Disclaimer: The code for this Xbox One game was obtained for free, from a source that had obtained it for free from the developer.
Trailblazers speeds its way onto every console in a blur of bright colours and paint but is it a winning formula?
Well, im happy to say, that for the most part, yes it is! Trailblazers is an arcade racer that tasks you with winning races, painting tracks and getting huge combos in team based races across a variety of tracks and modes.
The first thing that really strikes you about trailblazers is its vibrancy. The game is very colourful and upbeat, the menus are full of bright colours and popping graphics that remind me of Xbox One exclusive Sunset Overdrive and that is not a bad thing. This really helps the game standout compared to relatively similar titles such as Redout or Fast Racing Neo. The characters are also designed in this way, with designs that can't help remind you of Overwatch but again, this is not a bad comparison for a Multiplayer game in 2018.
The in game graphics are also bright, colourful and cartoony with cel shading used throughout that gives the game a style very much of its on in the racing genre. Each track has an overall theme and the colour pallete reflects that, for example in the swamp track there are lots of greens and browns whereas the city tracks are full of bright neon lights. This is fantastic and make each track more memorable as a consequence. In terms of performance the game runs pretty well on Xbox One though i did notice a small amount of slow down on busier sections of the tracks, particularly in the gate made due to the amount of paint being laid on the track at once. The soundtrack is also perfectly suited to the game, with upbeat tunes, disc scratching and bass beats pushing the game along nicely.
Gameplay can easily be summed up as F Zero but with paint but i think that does the game a disservice. You gain a boost for driving on your own colour so the two type of painting becomes very tatical. You can paint behind you to create paths for your team mates, which is great for leading races and building up your teams overall score and you can also shoot out a line of paint in front of you, this damages enemy vehicles but also lets you boost quickly which is key for catching up or protecting your lead driver. This feels like a much more nature balance than the typical rubber banding of other games and as such rewards skilled players just as much as great teamwork.
Content wise Trailblazers is fairly well stocked, there's plenty of characters and tracks to pick from the off. Each with different strengths and strategies and thus far i haven't found an obviously overpowered character which is key for games like this. There is also a good Oval track (Robo Ringway) for all the Baby Park fans out there! Single player is covered with a surprisingly robust Story mode which tasks the player which completing different objectives within different race types, each rewarding you with 1 of 3 tokens which act somewhat as the collectible of the game for achievement/Trophy purposes. Each chapter has short character cut-scenes which aren't very big budget but serve to give each character there own personalities and relationships which is a nice bonus for a racing game.
Multiplayer is where the game shines the most however, with local split screen and online multiplayer options a plenty. The option to take up to 4 players online with you in split screen is a very smart decision, not only for the whole "party game" scenario but also for populating the online lobbies which, as of writing, is really the only big issue i have with Trailblazers. On Xbox One in Europe i have really struggled to find games but as its been out for only a few days i hope that players flock to it!
Overall Trailblazers gets an awful lot right, it looks, feels and most important plays like a well polished arcade racing experience. It shines brightly in multiplayer where its unique co operative mechanics make it stand out compared to other games in the genre. If players gravitate to its fun and fast online multiplayer and a few of the slowdown issues can be addressed then i could see it being a big hit.