Ahhh Carmegeddon you were such a fun game back in the era of the original playstation where you allowed us to run over pedestrians (or zombies in the Europe and here), smash each other to bits and just cause general chaos with the occasional race breaking out as well.
You had 2 decent PC games, a good console port and then came the 3rd game which was crap and buried you. However Carmageddon is back having been kickstarted, now on early access and while being in alpha for a while as of Sunday has now entered Beta adding a campaign, multiplayer and upgrade systems to what they already had. Question is of course is this still Carmageddon? Well considering the first thing I did in the campaign was find an old lady trying to cross the road and promptly slam into her at 150km I can safely say yes it is still Carmageddon.
So for those who have never heard of Carmageddon it is a racing game that has 3 ways for you to win. 1. Win the race, 2. Kill all your opponents, 3. Kill every single pedestrian, animal or whatever else that leaves a blood splatter on the track in the map.
Now the tracks are all pretty open with you having to go through certain checkpoints but really you can go where ever the hell you want which really helps with the 2nd and 3rd objectives and even with the checkpoints it's more just a guideline. Want to go to checkpoint by taking a detour through china town, killing everyone on the way to get more points you do that.
Races typically consist of 6 cars including your own and each of the drivers and vehicles are slightly different. For example the two standard characters are Max Damage and Die Anna who drive the Red Eagle.
However as you drive and play and wreck other peoples vehicles you can steal them and use them for yourself. This range from cars with numerous spikes and blades to killer monster trucks. Some are below.
Each of these cars does perform differently such as the Red Sabre which is your standard car not really great at anything but decent speed, handling, armour and can do some major damage and the blade kills pedestrians if they go flying across it. The monster truck is not that fast but takes a beating and hits like a monster truck especially from the front and finally we have the hot rod, moves incredibly fast but weak armour wise and corners are it's biggest enemy and I've seen that thing go flying across the field, bounce off a rock and then go flying into the air at full speed into a building and promptly explode. Quite fun to watch.
The game will tell you which one is available to wreck at the start of each race and you have to be the one to do it. You can usually get one in each race so it's pretty easy to get hold of them all just playing normally though ones like the monster truck usually don't show up till later races.
Still the maps themselves are also pretty well designed with them varying from your standard city, to a island with a nuclear power station on it, to the country side with lots of wide open spaces and plenty of cows to run over. The maps are reused a bit for different tracks and events but they are a decent size so you hardly notice bar the nuclear island which is a bit on the small side. One other thing about maps is to be able to host them online you need to first reach them in the campaign. This again is a minor thing but does mean you have to do the campaign and vehicles also are unlocked this way but I don't mind it as lets you get used to the maps and vehicles before taking them online and racing people.
Now as you've probably guessed you will be hitting, ramming, crashing and basically causing your car a sh*t ton of damage during the course of the race/slaughter/tea party gone horribly wrong but don't worry as you can repair you car though it costs points to do. Now how do you get points? By wrecking cars, running people over, hitting score barrels or completing check points basically playing the game. Now while points are used for recovery they are also used for leader boards and in the campaign unlocking the next chapter. Thankfully they are pretty easy to come by as finding a decent amount of people will net you a decent chunk of points but wrecking gives you the most. You can recover from being wrecked yourself but only in single player. If your wrecked in multiplayer your gone bar for some game types.
Now notice I said barrels there... well these are the more interesting thing in Carmeggedon. These come in 5 colours yellow which are points, orange which are speed upgrades, red which are offensive upgrades, blue which affect the world and black where god knows what will happen. Now these will drastically change the game quite a bit as you think your car is tough? How about making it pure granite for 30 seconds. Want some offence? How about the opponent repulsifier which fires a spring from your car and sends nearby opponents flying across the map at high speed. Pedetrians boring? Make them dance. Just want to stare at the screen going the what the hell is happening? Get a pinball mode barrel and combine it with lunar gravity and watch as you, your opponents, pedestrians and everything else goes bouncing accross the map with you pretty much having no control until it runs out. Now you don't know what your going to get but they do change things as suddenly your offensive ability goes up by firing anvils or setting peds on fire however it can also make your car become very weak or just explode.
Below is an example of pinball mod with damage amplifier active. As you can see it didn't end well.
One other thing on the map are the police. These guys are vicious. Normally you won't see them if you follow the standard route but if you go of route and they see you the race gets a lot more chaotic as these guys are persistent and immortal. They will constantly come after you and other cars and vary from annoying such as being chased by what feels like a mini cooper to the big APC which you don't want hitting you. These are actually nice little things as they were in the previous carmageddons and can be used by you to deal with your opponents if you can lure them to them... though the same can happen to you so if you hear a siren keep an eye out.
Still onto the game modes. Now the classic carmageddon is the main one but they have also added some new additions with checkpoint rage where a check point appears on the map and first person to get to it gets a point and the first person to get 10 wins. However you can also steal peoples points by wrecking them so the carnage continues. Pedestrian rage basically same thing but with a pedestrian which is a bit harder because they know how to run and finally your standard race where you have to race to win and you come back from being wrecked and a couple of others as well that aren't quite done yet. Overall nice variety and create some carnage.
Now of course it's in Beta so there are a few problems. The campaign is actually pretty solid so far but the netcode for multiplayer is a bit... dodgy. We've had some weird disconnects and crashes occur in Multiplayer but as this has just been added it's not to much of a surprise and I'm hoping they get this fixed soon as the few multiplayer matches I've had have been great when they've worked.
Also the music. No Fear Factory does make me a bit sad but the tracks they've got in are pretty good and nothing like listening to heavy metal tracks as you slam someone into a explosive mine and watch them fly all over the place.
So overall how do I feel of the game at the moment. Right now Carmegeddon Reincarnation is damn near the Carmageddon sequel I've wanted for a long time. The multiplayer still needs work and there are a few tweaks needed else where but overall it performs great, all the races feel satisfying, the controls are responsive and it is still satisfying to race into the american football stadium and take out both teams in one glorious power slide.
If your destruction derby fan or just like the idea of just causing mass chaos with cars keep an eye on this one. Now if you'll excuse me I need to go into a nearby field and have a talk with the wildlife.
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