The Dukes of Hazzard: Racing for Home
Nostalgia may be a thing of the past, but it's as good a way as any of disguising a mediocre game. Without The Dukes Of Hazzard licence, there would be no reason whatsoever to play this; the handling is a shambles, the graphics are glitchy, and the gameplay is largely uninspired. It doesn't even support a joypad.
Essentially a series of interactive episodes, the whole thing can comfortably be played through in a day, and it would be a particularly keen fan who would ever return to it again. Besides, the only reason for watching The Dukes of Hazzard was to strum your banjo over redneck temptress Daisy Duke, a memory that is sadly tarnished by this half-arsed effort of a game.
Download The Dukes of Hazzard: Racing for Home
There was a time when every red-blooded American male held the The Dukes of Hazzard show in high esteem. Was it The General? Daisy? The intriguing plots? Whatever the case, SouthPeak is cashing in on the nostalgia with their own version of the cult classic. Staying true to the show, the game is centered around a ton of mini-missions involving plots and objectives plucked straight from the series. They include: Chasing car thieves who have stolen the General Lee; Racing for prize money in the Hazzard County overland race; Saving Daisy from kidnappers, and so on. While completing missions you'll have the pleasure of rippin' by Uncle Jesse's farm, The Boar's Nest, Cooter's Garage and several other familiar Hazzard haunts.
While The General is the primary vehicle, 10 other cars are available. Drive Daisy's jeep, Cooter's tow truck or JD Hogg's convertible, to name a few.
Driving fast and wild is the name of the game. The General is capable of jumping over creeks, crashing through barns, driving on two wheels and corkscrew barrel roll jumping. Power-ups are scattered throughout the courses and provide quick fixes and weapon upgrades. Two-player games include Hot Pursuit, Derby and Race. Naturally, Pursuit Mode most accurately represents the personality of the game. Chase down your opponent, ram 'em a few times, etc.
First impressions? Take the nostalgic appeal of the show, toss in Need for Speed-style pursuit and top it with FMV story line cinematics and you have the game.
At this point in the title's development the vehicle physics could use more tweaks. A happy medium between Driver and Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit would be very nice. Sadly the novelty of racing The General will surely fade. Will the game hold up after that eventuality? You'll have to wait for our review to find out.
The Dukes of Hazzard are back. No, you big silly, they aren’t starring in a two hour network television reunion (though I've heard rumors that there's another one of those in the works as well). They’re back on a new game for the Playstation. That’s right, you can drive the General Lee all over Hazzard County honking that damn Dixie horn as much as you please.
This game plays out like a episode of the TV show: Get the mortgage payment to the bank before Boss Hogg can foreclose, break out of jail, win the county race and use the prize money to pay off the mortgage on the farm. Oh, I almost forgot, rescue Daisy from an escaped convict and challenge the guy to a race.
Did that sound exciting? Well, it’s not! You don’t get to do anything but drive. Every episode was completed driving a vehicle, so I guess this is a driving game. That’s bad news, because the driving on this game sucked. They did a decent job simulating rear wheel drive during hard acceleration, but the cars do 0-90 in six seconds. The cornering and overall driving was too unrealistic for me; I never once used the brakes. The gameplay definitely took a back seat to the video clips.
There are 26 missions in all and some of these missions were too short. In fact, the entire game was short (maybe this was done intentionally), it only took me two and a half hours to finish. After each mission there was usually a short video clip -- these videos were definitely the best part of the game. With Waylon Jennings (the original narrator from the show) and voices from other cast members, this really felt like you were watching an episode of Dukes. You drive one of five vehicles: the General Lee, Boss Hogg’s Caddy, Daisy’s Jeep, Cooter’s truck, and Uncle Jesse’s hot rod. The actual mission objectives range from driving around a junkyard looking for parts, to the more common "get to somewhere while avoiding the Police or a van full of nameless thugs, both of whom are constantly ramming you." I thought the General was the fastest car in Hazzard County, but it can’t even outrun a Van?
So what did I enjoy? Some of the missions are fun, there are a few where you jump across the river to elude the cops. I liked the fact that the cars had damage meters, so if you use the fences to steer around corners, you will eventually wreck your car. The opening sequence is very good -- I’ve always liked the theme song (probably more than I like the show) and the opening sequence is an exact copy of the television show's opener. There is a two player mode that I enjoyed more than the one player and there is a fastback Mustang in it which isn’t in the regular game that is really loud and fast!
Graphics & Audio
The graphics in the game are the worst I’ve seen since the days of 16 bit machines. The cars and background have a very low level of definition, in other words they’re fuzzy. The video clips between missions are pretty good, however. In fact, they’ve done a darn good job with the voices and capturing the overall feel of a TV episode, too bad they did a number on the character’s faces. Daisy’s face looked as bad as Goldie Hawn’s after her fifth face lift and Luke’s face made him look like an inbred mongrel... well, he probably is a little inbred. Car sounds were very good -- the cars had a great V8 rumble to them and they sounded good under hard throttle as well.
You know, I wanted to like this game. It’s got a great opening sequence and some amusing videos between missions, but the gameplay itself is the weakest that I’ve ever played on a Playstation. In fact, there are games on the Commodore 64 that are better than this. Some of you out there may share fond memories of the Dukes of Hazzard. That’s all right, catch a rerun on TNN. Really want to play the game? Do your wallet a favor and rent it. I guarantee you that after one night of playing, no one will want to buy this game. Besides, after two hours, you should finish this game.