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CarJacker: Hotwired and Gone! (Windows)

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100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
1.4
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Description

CarJacker: Hotwired and Gone! largely draws inspiration from the Grand Theft Auto series but with simplified gameplay. The player commands an unnamed protagonist in an unnamed city. Starting as a taxi driver he soon comes in contact with a crime boss for whom he has to complete various missions. There is no story to the game, instead it is sequence of different tasks played one after another. The goal of each mission is shown in a loading screen before starting.

The game offers a free-roaming environment in a single city with different buildings and locations, traffic and pedestrians. During the missions the scope is limited because all missions have a time limit. Only the final bonus mission, where the player is awarded luxury cars, can be played without any restrictions. The player can move around on foot or in cars that can be stolen. The game is controlled from a third-person perspective with an optional inside view while driving a car. Movement is done through the keyboard while the mouse is used to steer, zoom and rotate the camera.

By performing missions or beating up people the player earns cash. This can be used to repair a car or get gas as all cars only have a limited supply. This is shown in the bottom right corner of the screen while the bottom left corner shows a mini-map of the city to view gas stations, targets or police cars when a tracker has been installed. In the different missions the player will need to steal cars, install trackers on police cars, race another character, kill an entire opposing gang or escort the boss. While moving around on foot, the protagonist can beat up other character or use any of the three available weapons: a pistol, a uzi gun or a wrench. The wrench can also be used to remove the wheels from stationary cars to immobilize them.

The city is constantly patrolled by the police, in cars and on foot. They do not act upon traffic offences or ramming cars, but only start bothering the player when he runs over innocent people, beats them up or rams a police car. The protagonist is never arrested, instead they shoot him down or ram his car until it explodes. Cars suffer visible damage until they blow up but they can be repaired in gas stations in exchange for cash. Unlike the GTA games there is no wanted level. As soon as the attention of the police is attracted, the entire force will come into action until the player manages to shake them off. While on foot it is possible to bribe police officer to make them go away.

The difficulty level is fairly unbalanced as the driving AI almost makes it impossible to complete certain missions. Cars also regularly get stuck behind nooks of buildings and passengers sometimes refuse to get inside cars. AI cars will also only stopped when blocked by other cars and run over the player right away when there are no other obstacles. The city largely exists of generic buildings, with some distinct locations such as a graveyard and a China Town district.

Screenshots

CarJacker: Hotwired and Gone! Windows My personal stock of sports cars
CarJacker: Hotwired and Gone! Windows The drawing distance is quite small with lots of popping up in the distance.
CarJacker: Hotwired and Gone! Windows Great, I got stuck in the pavement.
CarJacker: Hotwired and Gone! Windows You can run over passengers.

Alternate Titles

  • "Hotwired and Gone!" -- Alten8's UK re-release title
  • "CarJacker: kurzgeschlossen und tschüss!" -- German title

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The Press Says

GameStar (Germany) Dec, 2005 24 out of 100 24

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Sciere (249660) added CarJacker: Hotwired and Gone! (Windows) on Jun 22, 2008