Written by  :  Stijn Daneels (85)
Written on  :  Dec 19, 2014
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars

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Summary

Ey, whassat on me windshield? Meh, just someone's intrails!

The Good

Carmegeddon is a game I heard a lot about before playing it. It was after watching an episode from Lazy Game Reviews (check out his YouTube channel, it is very cool) that I eventually decided to buy the game along with its expansion pack and sequel from Good Old Games and after spending some hours with it, I discovered that this game is much more than just plain controversy.

And oh boy, was this game controversial. It already starts the moment you boot the game up. After an awesome intro movie, you get to the main menu and your cursor is nothing less than a severed hand with blood dripping from it! Yeah, that already tells you that this game is not for people with weak stomachs. And it just gets better from there on!

In Carmageddon, you compete in races all around the USA. You can win the contest in one of three ways. Passing all the checkpoints just like in a usual racing game, eliminating all the other racers by ramming into them or killing all pedestrians! Obviously, it is very tempting to just give the racing rules the middle finger and go out on a macabre, all-consuming rampage.

This game is extremely violent and has a ton of black humor. When you drive over pedestrians, they will scream out in pain and you will hear their flesh getting torn off their bodies. Slam into them with enough speed and they will swing towards your screen with chunks of man meat flying everywhere. Your wheels smear their guts over the concrete and you can keep on driving over their ripped open carcasses while looking around for your next victim. And if that wasn't enough, your driver dryly comments to the events that "shit happens" or sarcastically says "sorry" after driving over someone at speeds over 100 km an hour.

In addition, Carmageddon is about as addicting as it is bloody. As you complete races, kill pedestrians and ram your competitors out of commission, you gain credits which you can use to rank up. Unlocking new tracks and better equipment. You start at level 99 and you will have a lot of driving and slaughtering to do in order to reach the coveted level 1 rank.

When it comes to locations, you have city streets, countryside, industrial zones, mines, snow covered mountains and more! The game's timer is very generous and it is quite easy to get your timer well over ten minutes. It certainly encourages you to explore the entire map because the race track itself is just the tip of the iceberg. There are plenty of more locations to visit and people to kill when you go off the track and just drive around like a freaking maniac! Go to the beach and watch people in swimming trunks running for their lives. Visit the fields and mountains and see cows shit all over the place (literally) just before your turn them into raw steak saignant! Mmmm!

When exploring the maps, you will also find plenty of power ups and game changers. These power ups vary to extra time or credits all up to turning your ride into a bouncing machine or making it shoot electricity to zap everything you come across into a cooking, bleeding mess! Just make sure to avoid the cops, because they will ferociously hunt you down. And in case your car gets beat up or turned upside down, no worry! You can always have your car fully repaired or recovered as long as you pay for it (and you can even get into debt in case you're out of cash).

Music and sound effects are excellent. The music consists of industrial and thrash metal music with tracks made by Fear Factory as well as originally composed tracks. The soundtrack is fast, aggressive and agitating and perfectly sets the game's atmosphere. Finally, the sound effects are gruesomely crisp. Driving over someone who is already dead or about to be dead makes a painfully squishing sound and cars make screeching, ear piercing noises as they crash into walls or into each other.

The game's graphics aren't bad but not much to write home about. Much of the game is in 3D except for the pedestrians which are sprites. It definitely adds to the gory beauty of the game as polygon pedestrians would have looked awful given the time this game was released.

One last thing I want to mention is how great the game controls are. I personally never expected a pc racing game to control so smoothly. You only need to use the num pad and a few more buttons to handbrake, repair and recover your ride. That is all. No controller or steering wheel needed, just a good old keyboard.

The Bad

One thing I miss in this game is a genuine commentator. It would certainly be fun to have a game host making fun remarks about whatever ridiculous stuff you do in the game. For example, a good line after running over someone would be "Let's hope he enjoys his new tattoo" or "don't worry, you'll get a full life insurance refund for that."

Some customization for your car would have been great. Although you can unlock cars, you cannot change anything when it comes to aesthetics. It is therefore impossible to change your car's color or to add cool gadgets like spikes, hooks or other hardcore equipment.

Speaking of unlocking cars, you may think that you use credits to unlock your opponent's cars but no. You have to thrash your opponent's car an unknown random number of times in order for it to unlock. The game offers no requirements to meet in order to unlock a particular car is a matter of patience and dumb luck. And if that wasn't enough, you cannot unlock every car you see in the game. Yeah, talk about some unnecessary car teasing.

And of course, do not play Carmageddon if you dislike violent and politically-incorrect entertainment. Then it would be easier to French kiss a cobra rather than enjoying this game! But if you have even a little dark, sadistic edge, than you will enjoy this game as much as I enjoy killing bunnies with axes. Ok, just kidding, I kill them with chainsaws after driving over them with my monster truck while wearing nothing but a pigs mask on my head! Yeah, talk about bunny genocide!

The Bottom Line

A true classic in the racing genre, Carmageddon's outrageous, violent gameplay will keep you satisfied for a long time. The pc platform may not have that many racers, but with the Carmageddon series, it certainly has a big pawn on the board of racing franchises. This game definitely belongs to the collection of every self-respecting gamer. Go get it and enjoy that feeling of getting warm internal guts into your hair and face. Let's roll!