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Dangerous Driving

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Dangerous Driving Game Poster Image
Adrenaline-fueled arcade crashing racer could use a tune-up.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

The focus of the game is right in the title. Players are encouraged to drive as fast and recklessly as possible, while intentionally causing others on the road to crash in spectacularly destructive ways.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The game is a racing title without any use for a story. Players compete against other nameless and faceless drivers in insanely dangerous street racing, intentionally causing damage along the way. 

Ease of Play

The controls are simple and intuitive for most racing game fans. While players are encouraged to drive recklessly in numerous ways, the risk is never too great and the computer opponents are never too difficult to beat.

Violence

One key mechanic in the game is causing spectacular crashes, which features a lot of bent metal, broken glass, explosions, and the like, but there’s never any harm shown to the drivers.

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Dangerous Driving is an arcade-style racing game available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows-based PCs. Players drive on open road tracks in fast paced street racing. As the title suggests, players are encouraged to drive dangerously, getting boosts and bonuses for driving against traffic, swerving around other cars in near misses, and running other people off the road in spectacular crashes. The game's relatively easy to pick up and play, without a high learning curve or degree of difficulty. While the game has its own brand of vehicular violence, full of metal crunching crashes and big explosions, the onscreen damage is limited to the cars and not the drivers within.

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What's it about?

Follow the flow of traffic, keep both hands on the wheel, and yield the right of way are some rules of safe driving, but this is DANGEROUS DRIVING, and on these roads, the only rule is making sure you cross the finish line first. This is street racing taken to the extreme. Getting a hold of the checkered flag here means flying at breakneck speeds into oncoming traffic, with mere millimeters making all the difference between trading a little paint and ending up a twisted mass of metal on the side of the road, watching your competition pass you by. But hey, if you’re going to go down, why not take a few fellow racers with you? Players will defy physics as you maneuver your wreckage into other racers or anyone else that dares to share the same road, causing massive amounts of damage and more explosions than a summer action film.

Is it any good?

In the world of racing games, titles tend to fall into one of two categories: realistic driving simulators or over-the-top arcade action driving. Dangerous Driving is doing doughnuts and burning rubber firmly in the latter category. There’s very little that anyone might consider realistic in this racer, but that’s also the point. The game encourages players to try and pull off some of the most ridiculous and, well, “dangerous driving” they could ever imagine on the open road. Speeding past other cars by the skin of your teeth, pulling a pit maneuver to send an opponent careening into a barrier, and of course, causing a massive pileup of twisted wreckage, all make for an insane series of racing. Plus, thanks to the lap-based gameplay, your actions in one lap can have direct consequences for you and your opponents later in the race. It makes for a driving experience that’s fueled by adrenaline as much as anything else.

As much fun as Dangerous Driving can be, though, there are a few issues which keep it from ever quite getting up to full speed. For starters, the game can get repetitive relatively quickly. Doing laps means seeing the same scenery over and over, and it’s a feeling made worse by the fact that none of the tracks really feel that different from the others. There are some technical glitches that pop up from time to time, usually involving respawns after crashes or wonky camera placement, but nothing that makes the game unplayable. It’s an occasional nuisance at worst. Finally, there’s not a lot of challenge posed by the AI opponents. Once you take the lead, it’s yours to lose. Unless you make a catastrophic mistake, you can almost guarantee your win. While online multiplayer has been mentioned for a future update, as it stands, you’ll simply be spending your time running circles around the computer-controlled competition. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games. How is the impact of the violence in Dangerous Driving affected by the unrealistic destruction caused by crashing without injuries? Do violent racing games have a different impact than, say, a violent first-person shooter?

  • While the automotive antics of Dangerous Driving may not be the norm, what are some real-world hazards to watch out for when driving? What are things you can do to make sure you and your family stay safe on the roads?

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