Carmageddon was originally released in 1997, with a few sequels thereafter. We have been eagerly awaiting the latest Carmageddon in the series since it was announced a few months ago. So was it worth holding our breath for? Read on to find out!
Carmageddon: Max Damage brings carnage in the forms of a single player career mode that features 16 Levels with multiple game modes in each. Game modes vary from: Classic Carma, Checkpoint Stampede, Death Race and Ped Chase to name a few. In Classic Carma you have three objectives, you can chose which one of the three to pursue to complete the event, these are: Wrecking all of your opponents, completing the race by following each checkpoint throughout a number of laps or killing all of the pedestrians within the level, this is by far the most fun game mode as it gives you a lot more freedom from the rest. Ped chase and checkpoint stampede are pretty much the same thing as each other. In ped chase you have to be the first to run over and kill 10 highlighted pedestrians on the map, you can also steal opponents kills by wrecking their vehicles. Checkpoint stampede it’s the same deal as Ped Chase, although it’s checkpoints instead of pedestrians, even down to wrecking your opponents to steal their checkpoint score.
Within all of these game modes you have different pickups you can collect. They range from: Yellow barrels which give you points towards repairing your car by pressing Y or resetting your car by pressing X, note if you flip your car it’s worth correcting yourself by pressing and holding X and using your left thumbstick to roll you car over rather than resetting and costing your valuable points, these points also go towards unlocking the next level in career mode, Question mark barrels are next on the pick up list, these range from Orange/Red, Blue and Black. Orange and red barrels give you weapons you can use against opponents or pedestrians alike, blue barrels give you silly things i.e kangaroo jump or lunar gravity as an example, and lastly black barrels will affect your vehicle directly, ranging from invisibility to a solid granite car etc.
The controls feel sluggish and unresponsive and although this is a arcade racing game you would expect the controls to be a little sharper. The AI setup was a little bit all over the place, for example in classic carma all of the AI constantly went for me and hardly battled amongst each other, then when playing ped chase the AI were going for the marked pedestrians until I was in the lead, at this point they all turned their attention to me which would sound like a good idea as they can obtain my points by killing me, but with the fact that when an AI crashes into you it is almost instant death, I noticed when I crashed into an AI at a higher speed it hardly scratched them, this made it extremely unfair and frustrating.
After the initial thrill factor it all becomes a bit of a grind, the excitement you may have seen back in the day on the original Carmageddon just doesn’t stand up to today’s games, the shock factor isn’t there anymore with the likes of Grand Theft Auto setting the standard for open world destruction. Killing pedestrians in a game is just common place these days, the game starts to feel more like a pick up and play game for 10 – 15 minutes between other games, you don’t seem to have anything that’s keeping you playing for long periods, which is quite disappointing.
The multiplayer is quite possibly the biggest let down, I was hoping for this game mode to be the one thing to keep me coming back, but sadly the lack of pedestrians in an online match makes it feel completely empty with nothing more than racing around or crashing into each other, not to mention that you have to wait for the matchmaking to search for players to then tell you it was unable to find anyone, then lastly ask you if you just want to play with people in your party, this should be an option from the get go.
Visually the game looks quite dated more suited to the likes of an original Xbox rather than the Xbox One, however I did quite like the destruction of the cars, if you crashed into a wall sideways it would dent all of said side, the same goes if your car was split down one side, this made up for a few things but wasn’t enough to make up for the outdated graphics. As for the audio the music is by far the best thing about the game, although this is down to personal taste which unfortunately wasn’t for me. The commentator voice over was fun to start with but once you hear it over and over again it gets a bit boring, this is the same for the pedestrians repeating the same one liners throughout the game.