Welcome to ITF Gaming’s brand new weekly feature where we will be entering our video game library and bringing out, for your enjoyment, some of the old school video games and video game related content that will make the nostalgia reflex kick in for those gamers who stuck around. If you’re not an old school gamer, this will just be an informative look back at the history that led up to what we know and love today.
So what will be the first game we bring out of the library?
Why… a game that I have been enjoying thoroughly for several days now. One of the best racing games of yesteryear. A game that has so very recently been picked up in a Kickstarter campaign for a reboot. A game that is so violent, so twisted, and yet so devilishly fun to play.
None other than, 1997’s Carmageddon. Yes, Max Damage and Die Anna’s first forray into an open-world that came so close to driving realism, yet so far.
Let me just state at this point that despite the poor graphics, this game is very much a game that should not be played by a younger audience. Nor should it be played by sensitive gamers. If the sight of carnage and violence upsets you, go and read something else. If on the other hand you are a hardcore gamer in every sense of the word, check out this video of what can be called one of the most twisted racing games ever made. Please note strong language and violence is present in this video.
Carmageddon is, as mentioned above, an open world racing game, developed by Stainless Games and published by SCi and Interplay, where the objectives to win are threefold. You can either race through the checkpoints, as with any other racing title, or you can crush, smash and destroy each one of your opponents. Lastly you can kill every last one of the pedestrians spread out across massive open world areas. Speaking of the maps, they are made up of different environments, including urban landscapes, desert-like urban areas, mines, and snow-ridden areas. The opponents are very cleverly thought out personalities with their own unique vehicles. Ranging from an android named Ed 101, which drives a street racing sedan called the Tashita, to the menacing tow truck driver called Psycho Pitbull, who drives an otherwise unstoppable yellow tow-truck that packs a mean punch when he decides to chase after you. The AI in this game is by no means to be taken lightly, as the computer controlled rival cars tends to react very violently to your aggressive actions against them. In another scenario though, you are introduced to “Cops” who stalk the untraveled areas of a race track on a map. These Cops have a bad attitude to begin with and they are provoked just by going near them. It would seem that Stainless Games purposefully programmed these Cops to be ultra-aggressive as they always come straight for you whenever they spot you, even ignoring other racers in the process. They can be quite annoying at times, especially when you are trying to take out one of the harder to beat rival racers.
Graphically Carmageddon is not what you what call “pretty” but the style certainly grows on you as it is a mesh between “realistic” and “blocky”. The car movement appears and feels very realistic. Something that is quite impressive for a 1997 title, and not even Carmgaddon’s sequels could replicate this fluent and fun control system. The vehicles are designed well and the damage is depicted quite realistically despite the limitations in graphics quality.
The sound department is where Carmageddon really shone. From an outstanding sound effects library to an even better voice acting cast. Every grunt, every cuss, every scream, just added to the immersive gameplay experience. And then there was the best part – the soundtrack. If you’re a metal fan, like most people my age, then you will have heard of a “little” band called Fear Factory. If you’re unfamiliar with their work, have a listen. I promise you will be blown away.
Every time I listen to this band I just get the chills. I think Stainless Games probably made the best decision to include this type of music as a soundtrack to their game. It really adds to the atmosphere and makes you into a raging lunatic. Fantastic fun!
Carmageddon truly is one of those one of a kind games, and although it spawned quite a few sequels, none of them can truly touch the masterpiece that is the original.
Join us next week for another look into the ITF Video Game Library.