Moby ID: 121
Windows Specs
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Description official descriptions

Motorhead is a racing game set in the near future. Despite it's semi-futuristic setting, the cars require realistic handling. There are 10 different cars and 8 different tracks. They are not all available from the start however; the player has to earn them by winning championships in the Transatlantic Speed League.

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Credits (Windows version)

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Average score: 74% (based on 29 ratings)


Average score: 3.3 out of 5 (based on 27 ratings with 4 reviews)

A classic racing game, all racing-game fans MUST have played this

The Good
This game is a modern classic. Digital illusions really show off their extreme skills as programmers with this one. (I bought some Digital Illusion shares after playing this title, and man was that the best investment I have ever made :) ). I usually don't like arcade-style racers, but this one is different. The feeling that you are going really really fast is there, and the cars are not glued to the road like in other arcade racers. The tracks and the environment around them are nicely modeled, and the darker night-tracks have a nice feeling to them. You can also "paint" your car in your favorite colors!

The Bad
One bad thing, not only in this game though, is that you don't get to drive all cars and tracks from the start. It's very frustrating to first drive the bad cars, then get to drive the not-so-bad cars etc. Just give us 10 cars that are all competitive from the start! Also there is no view from inside the car! Gamers who wants realism and always use this view, will be disappointed.

The Bottom Line
A high-speed game with nice feeling and graphics. Any racing-gamer will like this one, both arcade and realism fans.

Windows · by Grov (657) · 2001

Stripped of all excess weight and boy does it move!!

The Good
Motorhead is a pure racing game, despite it’s semi-futuristic setting. Rocket launchers & speed power ups are not included. It may not be a true simulation, but the handling of the cars is a lot more realistic in this game than in, for example, the Need for Speed series. The cars are not glued on the tracks, as is the case with some of those futuristic arcade racers. I really like the way the cars drive. The 10 available cars differ with regard to speed, handling and acceleration and during the tournament mode it actually is important to select the right car for each track (you can change cars before every race). Too bad the handling of the cars is not affected by crashes; the cars never show any sign of damage. By the way, the only aspects of a car you can modify are the color and the sound of the horn.

Motorhead’s graphics are superb. If this game was in an arcade a couple of years ago people would throw money in it. The scenery is great and there are a lot of things going on like a train driving besides the track or there is a zeppelin in the sky. The lighting effects are good, there’s hardly any pop-up of scenery and the game gives you an enormous sense of speed. All the tracks are fun to drive in their own way and the game offers a nice selection of corners and hairpins. Moreover they’re not just your usual jungle, desert and snowy mountain tracks. On the downside, there are only 8 tracks. You can drive them the other way, but as usual that’s only half the fun. Also, it takes only a minute and a half to complete the longest track.

The music is a combination of techno & trance and fits the game’s futuristic setting, but personally I would have preferred Ace of Spades or Overkill (hey, the game is called Motorhead). The engines produce the high-pitched sounds of a formula 1 car. I like the way the sound changes when you enter a tunnel, the way you can hear an opponent approaching and the whining of the engine when you change gears.

Computer opponents do make a mistake every now and then. That’s great news because computer opponents that keep driving perfect lap times all the time are pretty boring.

The game’s interface is OK; the menus look cool, it saves a lot of different high-scores & track records, there are a lot of options for saving and watching replays and the game has a useful address book for finding multi-player servers. Too bad this game isn't exactly the hottest game online.

The Bad
As is often the case with racing games these days, you don’t get all the tracks & cars at once. You have to earn them by winning tournaments. You start out in division 3 with 3 cars and only two tracks available. After you've won division 3 you have to win division 2, which starts with the same two tracks you've just raced in division 3 (you do get two extra tracks & three extra cars). This of course increases the longevity of the game, but the problem with this game is that it becomes very hard. You can’t change the difficulty while you’re in the tournament mode. The default difficulty for divisions 3 and 2 is medium (which is in fact pretty hard), but once you reach division 1 the level of difficulty is set to hard (which is insanely difficult). Moreover if you don’t score enough points, you’re relegated to a lower division. In division 1 there is no room for error what so ever and winning requires the reflections of a Jedi Knight. After a while I became pretty frustrated with the fact that I was constantly switching between divisions.

Besides the difficulty of the game, Motorhead has some other (minor) faults:

  • There’s no in car view. Besides the 3rd person view and the highlight view there’s only a bumper cam.
  • The music is played from CD and each time the CD skips to the beginning of a track the screen temporarily freezes. You'll always lose control of your car during those brief moments. Made me turn off the “CD-loop function”.
  • There are a lot different versions of this game, and the cheat codes probably don’t work with all of them. There is supposed to be a really cool cheat that enables vector graphics (the TRON movie cheat) but like all other cheats, this one never worked with my version of the game.
  • You rarely battle for a position with one of the A.I. drivers. If you drive fast enough you’re ahead of them, if you don’t you’re not. It’s that simple.
  • Does not include a split screen mode.
  • Only includes the traditional game modes (single race, league race, time attack and multiplayer mode).
  • Sometimes you get stuck on the scenery, for instance when you crash into a small wall at a high speed. What a shame. Fortunately it doesn't happen too often.

The Bottom Line
Kick-ass racing game, if I had a force feedback (yes the game offers force feedback) steering wheel my arcade experience would be complete. It doesn't have as many tracks or game modes as The Need for Speed (hot pursuit, betting) so it won't last forever, but it sure is a great bare-bones racing game.

Be sure to check out for the final patch that gives you four extra cars (among others).

Windows · by Roedie (5239) · 2001

A great game for PC racing fans to graduate to.

The Good
Motorhead is the nearly-perfect embodiment of beauty, speed, style, and form in a racing game. The handling is fairly true-to-life (or, at least, as true-to-life as racing 20 years in the future would be), with firm suspension and realistic tire grip.

Display: The display engine is not only fast has almost no scenery pop-up whatsoever. If you're lucky enough to own a 3D accelerator, especially one that supports 32-bit color rendering, the distant scenery flows onto the screen smoother than butter.

Music: From a demomusic veteran, the music ranges from light and airy to urgent and insistent. While some music tracks are weak, there are none that are bad.

The Bad
The "easy" difficulty level is too easy. The medium level is hard. The hard level is insane. Unless you're a veteran of PC racing, the game will appear quite difficult to you.

The control of the cars is misleading at first; the setting is futuristic, which implies arcade-like handling and control of your vehicle, but the handling, suspension, etc. are close to "normal" for sports cars. It takes getting used to.

The Bottom Line
If you're good at racing games and want a strong challenge, check this out. And if you don't have a 3D accelerator card, buy a 32-bit color rendering card like the Viper V550 (TNT-based) so you can get the 32-bit color version with the gorgeous rendering.

Windows · by Trixter (8962) · 1999

[ View all 4 player reviews ]


Subject By Date
How to change the driver view? André Costa Aug 11, 2012


The OEM version of Motorhead bundled with nVidia TNT cards uses 32-bit color rendering to display an absolutely delicious distance model. No matter what the "distance clipping" or "scenery pop-up" setting is, distant scenery eases so smoothly into your field of view that you barely notice it. Take a look at the screenshots submitted by "Trixter" as proof, since they were all taken from a TNT-based card.


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Trixter.

PS Vita added by GTramp. PSP, PlayStation 3 added by firefang9212. PlayStation added by Adam Baratz.

Additional contributors: Roedie, DreinIX, Victor Vance.

Game added May 17, 1999. Last modified August 14, 2023.