Big Red Racing

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a game by The Big Red Software Company Ltd.
Platform: PC
User Rating: 9.3/10 - 3 votes
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See also: Futuristic Racing Games

How About I Start by stating the painfully obvious stuff first, so we can get it out of the way. Okay then... Big Red Racing is. in a world that already has more pc racing games than it can know what to do with, yet another pc racing game. It contains all your standard 'single' races, your standard 'tournament', and your (these days) standard multi-player option: up to six on network, or two using the serial cable or split-screen method.

Now to the not so obvious stuff. Like, for instance, the fact that Big Red Racing is completely out of its tree. Games often contrive to be quirky. I know, and it can be pretty bloody irritating (rather like those stupid people who say "I'm really mental, me!" when they're clearly stul-tifyingly 'normal'), but somehow with Big Red Racing... well, let me illustrate.

Game for a laugh

There I was alone in the PC on a cold Sunday afternoon. I'd already entered a slightly tangential dimension due to spending too much time faffing around on the brr options screen, which is presented in a sort of technostyle Rhubarb 6 Custard-o-vision: wibbly wobbly letters, hillbilly sound-bites.

Once I'd got the joystick sorted out. however. I was able to escape from this headache inducer into the game itself. Much time passed. I eventually realised what I was actually doing - which was racing round a giant quarry in a jcb, trying desperately to overtake a dumper truck. Just two hours into Big Red Racing and I was more than ready for the men in white coats to take me quick-smart to the Laughing Academy.

Here are just a few of the other vehicles available: a six wheeler atv, a Florida 'swampmaster' propellor boat thingummyjig, a Citroen 2cv, a snow plough, a tracked doofer like Scatman Cruthers drove in DED The Shining, a bigfoot monster truck, a large Yank rig (in other words the front bit of a lorry), and a couple of different helicopters.

Onto the courses then, of which there are 24 - and they're massive. And they undulate like nobody's business. There are deserts, rocky highlands - you name it. Furthermore, you can drive (or fly) absolutely anywhere you want, which can (and frequently does) result in you getting completely lost. But ultimately, as you get to know your surroundings better, you begin to create your own shortcuts (the only prerequisite being that you have to be on-course enough to pass between the occasional checkpoint markers). There's a Moon course, a Mars course, and a Venus course, too. And of all the 21 Earth courses, I'd like to say a special 'thank-you' to the Italy track: it's a tribute to the movie The Italian Job, so naturally you drive a Mini. At one point there's a coach (just scenery, I did try ramming it off but it wouldn't budge), hanging perilously over the edge of a cliff. You race down steps, across plazas, through sewage pipes. Excellent.

And finally...

The graphics in Big Red Racing aren't as 'flash' as they might be, but having said that you can always see miles in front of you, so maybe it was a payoff (in which case I think I'll backtrack and say that the graphics do their job admirably). The sound's good too, if a little sparse. If there's one thing that does worry me, it's the fact that during moments of carnage (loads of vehicles, loads of dust and loads of scenery on screen simultaneously) the frame rate chugs a bit... and that's on a P133. As is always the case, take the manufacturers' minimum hardware requirements suggestion and then, er, 'double' it.

All that remains for me to say is that overall, Big Red Racing is a hoot. And an extra special final mention has to go to the water courses: select the powered inflatable boat and believe me, you'll be in seventh heaven. It's rather like playing Micro Machines, but in a first-person perspective. (But if you've never played Micro Machines that comment won't mean much to you, obviously, but if you have you'll know why I added it.)

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System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

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