welcoming back an old friend and catching up with him or her. Until I realised that this old friend had very little stories to tell even after more than a decade.

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Yes, Micro Machines V4 was released all the way back in 2006 and for me, Micro Machines World Series hasn’t done enough new, nor does it have enough content to keep me interested for long.

Lack of content and diversity

Micro Machines V4 had a tonne of tracks (over 20) as well as hundreds of vehicles to unlock. Right there, the game doesn’t live up to its eleven-year-old predecessor. The game only has 12 vehicles to choose from, 10 tracks and 15 Battle Arenas. You might be wondering what Battle Arenas are?

Well, they are the environments in the new Battle Mode introduced in World Series, where you can fight your opponents with weapons and abilities unique to each vehicle. Battle Mode features game types like Capture the Flag and King of the Hill, which is fun the first few times but quickly loses its appeal. Then, there are the two classic modes, Race and Elimination.

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There is also no career mode or any type of story to follow, which is a great shame since the personality of the vehicles could have made excellent characters in a story. Instead of anything like that, the game basically follows an Overwatch system.

You can compete in Quick Play, Ranked Play (level 10 required to enter) or AI matches, with the reward for winning a race being experience points that count toward your player level.

When you level up, you get a Loot Box, with skins for vehicles, quotes and a few other cosmetic things…sound familiar? That’s it, there is nothing more to the game than that, and events that take place several days apart. Sure, climbing the leaderboard could be enjoyable to some, but for me, it just felt like a drawn-out loot grind. I opened several boxes and was quite unimpressed with the loot itself as well.


Lastly, my biggest gripe with the game is that those 12 vehicles available in the game do not feel unique. Sure, they have different abilities in Battle Mode, but everywhere else they have nothing of the sort. All 12 of the vehicles feel exactly the same, and by the same, I mean slippery and tough to handle.

I could feel no difference from driving the GI Joe Mobat tank to the small L.T Shields police car. Therefore, it felt like each vehicle is just has a different shell, which was definitely one of the most disappointing aspects of the game for me.  

Performance and graphics

One good thing I can say about Micro Machines is that every track and tiny vehicle look great and even the abilities can look beautiful at times. On my standard Xbox One, I rarely saw any performance dips (although there are some) and I had a nice time driving through the tracks while blowing up opponents or falling off ledges, especially on the pool table track.

Everything looks shiny, with bright colours and decent sound to make every race enjoyable to the senses, while picking up items such as a mine to throw at your enemies and speeding around a track does feel good. Items on the tracks that you can pick up, like a big hammer to smash your foes with, have a nice shine to them.


However, it is the effects of electrical grids and teleporters, for example, that shows off the best graphics. My personal favourite is jump pads, which for a moment showcases your vehicle up close and it looks marvellous. The only thing that puts a damper on the jump pads is that sometimes I encountered frame-rate drops during launch from the pad, which meant it wasn’t such a great visual experience as it could have been.

The Verdict

I wish there was more I could say about Micro Machines World Series, as I was pretty hyped up for the game when it was announced. My initial impressions were more positive, but after more and more time with the game, I came to realise that it simply didn’t have enough content to keep me going. The game might still appeal to long-time franchise fans and some might even play it for months on end, levelling up and unlocking more loot boxes.  

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Even though the game still has the Micro Machines soul, I find it difficult to recommend it to the hardcore fans and those new to the franchise. However, the game is relatively cheap, so for those who want a few hours of fun, you should consider purchasing the game. Just know, there is a severe lack of content – but maybe that is enough for those memorised by the tiny vehicles on beautifully designed tracks.

Available On: PC, PS4 and Xbox One | Reviewed on: Xbox One | Release Date: 30 July 2017 | RRP: R249

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"the game doesn’t live up to its eleven-year-old predecessor"

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