Crash Time: Autobahn Pursuit is a driving game that ties a variety of challenges in with a loose narrative about two traffic policemen solving cases. This thin premise sets up a variety of different driving challenges for players. For example, one checkpoint race requires you to wait at each checkpoint for two seconds before moving on to the next, so that the witnesses to a crime can be interviewed.
As well as checkpoint races, the detective's investigations lead them through a variety of different challenge events, such as:
Standard circuit races against multiple opponents
Stunt sequences which involve driving at the correct speed over ramps and jumps
Pursuit missions in which a maximum and minimum distance from a target vehicle must be maintained
Arrest missions in which the target car must be stopped or destroyed
Simple, timed point-to-point races
Driving in formation with other vehicles
Most challenges must be completed within a set time or within a certain vehicle damage limit.These limits change depending on difficulty setting. A specific vehicle must be used for each mission, ranging from articulated lorries through police cars to open-wheel racing vehicles. Some vehicles are fitted with 'nitro' boost systems. The game has a very detailed damage model, hence the comparisons to the Burnout series, but the missions and challenges are similar to those found in the Midtown Madness series.
The game also features an 'instant replay' feature which allows the player to re-watch crashes or stunts. The camera and both forward and reverse playback speed are controlled by the analogue sticks during replay mode. Screenshots and videos can not be saved, however.
The game is based (although loosely) on the long-running German TV show, "Alarm fur Cobra 11 - Die Autobahnpolizei", which centers on two police officers investigating crimes on Germany's Autobahns. The TV show also makes videos about how stunts and tricks on the show were made, available under the banner of "Europe's Greatest Stunts" in the game.