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Carmageddon 2: Carpocalypse Now

aka: Carmageddon 64, Carmageddon II: Carpocalypse Now
Moby ID: 1371

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Critic Reviews add missing review

Average score: 71% (based on 38 ratings)

Player Reviews

Average score: 3.4 out of 5 (based on 110 ratings with 7 reviews)

Absolute Insanity - Oh the hours I've spent...

The Good
Playing around with this one. I can vividly remember how excited the release of Carmegeddon II had me almost a decade ago. The game holds up remarkably well and still occupies a place in my gaming heart.

It's got a unique (In my 15 years of gaming, at least) replayability about it.

The insane physics still appeal to gamers years later, as recent titles like the Flatout series and from a few years before that, 1nsane show.

And it's that very same engine that allows for such insanity that makes this game so replayable. You're never going to slice your car in half the same way as you slide into the side of a building at 200 miles an hour. Playing chicken with a commercial airliner rocketing towards you, being compressed into a ball of crushed steel by an aircraft carrier elevator, pushing a pedestrian off a ledge into a 250 foot free fall... These are all situations unique to a game this original and none will ever be exactly replicated in game.

For basically a glorified racing game, you've got unimaginable freedom.

Not the greatest game ever created by any stretch of the imagination, but of all the "mindless" games I've played, the very most replayable.

A still active modding community, very solid graphics, tight controls, a huge variety of cars from armored sports models to logging vehicles and glorified go karts... For what it is the games just about perfect. Not exceeded by the first title in the series nor its predecessor.

The Bad
The game appeals to me on just about every level. It's not a difficult game to nitpick at, especially if it's not your cup of tea. But in my opinion...

The music could of been a bit more varied.

The "Kill so many pedestrians" objectives at the end of every three normal levels are almost all tedious and sometimes nearly impossible. I've always skipped them via codes.

There's a bug on the aircraft level where your opponent disappears, leaving the mission impossible to beat.

The Bottom Line
Without a doubt one of the most insane things, none the less games, I've ever encountered in my life. Not much to compare to making a sheep explode with an armored car going 650 miles an hour.

Give it a chance. I think the majority of gamers, especially if you've got a moderately open mind, will be pleasantly surprised.

Windows · by Russell Brisson (5) · 2007

Trying to beat the best ever wreck-o-rama game ain't that easy.

The Good
If you have happened to read my Carmageddon 1 review you know that for me it's the maybe the best game in the world. You can also see that on my nickname.

What about Carmageddon 2 then? Well, it's basically using the same idea as it's ancestor but it upgrades the graphics, sounds, damages, pretty much everything. But does it all work better than with the first one? Well... no.

When you first look at the game you see that the graphics have been upgraded with a rough hand. Well, it's a good thing, really, as the designers have made good graphics but didn't use too much of the newest gimics to make the game look like a graphics card demo.

When you start playing you notice that the sound engine has been slightly upgraded. Sure, it's not awesome, but it makes it's job.

From the first crash you notice the new damage engine. That's the first real part to make hoorays about. The cars get really demolished this time. For instance, if you hit a wall sideways, the side of the car gets smashed. Some pieces fall off if you damage them enough. The windows get shattered, the doors and the hood get opened up and the chassis might bend. But the most stylish part is when you hit a corner of a wall head-on. Your car get's sliced... Literally. If you're in luck, you can get it fixed up, but usually when the car goes into two directions at once, your race is lost.

The physics engine has been upgraded, but the basic stuff is the same. As I mentioned, the cars get damaged more realistically. One another new thing, though: You can drive through windows and some walls. Well, that's a new thing. One of the scenes has a whole wall full of glass. You can just break the windows if you don't hit the steel supports.

The driveability is pretty much the same as before, and no big news there. And the whole thing has been cherished with new levels and cars. the cars are in fact good, but the levels are checked out in the negative section.

All of these things have been upgraded more or less succesfully. These things make the game better than the first. But...

The Bad
... SCI has also upgraded the gameplay. And that's a big mistake.

First, they have increased the skill level. Well, that's not bad, but they've done it all wrong, by tightening the time limits. With Carmageddon 2, the first seconds are not relaxed driving around. They are panicking on the road as you see your time going on red.

Another thing is the level system of the new game. With the old one, you had five places to drive at a time, and as you won races, you lost old places and gained new ones. You also had very different scenes all the time to choose from, and if you didn't like one, you could just leave it alone. The system was a good example on how it should be made.

Unfortunately the new one is an example on how it shouldn't be done. In Carmageddon 2, you have ten levels and all of them have three similar scenes and one mission... Yes, the game has missions. It might sound good, but it most definately ain't even near good. The missions are not fun. They have waaay too tight time limits and if you make one mistake you have no change to make it. The goals are mostly "destroy all the antennas" or "kill all the cows/lunatics/somethings". You have to win all the three races and the mission to get to the next level. On level's, there are usually two races with the same scene and one different. All this stuff with the levels is a very big minus.

The scenes aren't as good as the old ones. Sure, this one has trains and/or civilian vehicles around, but whey don't get demolished. they are just moving chicanes on wheels. You don't even get points from them. Also, the 3D model citizens are not as nice to drive on as the sprite ones.

On the final note, the game is boring on a long shot. Playing it through took me (a player who played Red Alert 2 and Gran Turismo through over a weekend) two weeks just because I had to keep pauses due the boredom the game causes. You just can't go into the Carmageddon world and drive around hour after hour. I mean sure, you can hit a few pedestrians and drive around some more, but it's not fun after a while.

The Bottom Line
SCI managed to build a legend on wheels with the first Carmageddon. The sequel had big expectations, but it failed them almost completely. The relaxing and amusing feeling of the old game has been taken away on the small but very annoying mistakes in the gameplay compartment.

But, Carmageddon is still Carmageddon. The added graphics and improved damage model succeed in making the mayhem of racing fun in short takes. A few games a day, maybe. Maybe even less. If you get bored, take a pause and play more when you feel like it.

Windows · by Zamppa (99) · 2002

Even sicker, even more fun.

The Good
Carmageddon II is essentially more of the same. This is a good thing. There's an updated 3D engine (now sprite-free and Direct3D accelerated), little things have been added and taken away, and there's a new structure to the races. The physics and car control-and-feel are even more brilliant, allowing you to bounce, spin, skid, do wheelies... it really does feel like a real car, even when you're driving outlandish monster trucks.

The environment has improved a lot since the original, with windows and fences that break, loads of objects that can be pushed around, objects that push you around, and the ability to get just about everywhere with a bit of creative driving. It really feels like these are real places you're trashing.

When paired with the circuit idea from the original, this makes it shine all the brighter; it still feels like there's half a race going on, so the action tends to if not follow, at least loosely hang around the checkpoints and the paths in between. In this way, the full subtlety of the settings comes out as you discover new things when you return to the same setting with a different track layout later on. It's almost enough to make you feel more like driving around checking out the scenery than driving into, over and through the motorists and pedestrians on the way. But only almost.

The fact that everything is 3D, including the pedestrians, does shift the focus of play some; for one, there's less of a splatter factor when ramming at high speed. On the other hand, dismemberment is now possible, and there are additional bonuses for sadistic games such as playing with your victims and sending them flying, not to mention some extremely fun power-up combinations; need I say more than "suicidal turbo pedestrians?"

Damage to cars is a lot more detailed; fun in particular when you get your opponents to the point where only two of their wheels touch the ground, confining them to running helplessly in circles.

The Bad
Towards the end, however, it wears thin. Because of the grouped-track layout, you can get stuck on a particular set of tracks when there's a difficult mission, and there's nothing to stop you from building up for as long as you like before you progress. Since your opponents don't improve the way you do, this makes for some rather easy races.

In the beginning, it's way too easy to get yourself split in half by driving into the side of a building, and for the last third of the game, most of the vehicles are truck-types(trailers, buses, even a plane), which sort of takes the fun out of it. The trucks are really just slow and unwieldy once the power rush fades, and then you're stuck driving them since the only thing likely to take out a truck is another truck.

Carm2's realistic car control might be the biggest argument against it; after all, if it feels so much like a real car, couldn't you wind up ramming pedestrians or taking out motorists in real life?

I played both this and the original within one year, and I can't say it changed my driving habits any. It did, however, make me a more nervous pedestrian; after all, a line of cars waiting at the red light by a pedestrian crossing look very similar to the pack of cars waiting for the start signal while pedestrians walk by, blissfully oblivious.

No way would I play this game with a driving wheel and gas/brake pedal controller, however. You really don't want this closer to the mood of being behind a real driving wheel.

The Bottom Line
Lots more fun for homicidal lunatics everywhere.

Windows · by Ola Sverre Bauge (237) · 2000

The original is better.

The Good
Compared to the original, this game is very similar. The single player game is still crap, although a few new touches offer limited gameplay - maybe an evenings worth.

The network game is also similar to the original, with the inclusion of the rather entertaining Curse of the Vampire game. Also some of the weapons (especially the Repulsificator) are fun.

And that's about it.

The Bad
The graphics look better, but in an attempt to look more "real" they don't quite work - the sounds are still poor - the car's handling is still awful, as are the game physics - there is no sensation of speed (what looks like 50mph is actually 200mph) - the cars have this annoying habit of breaking in half if you hit something at the wrong angle...

At the end of the day, it has all the failings of the original, but it's just not as much fun. Plus the tracks are really crap. Horrible races like the aircraft carrirt and the underground mines are a real pain to play.

The Bottom Line
Got the original - don't bother getting this. Haven't got the original - get it, it's better than this. Here's hoping Carmageddon 3 gets it right.

Windows · by Steve Hall (329) · 2000

A bit different than the first... except for the mass carnage...

The Good
This review has been updated on August 7, 2001. I have now played this game on a machine that can handle the game. So my review is a bit different.

Call me crazy Tomer, but I love the Carmageddon series. As in the first, there is something about crashing cars and running over pedestrians/animals, etc. that I like.

The gameplay (as in the original) is simple... win at all and any cost. There are a few major differences between C2 and it's predecessor.

First off, Instead of ranks, you progress through Levels, and each level having 3 courses and 1 Mission scenario. You progress through each race, and the fourth race is a mission. For instance, in one level you have to jump from rooftop to rooftop destroying satelitte antennas. In another, you have to run over 22 specific pedestrians (they are escaped mental ward patients). Personally I believe it adds a bit of purpose to the game... And you can't progress in the game until you complete the special mission on each level. (and for the record, the pedestrian one is a pain in the ass).

Instead of earning cars, you buy them. Makes for interesting races.

Upgrades are no longer handled in-between races. Now, upgrades are done on-the-fly (similar to repairs in the previous game).

The new tracks are on average with the original, with the exception of the "county fair" level. You can do ton of trick in that one, and it's great in multiplayer.

The graphics (on my PIII 1gz) are really good. They are crisp and clear, although the wheels aren't quite round shape (more like octagonal.. shows the signs of an aging graphics engine). The graphics are real nice. And the addition of newer, larger areas is a much needed change from the first one.

The sound is ok... Personally I don't really care for either Iron Maiden or Sentience, so I shut the music off. The ambient sounds are more varied, so you don't hear the same AAAAAAARRRRRRRRRGGHH! scream over and over again when you flip and stuff.

The controls (at least on the keyboard) are pretty loose, and it takes a bit of getting used to.

The Bad
There isn't a lot that I don't like about the game. Sure it's repetitive, but that's cool

The Bottom Line
If your a fan of the First, you'll love it. If the game's title alone gives you the heebie-jeebies, you'll hate it. But in either case, I believe it to be a solid non-sim driving game.

Windows · by Chris Martin (1155) · 2000

Looks better than original, but plays only marginally better at best.

The Good
Graphics are smoother with a bit more detail (e.g., cars' parts actually fall off and remain on tracks; people can be crippled). Bigger tracks suggest less inclination to "race" as it's easier to demolish one's fellow racers than to complete checkpoints; in the original game and its add-ons, I tended to "race" and complete checkpoints until the last dozen or so tracks because time and tracks suggested racing.

The Bad
While the gruesome idea of hitting pedestrians and watching other racers sit immobile in their cars after the coup de grace is not necessarily exhilarating, the improvement in graphics over the "Splat Pack" add-on is nice... after all, what's the point of more tracks and cars if one can't tell a tree from a pedestrian due to too much pixelating? Also, the multiple "floors" for each track, while offering some variety, was a tad annoying for certain levels (e.g., the aircraft carrier) if one couldn't find the way to reach that "floor". Finally, the missions could be incredibly aggravating and in a few cases (e.g., air control tower), seem to rely more on luck than skill.

The Bottom Line
Relax after a day's "road rage" commute: vent your aggressions in a game rather than in reality.

Windows · by justinstyles (4) · 2000


The Good
Nopes, not a thing.

The Bad
Same gameplay, worse controls and even more horrid graphics than the original Carmageddon. This game makes me want to puke.

The Bottom Line
Cliché premise, bad graphics, terribly slow engine and crappy all-around game. What more can you ask for?

Windows · by Tomer Gabel (4538) · 2000

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by Scaryfun, Apogee IV, jean-louis, COBRA-COBRETTI, Plok, Wizo, ti00rki, Crawly, lights out party, Tim Janssen, Klaster_1, vedder, Jeanne, Patrick Bregger, nyccrg, Zeppin, mikewwm8, Alsy.