May 14, 2013
Carmageddon is a carbonized road rage epidemic forced into a bottle. Do I dare shake it up?
Right from the beginning too, when I got to pick a racer from the very appropriately named Max Damage or Die Anna. I also got to choose from the inappropriately funny difficulty levels: “as easy as killing bunnies with axes, “normal everyday carnage” or *shudder* “harder than french kissing a cobra.”
Alrighty. I could tell this was gonna be an atypical ride on this Kickstart-ed reboot.
Without sugarcoating it, the game’s whole point was destruction. I had to jack up opponents and innocent bystanders and pedestrians for points. Practically anything moving was fair game; it was a massive downtown monster demolition derby. There was a premium on “splatting” people and being rewarded with a grievous splash of red. Destroying competing vehicles was preferred, with things like head-on collisions bringing me bonus points. At one point in the first race, I found myself in a stadium with scurrying football players. Earned time bonuses prolonged the time I ha to finish the course.
Even the bodies of water hid interesting secrets, some of the explosive kind. The vehicles were submersible, too.
Option-wise, there was a decent amount of variety. There were plenty of different cars to be had, 30-some unlockable picks. I liked that I could tweak the controls so completely, ticking between stuff like using tilt controls our simply using onscreen buttons to steer. The different scenes added to the overall feel.
The graphics were suitably grim. I thought the cars were well done, as were the cityscapes. I felt some elements could have been a tad more refined. The water was turgid in appearance, and I thought the people looked robotic in their movements. Some ran into me in a stationary state, though to be fair, I think the same occurred in the original PC port.
Putting on my daddy hat (and being overly protective), my biggest fuss is that the soft gore, cartoony as it was, still probably precludes younger patrons from playing it.
With the developers’ attitude, it is hard not to like this game, or see it as an awesome value. Career Mode is the perfect option for little bit morsels of long term time-killing, and Carmageddon brings back the 90s in a big way.