Crash Time II, also known as 'Burning Wheels' (and several other names) is the second game in the Crash Time franchise. It follows two German police drivers, Semir Gerkhan and Ben Jäger, as they attempt to police the roads and autobahns and surrounds and protect the public from an assortment of criminals with a variety of vehicles.
The game is loosely based upon the German TV series Alarm für Cobra 11.
The game takes place across two maps, the 'City' and the 'Autobahn' (connected at access points at their edges, with only a loading screen separating them). The maps are filled with moving traffic and destructible cosmetic objects, and each map has approximately a dozen spawn/repair points, but no pedestrians.
Driving is the only focus of the game, and players cannot exit their car or use any sort of weapon (with the exception of the car itself as a battering ram, and a rarely-used explosive RC car). The driving style is arcade-like, with most vehicles able to boost and drift; while several typical camera views are available, unlike similar games the camera cannot be rotated or moved from its viewpoint facing forward. Also unlike typical arcade racers, although brake and reverse have the same control by default, cars won't automatically switch to reverse gear after coming to a stop.
Vehicles incur damage from collisions, impacts with scenery and poor jump landings. Damage is both cosmetic (procedural deformation to car bodies, and damage/removal of individual parts such as doors and hoods) and performance-related - it is possible to break the boost function, damage the gearbox, or shear off a tire. Tires are replaced after resetting the car, but other damage requires finding one of the set repair points on the map. Not doing so, and reaching 100% damage, causes the engine to explode and ends the patrol (i.e. returns to the main menu). Police vehicles have optional lights and/or sirens, which affect AI traffic, and all vehicles have controllable indicators, which do not.
The game also keeps a running tally of property damage, incurred from vehicle collisions (including colliding with other traffic) and destruction of scenery. With the exception of property damage during some missions, this has no effect on the game. Players will typically incur tens of millions of euros in damage before completing the game.
Although the City and Autobahn maps are connected, they are largely self-contained and missions rarely require travelling between them. Each has their own theme and several special areas; the Autobahn has a large jump over an unfinished bridge, as well as an enterable supermarket and a stadium, while the City has a large number of alleys and shortcuts, a container harbour and a train station with a number of moving, indestructible trains. Traffic also varies between map areas with a range of vehicles, including typical cars and vans, vehicles with caravans and semi-trailers with dangerously loose cargo. Despite the weakness of most traffic and scenery, however, all trees are indestructible.
At any time, players can replay the last several seconds of gameplay to rewatch it. This also triggers automatically upon severe-enough collisions. To assist players in completing stunts a special HUD is available when approaching jumps, indicating the correct speed required for a safe landing.
Patrolling the city will lead to cases being offered to the player, with cases broken into several missions. Some cases are offered automatically after a short time, while others can only be triggered at a certain point on the map (hence the suggestion to 'patrol' the area); similarly, while a small number of missions allow the use of any vehicle, most are only available to a smaller selection or will provide a particular vehicle once started.
An individual case consists of a number of missions (the number, and thus length of the case, isn't indicated to the player). Cases can be quit at any time, with progress resuming from the last completed mission. Completing a case usually unlocks further cases, vehicles, spawn/repair points, and music tracks.
There is no overarching plot, but cases often have small chains, such as a series of ten cases about infiltrating an illegal racing league, or a trio of casual races to a coffee shop.
Individual missions fall into several types: arresting car(s) by forcing them to stop, colliding a number of times or simply damaging them; patrolling locations; tailing a vehicle and standard races. Missions generally also have limits to make them tougher, including time limits, property/car damage, or staying close to a target vehicle.
The career mode is fully voice-acted, with introductions featuring a range of characters, speeches during and specific endings for passing or failing each mission.
Completing standard missions unlocks 12 hidden parts across the maps, which often require accurate and difficult jumps to attain. Collecting all 12 unlocks a final car and an extra mission.
The game also includes a standard race mode, with circuits unlocked by completing cases in career mode and taking place across the two maps. Customisation is fairly limited, but includes some options like civilian traffic, boosts and damage. With the exception of a two-player split-screen mode, races are singleplayer only.
Apart from typical police cars and sportscars, several more unusual vehicles are available after related cases:
- An executive stretch limousine
- An F1-style racing car
- A small excavator
- A dune buggy
- A go kart, the smallest vehicle in the game
- A prototype vehicle capable of more than 520 km/h (320 mph)
- An unarmed military APC, the strongest vehicle available capable of moving even the largest scenery objects
A demo for Crash Time II (title for most regions except Germany) was released in late November 2008 on Xbox LIVE Marketplace for Europe. The full game was released at retail in November 2008 for Germany (known as Burning Wheels). There was a limited English release in other parts of Europe and in the US, published by Tommo, it is known under the title "Autobahn Polizei", abandoning the title that would indicate it is a sequel to the original Crash Time.
If the language of the dashboard is set to English (Xbox 360 version), an imported Burning Wheels will play as Crash Time II and have English voice acting. Having the language set to German will of course show the original German dialogue and alternate logos.