Rating: Awesome Carmageddon is a Twisted Metal 2-style game that places more emphasis on earning money in races by bashing opponents and pedestrians in order to upgrade your car rather than beating a series of pre-set levels as in TM2. Carmageddon also lets you try to just race the tracks and try to win that way, but it inevitably becomes a TM2-style free-for-all. However, unlike Twisted Metal 2, you can repair your car at will, but that will cost you money (and you need all the money you can get to upgrade your car's engine, defense, and offensive power). You start with the choice of only two cars and three environments, but the game unlocks new cars and environments as you advance in rank, and there are eventually thirty-some environments and dozens of cars available for play. Also, while TM2's emphasis was on special weapons, this is all about head-on collisions and who can bash who the most. The game also places much more of an emphasis on pedestrian bashing (all variety of people and even farm animals) than TM2 did. Pedestrians actually scream when they see you coming and try to get out of the way, gory deaths are the norm, and the dead bodies actually stay there, where they can be run over again (and which point you get blood on your tires and you leave a streak of blood on the road). Yes, this is a game that probably shouldn't be shown to any US senators, and its Mature rating is well-deserved. You can even win the level by killing all the pedestrians, but this is a near-impossible task since there are hundreds of them on each level and they manage to get out of the way more times than they should. However, this is not a game without its flaws. The graphics are lacking at times (and are certainly nothing special, although a 3Dfx patch is now available and should eliminate most graphical problems), and while the music is kind of cool, it's nowhere near the level of coolness in TM2. Also, this is a game you won't want to play if any young children are within hearing distance, because when your car is damaged, your character either says "son of a b----," "god d--- mother," or "holy s---." This profanity is unnesscary, and the only time it's ever used right is when you go flying off a cliff and he says "holy sh--!" In addition, the game is meant to run under DOS, and you can deny it all you want if you're a DOS fan, but compared to Windows 95, DOS is one big confusing pain in the butt. Also, the game would have benefited greatly from some kind of radar to track enemies, because when there's only one car left and you can't find it, the game can get a little frustrating. Also, controlling your car is a pain in the butt. You can't pull U-turns and spins anywhere like you could in TM2, so you're forced to go in reverse a little bit and then accelerate into the car again (but this can be frustrating, too, because rather than giving you a good view of the action, the stupid camera spins around to give you a rear view, so by the time you go forward again and the camera spins back around, the car you were trying to bash may be long gone). Still, all the game's flaws manage to be outweighed by the fact that this game is just plain fun. I bought the game having never played it before, so I really didn't know what I was getting myself into, but I can honestly say I have no regrets that I bought the game. The head-on collisions and awesome crashes are truly spectactular. It's no match for Twisted Metal 2, but Carmageddon is the kind of game that when you're done playing, you might not be able to explain why you were having so much fun, all you know is that you want to play more.
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