Reviews - Updated on April 16, 2022

Relevant for the platform: XBOXSX

Snowboarding simulators are dead. There was a time when Electronic Arts and 2K Games released games from the SSX and Amped series one after another, but in recent years these publishers have become fascinated with football and basketball simulations. Only Ubisoft does not forget about winter sports, although it tries not to devote its games entirely to snowboarding – both in Steep and in Riders Republic this is just one of the disciplines. As often happens, independent developers are trying to fix the situation – a small FoamPunch team recently released Shredders.

Bloggers on the go

There is a suspicion that the authors of Shredders deliberately tried to create a game in the spirit of sports simulators of the Xbox 360 and PS3 era. The dialogues are deliberately ridiculous, the characters are comical – their faces are completely covered with buffs, and only by the amusingly moving jaws can you understand that they are talking. All voiced are also not very professional – some of the actors seemed to be recording remarks on a voice recorder.

At the same time, a “tube” atmosphere arises – it seems that plot videos should cause shame, but, unlike the same Riders Republic, this does not happen here. The point, apparently, is that Ubisoft is serious, the developers really think that athletes actually talk like that. And the authors of Shredders sometimes allow themselves self-irony, do not drag out plot videos, and sometimes joke well. The “Fourth Wall” is also broken – some strange moments are perfectly explained by the fact that this is a video game.

Shredders: An Overview

The characters are chatty, but you don’t want to miss their chatter.

Therefore, the plot can hardly be called bad – the game is somewhat reminiscent of the old shows from the MTV channel, whose participants were not afraid to look funny. Shredders tells the story of two snowboarding YouTubers trying to grow their channel with cool trick videos. They are noticed by a representative of the fictional company 540 Indy, thanks to which the guys not only gain an audience, but also get to know the stars. Professionals willingly make contact and allow the heroes to both learn new tricks and compete with them.

Way to the top

The gameplay of the game can not be attributed either to full-fledged simulators or to simple arcade games. This is something in between – the character is quite heavy, does not turn around quickly in the air, and does not “magnetize” him to the rails after the jump. There is no such thing that after the first two levels you score thousands of points with a few clicks, as in Riders Republic – here everything needs to be gradually learned, although some inconvenience prevents this. But nothing prevents you from using rewind – just like in Forza Horizon, you can roll back a few seconds at any time.

Shredders: An Overview

One of the extreme fun is to successfully jump into the big O.

The controls are pretty easy to get used to. Left stick turns, right stick brakes. Hold RT to prepare for the jump, then release the button to make it happen. Before jumping, you move the stick to spin in the air or make a flip. The LB and RB buttons are responsible for grabs, and when paired with a stick, they allow you to perform additional tricks. Everything is taught gradually: a primitive sign at the beginning of each mission is divided into two parts – tasks are written on the left, and hints are hanging on the right, reminding how this or that trick is carried out.

The open world is there, and it’s certainly nowhere near as huge as in Ubisoft’s games. If you wish, you can almost not drive on it, simply choosing the next mission in the menu and quickly getting to it. It’s hard to know which quests are required and which are side quests, but it’s not that important – in any case, Shredders will be completed in two evenings. This is not a service game that relies on multiplayer and updates, but a finished work, where after the story, all that remains is to entertain yourself on your own – for example, collect badges scattered around the map.

In some missions, it becomes possible to hook on a hook to accelerate or even call a snowmobile.

You can also do bonus tests, which are in almost every mission. For example, you will be asked to perform a specified trick or crash into all letters of the word SHRED on your way to the finish line. You complete many tasks on the first try, thanks to the above-mentioned hints as well. There is no encyclopedia in the game, or just a list in the menu, where all the tricks and how to perform them would be listed. A controversial decision, because even games like OlliOlli have a similar section, and it is especially strange when the developers forget to mention the tricks that they need to demonstrate for testing in the tooltips.

Falls are inevitable

The missions themselves, by the way, are very diverse. Either you follow a professional and try to repeat the tricks, then you beat his records, then you go racing with a van, then you are asked to jump on the rails. Tasks are constantly changing, and the tracks are not laid along the same routes. Occasionally something that is not obvious interferes when you drive along the route conceived by the authors, and when you leave it. Take, for example, races against professionals – if you suddenly go around your opponent, you can be out of the track in a couple of seconds, because he went the other way – there were no signs, you just didn’t guess.

Shredders: An Overview

The game has a drone mode – you can fly over the map and look at yourself and the environment from the side.

It does not spoil the impression, just such trifles once again prove that a small team worked on the game. The developers assessed their strength, so they did not add additional sports disciplines, did not try to create the illusion of a living world (only a couple of other users ride next to you) and did not introduce races with a dozen opponents. It did not help to optimize the game well – sometimes the frame rate sags, and Shredders crashed a couple of times. But this is certainly fixable, and the first patch with fixes has already been released.

At the same time, the authors managed to attract several companies producing sports equipment to the project. Cosmetic items include items from Oakley, Dakine, The North Face, Burton, and more. In total, there are about one and a half hundred items, including hats, jackets, pants, backpacks, gloves, helmets and much more. They don’t allow you to create your own character (you still won’t see him without a mask), but there are a lot of various clothes – the list is replenished almost after each completed mission. And if you love snowboarding and know all its stars by name, then you can wear their favorite things – the descriptions indicate who wears what in real life.

Shredders: An Overview

Clothing cannot be dyed.

Shredders is reminiscent of a garage band’s musical release – everything is raw and done on the knee, but that’s what attracts it. For those who miss similar games from the last generation of consoles, this is a gift – no matter how stupid the plot is, no matter how crooked the interface is, there is a soul in all this and the desire of developers to offer their vision of a snowboarding simulator. Almost all the necessary elements are in place, and they are executed at a good level – they will not be remembered for a long time, but they will definitely brighten up a couple of evenings, especially if you take the game with an Xbox Game Pass subscription.

Pros: wacky but funny story cutscenes; the ability to quickly select missions in the menu and get to them just as quickly; not the worst control for a snowboarding simulator; one and a half hundred branded cosmetic items.

Cons: no menu with a description of all available tricks; after passing the story, there is really nothing to do; intermittent performance issues.

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