Let's Get The Nomenclature Hilarities out of the way: Motorhead are a veteran heavy metal band whose grizzled lead singer appears to be sporting face-mounted Rice Krispies; Motorhead the game is an arcade racer out of Swedish developers Digital Illusions, the team responsible for 1995's mesmeric Pinball Illusions. Whatever the musical connotations, Motorhead is a fairly logical name for a car game, and certainly more relevant and credible than Sepultura or The Tygers Of Pan Tang. Arf arf. Next.
Arcade racers are currently ten a penny on the PC, and the Zone network hard-core have recently been enamoured by the excellent Ultim@te Race Pro, with many late-night sessions masking the emptiness of our pointless lives. In common with any normal, right-thinking person, we fear change, and the arrival of Motorhead was therefore greeted with some suspicion, like the new kid at school with a fancy sports bag. Initial standoffishness ensued, but tentative approaches found it to be quite friendly, and within an hour we were whooping like children (before reconvening to the pub to drink like men). A fickle crowd, we are easily appeased by coloured lights and music in our heads, and Motorhead features both in large amounts.
Play, your card's right
By now you will almost certainly have cast your mince pies (eyes) over the surrounding taxi cabs (grabs) and found them to be objects of rare beauty. Correct. Running through 3Dfx or PowerVR, with all the options switched on, Motorhead looks absolutely stunning and is a match for pretty much anything on the PC. Lens flare, sparks, smoke, skid marks, all that business. You need not worry though, as poor people are also catered for, the graphics looking far from knackered in software only. It is much more than a shallow aesthetic showpiece though, and is in fact a ludicrously playable game. The first thing that strikes you is the incredible speed. Shit off shovels, rats up drainpipes, racing snakes and all other tenuous velocitybased similes are left trailing in its wake. The sense of speed is palpable, as is the feeling of motion. To labour the point further, there is also an option to turn on motion-blur, giving everything you see a slightly W disturbing trail, apparently mimicking the effects of the crazy LSD killer acid drug. Due to the design of the courses and the way the perspective works, Motorhead is the kind of game that has you lurching around in your chair like a simpleton. Clearly there is very little dignity in this course of action, but scientists have proved that it does actually make you drive better.
Stylistically, Motorhead is a kind of WipEouton wheels, with a Blade Runner-sty\e intro hinting at its futuristic pretensions. In common with most modern cars, they all look fairly similar, but vary in terms of speed, acceleration and grip. Consequently, certain cars are more suited to particular courses, and selection needs to be thought about for at least a couple of seconds. The handling is fairly solid and - this being the future - the cars are constructed from damageproof material, making high-speed collisions no more than an HH. . irritation. The invincibility factor also HHL opens the door to some ruthless tactics,
with ramming opponents off the road proving a viable strategy. Furthermore, the ability to look behind enables you to weave in front of pursuing cars in a totally unsportsmanlike fashion. This isn't a one-way thing though, as due to the unique Al of the other drivers they are capable of some dirty tricks themselves. They are also fallible, and it is not uncommon to come across a multiple pile-up during the course of a race.
Individual races are fully customisable, but the greatest challenge comes in playing out a league, with points awarded in a pseudo Grand Prix fashion - three divisions, eight drivers, with promotion and relegation going to the top and bottom two respectively. This system really forces the learning curve, with new tracks and cars made available with each promotion. At first you find yourself going up and down like a whore's drawers, drifting between the bottom two divisions like the Chester City of the car world - too good for the third but woefully out of their depth in the second. Eventually, either due to a freak result or hard work, a foothold will be secured which can then be built upon in a push for the top. Once unlocked, the courses can be raced either in singleplayer or network mode, enabling practice to be gained before mounting a championship challenge. For the solo player, this league system gives Motorhead a distinct advantage over Ultim@te Race Pro. While the latter's DeathMatch mode is undeniably superb, not everyone will have the facilities to use it. With Motorhead, what you see is what you get: a ridiculously fast, fantastic-looking, intense racing experience. Nice.
Motorhead? Hey is Lemmy in this game? Their song (the group that is) Mean Machine would go great. I won't beat around the bush, Motorhead is graphically a solid game if not a little bland in the detail department. The dull grey, foggy graphics are a bit too N64-ish for me, particularly when the PlayStation is capable of such intense colors. Many (but not all) of the Lamborghini-like cars lack interesting detail as well. I say if you're gonna use non-licensed vehicles, make them as interesting as possible. But nonetheless it's not that major when there are more pressing flaws in the game. For one, the powersliding doesn't feel convincing. It seems like the cars are on invisible spindles rotating a few degrees one way, then rotating back. It looks and feels very automatic. And while powersliding is only one element of racing, it's important that it's a fun part of the game. For example, Need For Speed III does powersliding very well--lots-o-fun. OK, one more big complaint--where are all the other cars? A five-car field is pretty weak by today's racing game standards. I'm sounding quite harsh overall but keep in mind the game isn't fatally flawed, it just has a few too many poor points. It ranks in there with many middle-of-the-road PlayStation racers: Peak Performance, Grand Tour Racing ... the list goes on and on.
Maybe the frame-rate is high and the control is tight, but that's about all Motorhead has going for it, I'm afraid. The pop-up and fogging in this game is unacceptable--high frame-rate or not. The physics model is incredibly annoying, like when your car flips around wildly when it barely touches what seems to be a curb. With games like NFS III and Gran Turismo available, I can't think of a good reason to get Motorhead.
Graphically Motorhead is extremely impressive, it a little grey and dull in some places. Switching views is puke-inducingly horrible, and panning around the car, however fast and cool-looking, just isn't friendly! It's no Gran Turismo. It strikes me as more of a "quick fix" racer rather than something you'd invest any serious time in. It's a shame Motorhead (the band) didn't do the music. Instead we get some godawful techno s**t.
Motorhead is an average racer with decent graphics and sounds. The track designs are interesting, making you wish there were more tracks. The League Mode unlocks extra cars, but doesn't let you upgrade current vehicles and has no story, limiting the replay factor. There are plenty of racing games out there that offer everything Motorhead has and more, which makes it hard to recommend it. Racing fans may be disappointed.
Motorhead is the Backstreet Boys of racing games: It sure looks pretty, but it's hollow inside. Add one more graphically rich, gameplay-deprived racer onto the pile.
Motorhead offers 10 cars, 7 of which must be unlocked through gameplay, and 8 tracks, 6 of them hidden. The tracks and cars are sleek but sparse; aero-dynamically efficient but visually bland. The game can run at 60 frames per second with opponents while sporting nicely detailed textures and colored lighting--but the graphical panache is crippled by serious pop-up cowering behind a thick layer of obtrusive fog. Huge buildings, long bridges, and--most unforgivably--sharp turns appear out of the ether. A snazzy foreground doesn't excuse a nonexistent background.
Musically, you'll have to endure repetitive, fluffy techno-pop beats; like the visuals, the music has a slick but lifeless European feel to it. Engine sound effects are somewhere in the motorcycle range. Control is responsive but a little reserved; the game could've used a more realistic physics model. Motor-head supports dual-analog control (one stick for steering, one for gas and brake), but no Dual Shock feedback.
Simply put, Motorhead has no soul. This is a stripped-down, utilitarian, pretty-boy racer without an emotional connection for the player. There's no charm or personality that might forgive its technical flaws, and no reason to get excited about going really fast. In Motorhead's case, less is not more.
If there is one thing the PlayStation has no shortage of, it's racing games. It seems like everyone has either released a racing game or has one in the works. Since there are so many available, it is going to be pretty darn tough to come out with a game that has something different to offer. Fox Interactive thinks that 60 FPS and high-resolution graphics are their ticket to the winner's circle.
Motorhead is made by Gremlin Interactive, a huge development house overseas. They have made a ton of different types of games, but I think this may actually be their first attempt at a racer. They are using the future as the backdrop for this fast-paced arcade racer. Up to 16 tracks and 10 cars await you, and gameplay that blazes by at 60 FPS (at times) should keep you somewhat entertained.
Those of you who frequent GameFabrique Console know that on some occasions I feel like jumping right to the point in my reviews. I am in one of these moods. This game is average. It is not great by any means, nor is it terrible. There is entertainment to be had, but you will not be bragging to your friends about how cool the game is. If you feel the need to own every racing game on the system, you will have worse games in your library than this, but if you are on a limited budget, I suggest only a rental.
I guess I should explain what elements have gone into making me feel this way about the game. The first thing that makes this game average is the vehicles. There are no licenses, so all the cars are made up. Not only are they made up, but they really don't even resemble real-life cars of today. Granted, this is the future, but I would have liked to be able to identify with the cars a little better -- make them look like Ferraris or something to give us gamers a little bit of a connection.
Along the same lines, you will never use most of the available cars, either. You start the game with three cars available and you open up more as you win tournaments. The cars are all ranked by speed, acceleration and grip. It becomes blatantly obvious that the cars with the most speed almost always win. I tried racing the other cars and would get my ass kicked every time, so I stopped trying anything but the fastest cars. This was lame, because there was really no motivation to use the other cars. Why even bother with them if they will never win? Now maybe I did not give it enough of a chance to learn how to finesse these cars to victory, but as far as I am concerned, nothing is better than pure speed.
The game played very much like an arcade racer, which is a good thing in my book. There was enough power sliding around corners to keep us arcade junkies happy. This game will never be confused with a realistic racing game that is modeled after true physics, so if you don't like arcade racing, you might as well look elsewhere. As an arcade racer, the game does not offer anything that has not been seen before, but that is not necessarily a bad thing.
Then there are the tracks. I was really hoping to get more out of them. There were only a few shortcuts in the whole game, and for the most part the tracks were pretty unexciting. Once you raced them a few times, you were ready to see something new. There were occasions that you would catch air over some of the hills or you would have to make a sharp turn to avoid running into a barricaded road, but for the most part they were nothing too exciting. The game says there are 16 tracks, but we all know what this means -- backward and mirrored tracks. On the whole, I don't think there were quite enough original tracks.
Most of the races are competitive. It is rare that you really blow out to a huge lead. You always know that you are one mistake from last place. If you do make a mistake, it is possible to catch up if it happens early on in the race but if it is near the end, you have no chance of catching up whatsoever. I guess this was cool, because it did keep the competitive juices flowing. There are so many racing games where I end up lapping cars that it takes away some of the fun. I never lapped anyone in this game.
This game looks like an N64 racing game. Is this good? Well, the N64 has some pretty crappy racing games, but it also has some decent racers as well. First off, this game looks like it is running in the high-resolution mode, so it has a very glossy, arcade game look to it. Second, it says that it runs up to 60 FPS. While I guess this is true, if you get all 3 cars on the screen at one time, things can get pretty choppy. You can also race against 5 cars, but the frame rate drops to 30 FPS. One of the reasons I think the game resembles an N64 game is because it has some pretty serious fogging in the distance, as well as heavy draw-in. N64 racing games suffer from both these things.
This game definitely does not bring anything new to the party, but it is still not a bad game. I actually had fun playing it for a few days. After playing for a while, I did start to tire of it. There was really no motivation to race the slower cars because the computer would always beat you. I would have liked to see a few more tracks to bump the replay value a little. Overall, I would say this game is a rental at best.
Ready, set, speed! Motorhead, a competitive racing game, has the primary goal of winning the TransInternet Speed League. Each division of the championship contains different tracks and opponents, with each one being more difficult than the one before.
Gameplay, Controls, Interface
It’s not hard to get the hang of each car’s maneuvering techniques; however, winning the race is a different story. A variety of cars are offered and are unlocked as the races are won. Each car has different speed and grip capabilities, thus different cars work better on some tracks than on others. The objective on each track is to complete a required number of laps in the fastest time possible. When you finish a race, you will then have access to the next race regardless of how you placed. The challenge here is that you must place first or second for the whole circuit before further circuits and cars will be unlocked. I found this to be a pretty difficult game and never actually made it past the first two tracks, even with the difficulty level set to "easy." My husband also played on easy and had a tough time unlocking more tracks and cars. Motorhead offers single player and multiplayer through an IPX or TCP/IP connection.
The graphics in this game are great. They're clear, crisp and have good coloring. The tracks have a futuristic look to them. The general scenery is nice but isn’t so extravagant that it gets in the way of the gameplay. The lighting effects when passing through tunnels are done well. The video is very smooth with frame rates as high as 60fps. The graphics are definitely the best feature to this game.
You’ve heard it all before: engines humming, tires squealing, etc. Nothing special here, but it’s all handled well
Windows 95/98, Pentium 166 (200 recommended, MMX supported), 16 MB RAM (24 MB recommended), DirectX 6 or higher, 100 MB HD space, 4X CD-ROM drive, DirectX video capable of 16-bit color (32-bit color recommended), 3Dfx, TNT, and any other 3D card supporting Direct 3D, mouse, joystick (force feedback is supported).
Reviewed On: PII 300, 6.4 GB HD, 64 MB SDRAM, Creative Blaster Banshee (w/ reference drivers), Microsoft SideWinder 3D joystick.
The documentation is pretty complete. It offers information on installation, gameplay, driving techniques, and of course support information. The game is simple enough to figure out by moving through the menus so the manual may never make it out of the jewel case in the first place.
I found this to be a fun and frustrating game. The installation and controls in the game are easy to get the hang of, however I found that winning races and moving on is difficult even for "easy" mode. There is also very little that is unique in this game which is why I give it a score of 71.