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Interstate '76: Nitro Pack (Windows)

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MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.3
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5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Zovni (9360)
Written on  :  Nov 20, 2003
Rating  :  4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars4.4 Stars

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Summary

Keep on grooving.

The Good

As befitting to any megahit title such as I-76, an expansion pack became available shortly that offered more 70's themed automobilistic mayhem, but does it hold up when compared to the original blockbuster? Yup.

For starters you have new cars, weapons, groovy funk/disco tunes, customization options and multiplayer modes, but for as thrilling as those are the most important new feature are the new map textures that take the action out of the deserts and into grassy semi-urban areas and snowy landscapes. It's as if you had been playing Quake all your life and you suddenly realized there are more colors!! Behold!!

The progress of the game differs from the original in the sense that you now play short, single missions as different characters from the original gang that make up a timeline of sorts that predates the original I-76. That's right, Nitro Pack is another one of those "prequels" so you can see just how some characters originally met and generally build the I-76 universe without making a new plotline. (standard M.O. for an expansion pack).

The mission design actually benefits from the approach taken by the mini-campaign layout of the game as you don't have long scenarios as in the original and each mission presents it's challenge directly and doesn't take you on a million-mile chase with 50 cinematics in-between. That's not to say that the missions have taken a drop quality-wise, no siree. The missions are spectacularly crafted and involve all sorts of ambushes, races and more esoteric challenges as in "Velocity" a fantastic spoof on the movie Speed, where Taurus has to somehow stop a bus before it explodes without shooting it or toppling it! Genius I say.

Also the pack comes with off-the-box hardware 3D acceleration support with the obvious quantum leap in graphic quality that involves over I-76.

The Bad

Nightime missions are still a bitch, and that's if you manage to keep your headlights intact, since any shot can still take them out. I would have liked a better 3rd-person perspective camera as it gives you better awareness (but just like in the original you have a flicky non-locked view without most of the hud displays.... And just why do the missions come out of order when taking into account the actual timeline?? Ahh well.. just bitching I guess.

The Bottom Line

Great add-on that gives more of the exciting revolutionary gameplay found on the original hit and builds around it with extra features and better looks. A must for owners of the originals, this is one of those expansions that just can't be separated from the original in terms of completing the experience.