Stadia 'Wave Break' Review: A Crazy Fun Take On Skateboarding

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Wave Break is a brand-new game that just launched on Stadia on June 23. It takes the fun of a traditional skateboarding game and turns it on its head by using boats instead of boards, but still lets the player shred up the level and perform some wicked tricks. It also adds in some unique gameplay elements to give things a twist. Such as the ability to shoot guns at your opponents to throw them off their game. There's also a pretty cool bullet-time mode that's been added in. If you love 80s music and the perpetual cool of the Miami Vice vibe, this might be right up your alley.

$29.99
Rating
Pros
  • Unique take on skateboarding games
  • Bullet-time mode for slow-motion combat or performing tricks
  • Boat and character customization
  • Multiple playable characters and boats
  • Campaign and multiplayer modes
  • Awesome 80s-inspired synthwave soundtrack
  • Pretty neat graphics
Cons
  • Controls are a little tough to get used to
  • A little too much of a grind to progress to the next level in the campaign mode

Wave Break is one of the newest games to land on Stadia and we've had a little time to review it prior to the game launching today on the platform.

Wave Break is a Stadia-exclusive title for the time being, though it is a timed exclusive and will eventually launch on other platforms. For now though, Stadia is the only place you can play it.

For $30, you really can't go wrong when you get what you get with a game like Wave Break. That being said it certainly may not be to everyone's tastes. At first, it didn't look like something I would personally enjoy. It's a good thing that I decided to check it out. Because it's seems like it could be a hidden gem.

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Stadia Wave Break Review – initial impressions

When I booted up Wave break for the first time, what was going through my mind was "this seems like it's going to be a really fun game."

I wasn't wrong. Even before that I was excited to give the game a try. It wasn't hard to be pulled in by the synthwave soundtrack from the game's official trailer. But no matter how good the trailers are, there's still nothing like checking out the game for yourself.

Much to my surprise I found Wave Break to be a game that was easy to get into. And that I would continue to enjoy my time playing it even after this review was over.

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Everything from the start menu to the graphical style of the game just puts you in a pepped up mood that gets you excited to play.

All that said there are a couple of things about the game that I'm not a fan of. These aren't game-breaking issues. But they are something which resulted in me having slightly less fun with Wave Break over the course of my time playing it.

Not enough to make me put it down for good, but enough to take longer breaks in between play sessions than I would for a game that I'm totally enamored with.

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The controls are a little tough to get used to

If there's anything I would negatively judge the game by it would be the controls. While not downright terrible, far from it really, they do feel like they could be improved.

Driving the boat around and perfecting the spot-on movement sometimes needed to hit ramps and rails proved to be a little more challenging than I would have expected. You could chalk this up to me not having enough practice and give a git gud response. However it seems like it's more than that.

Precise movement seems a little more overly challenging than it should be. Despite the slight learning curve to the controls, Wave Break has been a lot of fun to review and play so far.

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Overall, the controls aren't at their best but they're a far cry from being unusable. They might however turn some players off from the game.

Utilize the bullet-time mode as often as you can

Wave Break 1

Though the game doesn't necessarily need a bullet-time mode, it was nice to have. Often times I would be hitting a ramp and bullet-time would help me link my tricks together for some nice combos.

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As you ride around in the boat you'll also come across other boats. Shooting at them to destroy the boat is the best way to ensure they won't be IN your way when you need to fly off a jump or reach that rail for a grind.

Too many times had I launched into a level and been blindsided by another boat hitting me just as I was about to make my move. Thus ruining the start of a trick. In short, utilize the bullet-time mode as often as you can.

You need to fill up the meter to access it, which is done by completing tricks. Trust me though, you'll want it for certain moments.

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The leveling system in Wave Break ensures there's something to chase after – perfect stats

Wave Break 13

Although I do feel that some of the level goals you need to achieve are little bit grindy, the leveling up system for your characters ensures you have something to chase.

This in particular was a nice touch. It gives you something to work for to better your character by giving it perfect stats.

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To increase the stats you need to head to the gym in-game. There you'll find whatever character you've chosen to use running on a treadmill with a list of different stats beside them. These stats cover your grinds, jump, lip tricks, speed and more.

You need cash to purchase upgrades for your stats. This isn't super easy to come by, since you acquire it by finishing tasks in each level. Some of which you'll really have to work at, like the 75,000 points in one run or finding all the rolls of cash hidden throughout each level.

The more you upgrade everything though, the easier it'll be to perform combos, and even one-off tricks. Which ultimately leads to higher scores at the end of a run.

Practice in campaign mode before heading into multiplayer

The fact that this isn't just a straight multiplayer game is something that I was happy to see.

With the learning curve for landing tricks and simply learning how to perform certain ones, the campaign mode gives you everything you need to hone your skills as a skateBOATer.

Once you feel confident enough, you can take things into the multiplayer mode and try your hand against other players. This is where the bullet-time can really come in handy as you can throw your opponents off.

And the less they land their tricks is good for you. Because that gives you a chance to accrue a higher score. So long as you land more tricks than they do that are worth more points.

Not necessarily a must-have game, but a really fun one and worth the money

There are so many games out there these days you might find it hard to distinguish which ones you should absolutely not skip from the ones you can.

Wave Break is not necessarily a must-have game. It is really fun to play though. That combined with with its low barrier of entry cost makes it one that is worth the money.

It's obvious the developers put a lot of effort into creating this wonderful little title for the players. And should you be looking for a game to spend that free $10 Google gave you on, this would be a good one to do it with.

Overall, Wave Break has many more strengths than weaknesses. I've had a lot of fun with Wave Break during the review and it's definitely a game I would recommend to other users.