Carmageddon TDR 2000
|a game by||Torus Games|
|Editor Rating:||7/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||9.0/10 - 2 votes|
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How times change. Two years ago the media was having a field day with a 'gratuitously violent' game called Carmageddon II. Running over pedestrians? Deliberately? Sick and disgusting. Now part three's here and no one's particularly bothered because games such as Deus Brand Counter Strike are: a) realistically violent and b) part of mainstream gaming culture.
You can't help but feel for SCi. You see, the controversy whipped up by the tabloids last time around helped sell the game in spades. This time, with no front pages screaming bloody murder, the game has got to stand on its own four wheels, and stripped of its cool in-your-face rebellion, frankly there isn't a whole lot left.
Hit And Run
For the uninitiated, TDR is a racing game, with added dollops of ultra-violence. As in the old games, you can win races by: a) finishing first; b) destroying all the other cars in the race; or c) running over all the zombies that are wandering around in the middle of the road. (That's right. The box version you're going to buy is inhabited by zombies and green blood. If you must, then you can download a patch from the Internet and change the zombies back to pedestrians and watch the old crimson gush around the screen. We repeat, if you must.) That's the theory anyway. The truth of the matter is that once you've got past the first two races there's no way you can finish a race in the allotted time without earning extra time by wasting other drivers.
But that's not all. After listening to criticisms last time around, the developers have added a storyline (of sorts), which means that missions alternate with straight races. To progress, sorry, to escape from the twisted futuristic nightmare of TDR2000, you have to complete simple tasks such as collecting parts of a bomb, destroying buildings and keeping clear of reconditioned WWII bombers keen on lobbing bombs on you. It helps to add variety to the gameplay, but some of the tasks are downright tedious and others are frustrating beyond belief.
Funnily enough, we were due to review this game a couple of issues ago. In fact I spent the best part of a week playing through the 'review' code before being told that it wasn't actually reviewable after all. Big changes were going to happen apparently, which would completely alter the score I was going to give the game. Big changes haven't really happened, although the graphics are smoother, faster and generally more polished. The cars degrade excellently, with doors and bonnets flying off left, right and centre, and zombies splatting in half in a moist and satisfying way. That's not to say the engine is amazing. Far from it. TDR 2000 looks, at best, above average, and unless you take in the subtle nuances you'd be forgiven for proclaiming that it looks just like Carmageddon 2. (Which it doesn't in any shape or form. Memories are just hazy old things.) The way the game plays hasn't really changed that much either, although the handling of the vehicles is much, much better. Ultimately, it just feels like a new, improved Carmageddon, although to expect more from a sequel these days is like hoping for a Coventry away win at Old Trafford.
Any Bar Jobs Going?
And then there's the humour. Or as we prefer to call it, the humour. Now we're not ones to sit on racial stereotypes, but the developers of TDR 2000 are Australian, where the funniest exports can be found in Earls Court wearing corks around their necks and smashing bottles over women's heads. If that's your regular haunt on a Saturday night then you'll find the smatterings of adolescence go down well with a bottle of Hooch and a raw sausage. Over here, the words 'Cunning Stunt' died with Kenny Everett. Although some of the power-ups such as 'Oil Slicks From Your Arse' and the ram-raid 'What a Punt' had us literally rolling all the way down to the travel agents for the first flight to funny land.
The bottom line is thus. If you loved the other two Carmageddon games then you're going to love this. It's the same, but better. And, it you're bored with run-of-the-mill racing games and you hate the way pedestrians dive out of the way in Midtown Madness then it's well worth a look. We'd recommend waiting to see what MM2 is going to be like before shelling out your cash on this 2000 remix, though. We've been promised review code for Issue 96 and we're also going to be the proud purveyors of the exclusive demo. See you then.