Carmageddon

3 stars

Driving over Miss Daisy

by Brandon Miquel

     "Car - an automobile, Armageddon - a decisive or catastrophic conflict" Put the two together and have sick, twisted, and violent game filled with horrifying scenes of splattering blood and old ladies with walkers getting hit by cars... and I like it! It is best described as a combination of Duke Nukem 3D and uninhibited auto racing - literally a lethal combination.

     One of the selling points of Carmageddon is its realism. You aren't limited to a track that twists and turns on its own and forces you to turn with it. Instead, you are free to roam about the map, running over pedestrians and livestock or plummeting off cliffs at will. SplatYou can ram anything you want, and very often you'll get points for doing so. The telephone poles that line the streets actually bend when you crash into them, and backing away will reveal a deep crevice in your front bumper from the impact. Unlike many racing games, your tires don't hug the ground like giant magnets, they slip and slide as you would expect any tire to do when you're cruising along at 240 mph and attempt a hairpin turn.

     However, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Crashing into a building at full speed just for the fun of it may look cool, but you will very likely damage your car. Fortunately, it appears as if car damage is not quite realistic, undoubtedly to increase the entertainment value of the game. Driving off the edge of a ten story building is sure to put even a Hummer out of commission, but surprisingly does little if any damage in Carmageddon. Damage that occurs on the ground appears slightly more realistic, but it's still no where near real life (is anything about this game?). Crashing into buildings at extremely high speeds would generally result in a front end as flat as a pancake and a completely inoperable vehicle; but what fun would that be? In Carmageddon, you get the much more preferable, slightly damaged engine or wheel.

     Another great thing about Carmageddon is that you don't need to finish the race to win it. In fact, it doesn't matter who takes the checkered flag. If you complete the race you're rewarded with 10,000 credits, and this is where Carmageddon differs from the average racing game. You'll get a heftier reward (20,000 credits) for destroying the other cars than you do for actually winning the race while picking up credits along the way by being destructive in other respects. Running over a pedestrian at 60 miles per hour may earn you 100 credits, while running over five pedestrians while performing a donut usually merits several thousand credits. head onThe "destruction derby" method of winning the race is the most entertaining way, but it is also the most time-consuming. Then again, losing the course and ending up on back streets can also be time-consuming, and not very fun at all.

     Unfortunately for the Mac aficionados, Carmageddon reeks of PC features and interfaces. Command-S won't save your game for you - it won't do anything. Most Mac users would rant and rave about this, but should an otherwise enjoyable game receive a thumbs down because of the interface? Carmageddon is a great game, regardless of its roots. It may take a while to get used to, but you shouldn't have a problem if you read the manual completely which, unlike a lot of games, will really help you out (despite the PC resemblance).

     Carmageddon is certainly not for the faint of heart. The violent nature of the game, combined with the frequent profanity, is enough to make many people's hearts skip a beat. I wholeheartedly recommend this game to anyone who will not be offended by the violence and vileness of it, as it is a very entertaining game, but I can't stress enough that if you are opposed to video game violence, this isn't the game for you. 

Pros

  • Great, original game concept
  • Excellent graphics
  • Relatively realistic Physics


    Cons

  • Senseless violence
  • Even more senseless and excessive profanity
  • Did we mention the violence?
  • Repetetive
  • Get Info.

      SRP: $39.99
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