Oh, hell yes! Finally, Carmageddon is back, in all its deranged, inhumanly violent glory. It’s been so long that I’ve completely forgot, how much we needed a little Carmageddon up in this platform. This isn’t simply a port of sixteen years old game, but actually a remake, shining with polished textures and exciting new features, delivering even more than I’ve personally hoped for. Of course, there can be many questions about it, but the most important thing I think is – “Is it as violent and insane as the original?” And the answer is – yes. It’s just as you remember it. And for those who don’t remember it – and never had a chance to play it before – boy, do I envy you for being able to experience this for the first time.
Carmageddon is a very difficult to describe title. On one hand, it’s vulgar, violent, and reeks of mid-nineties game design. On the other – it’s one of the most unusual, complex and exciting racing games to ever grace PCs, and on mobiles it simply blows every competitor out of the water, regardless of when these competitors were released. Sure, it may not have flashy graphics, and the lens flares tend to not blind you in your face, but it still has its own kind of beauty, in hand-crafted levels, great physical engine, and completely captivating variety of levels. The controls are relatively simple. There’s an acceleration button, button for steer/reverse, and a handbrake, as well as two arrows to turn – nothing particularly flashy. Oh, and of you swipe to the right from the left side of the screen, you open level map, where the positions of all checkpoints, opponents, and in particular circumstances – even pedestrians are shown. Why do you need all of this? Because EVERY level is absolutely open to explore, and filled with various secrets and pick-ups, and why would you have the time for that? It’s because there are actually three different ways to victory. You can go the boring way and play it like a usual racing game, get through all checkpoints, one after another; you can play Twisted Metal and destroy your opponents one by one, smashing their cars to unidentifiable pieces of, well, twisted metal; and finally, you can kill EVERYTHING. There’s even a counter on the top of the screen, telling you how many people and cars are alive at the moment. By the way, although Carmageddon was released more than fifteen years ago, it actually features realistically deformable cars, crazy as it sounds. As you deal damage to enemies, or receive some damage yourself, not only can you see which part is affected on the special screen that will also change the car’s behaviour, but you can actually see how car’s body crumples and twists. If you deal massive enough damage, you can bring the enemy car to a metal brick. This leads to another incredible mechanic of this game: whenever you receive damage, you can double-tap a damage icon and the car will immediately return to its original state, you a little poorer on the award credits. Of course, you need to have enough credits to do that, in the first place. To earn credits, you need to do anything, really. Smashed a pedestrian? Get some points. Smashed an opponent? Get some more score. Smashed your opponent so hard his front wheels are now in the back? Treat yourself to a God-awful amount of carnage points. The stronger the impact, the more points you get. Oh, and there’s also a time limit, which also extended, but it so rarely has any actual impact, I don’t want to waste space on it.
I almost forgot that there’s a ton of power-ups in Carmageddon that add to the time limit, give you weapons, or actually change your car’s physics, allowing you to drive underwater, smash your opponents with electricity, or jump in the lunar gravity. Some of them are easy to spot, while others are actually secrets, which you can only find on accident. The levels are so mind-numbingly huge, don’t even try to remember them all. Oh, I also forgot how you can unlock new cars, smashing them in races, and you can purchase upgrades for your cars, for the points you get after the end of the race. God, what else did I forget? This thing is so bloody complex that it’s going to end like a checklist, not a review. Look, just believe me that there’s a ton of things to see in there.
I really think that this review isn’t describing Carmageddon in its full glory, but it’s so unusual and awesome, I have to describe it in some way, so here it goes: “A-a-a-a-a-argh! Bloody hell! It’s so tits-twisting awesome! Holy shit!” – I hope that it encapsulates my feelings a bit better. It’s Need For Speed, Twisted Metal, and Grand Theft Auto in one insane package. The only reason I’m not giving Carmageddon five stars is that it’s not a new release, and costs a bit too much on iTunes. Actually, you know what? Screw that. Five stars.
P.S. I hope it goes without saying that the game is ultra-violent. Like, seriously, you smash pedestrians into bloody mush all the time. If you don’t like videogame violence, then it’s not for you, or your children.
Genre: Action, Racing
Developer: Stainless Games
Publisher: Stainless Games
Price: $2.99, $3.99
Reviewed on: Android
Available on: iOS, Android