A vehicular combat game (or car combat game) is a vehicle simulation video game where the primary gameplay objectives include vehicles armed with weapons attempting to destroy vehicles controlled by the CPU or by opposing players. The genre normally features a variety of different vehicles available for play, each with its own strengths, weaknesses, and special attack abilities. Players may also unlock hidden vehicles by completing certain in-game tasks. Games may include racing themes, but they are generally secondary to the action.



Vehicular combat games normally follow a simple play pattern; the player must defeat increasing numbers of not very skilled enemies before facing off against a final, super-powerful, boss character. Vehicular combat games differ from traditional racing games both in the combat aspect and in the general lack of any set path for players to follow, instead allowing them to explore each level at their leisure. The complexity and strategy required to complete games vary, from the careful resource maintenance and intense story-driven plotlines of the Interstate '76 series to straightforward smashups like WWE Crush Hour. Often, the primary plot will involve a contest or competition of some sort, encouraging the various characters to fight and destroy one another to obtain a reward. The Twisted Metal series has been attributed as the first "true" vehicular combat game, without cartoony graphics as seen in kart racing games.[1]



Early examples of vehicular combat games include the 1987 game RoadBlasters and the 1990 game Fatal Run.[2] Vehicular combat games featuring cars have been particularly well-represented on PlayStation consoles, starting with games like Destruction Derby, Twisted Metal, Wipeout and Rollcage.[3]

In the 2020s, vehicular combat games are largely considered a "dead" genre due to their lack of prominent entries, despite some games still being released in the modern day, such as Destruction AllStars.[4][3]

See also



  1. ^ Schwab, Brian (2009). AI Game Engine Programming. Cengage Learning. p. 192. ISBN 978-1584506287. Archived from the original on February 5, 2023. Retrieved October 2, 2020.
  2. ^ "WipeOut Fusion". Play UK. No. 69. December 2000. p. 37. Retrieved November 29, 2023.
  3. ^ a b Thorpe, Nick (February 2, 2021). "From Destruction AllStars to Twisted Metal: A brief history of PlayStation's vehicular combat games". GamesRadar+. Retrieved October 16, 2023.
  4. ^ Macgregor, Jody (August 21, 2021). "What 'dead' genre deserves a comeback?". PC Gamer. Retrieved October 16, 2023.