Carmageddon: Max Damage Review

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CDM, as I shall now reference it, is the junior to the cult shock horror 90’s title of the video game which shares 90% of it’s DNA. Developed by Stainless games, CDM is a console release update of last years Kickstarter-backed Carmageddon: Reincarnation.

I’ll start first off with a small culling, anyone alien to the history of this title or its main objective should take note, if you have a soft spot for cows, dogs or nuns you probably should end your interest here. The absolute main focus of this game is to massacre pedestrians & wild animals (known as Peds). Anyone looking for a racing game in a Forza/Project Cars style or enjoys the visual delights of cute fluffy baby lambs you also won’t find anything to float your boat.

Carmageddon is a vehicle tournament that takes place on half a dozen levels, highlights of which is Bleak City which centers around an NFL stadium hosting a football game with quarterbacks, cheerleaders & all, and Devils Canyon – which includes a crashed UFO and plenty of juicy probe-able cattle.

The main fill of CDM is the career mode, 16 rounds of carnage beginning with a choice of 2 cars/ drivers, the ever present Max Damage, who spent his deed poll money wisely, a skinhead mentalist and Die-Anna (too soon?) whose back story details being raised in a morgue, the characters and car names continue this innuendo theme with such delights as Mother Trucker and her semi truck RigO’ Mortis and Ed Hunter who drives around in a National Lampoons style station wagon with dangerously angled steel pipes attached.

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Classic Carma is one of the main game modes to complete in order to progress through the rounds, winning can in achieved in one of 3 ways, completing the required number of laps, destroying all of the other competitors or running over a ludicrous* volume of Peds.

*700 is quite ludicrous

Other game modes such as Ped Chase requires you to kill 10 designated Peds first, as 6 of you drive around trying to mow down the target first, which in reality is 5 AI drivers who are more interested in being bell-ends and either trying to block me from reaching the target or battering each other into some Red Bull induced cock fight.

Killing the Peds provides bonuses in game either as added time or as points which can be spent on health regeneration or weaponry or practical things as the end of the round score, repairing the vehicle is as simple as pressing triangle and watching your car pieces magnetize themselves around you or if you’ve been backed into a wall or wrapped around a tree hitting square will return you back to the track for a cost.

Repairing will need to be done on a regular basis as your AI opponents have a tendency for carnage over racing, think of it as racing against 5 Pastor Maldonaldo’s and you may be close to the demented regard to health and safety. There are no red flags here.

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As you race there is a huge number (90) power ups or “Pups” to drive over located in unmarked barrels, they range from the simple time or point bonus to ones allowing you to lay road mines, shoot anvil’s from the front of the car as well as negative ones that can make your vehicle bounce like a Kangaroo, or turn to glass so 1 hit will see you wrecked. There are also ones that affect how the Peds act around the environment such as making them dance, slow down or freezing them to provide easier targets and even allowing you to toss off (te-he) a number of nuns, strippers and Penguins at the same time. The problem with the pups is because they are random there’s no way of planning race tactics and it’s a case of make do with what you have been given.

There are a number of vehicles available once you’ve unlocked them or destroyed them during a race ranging from my favourite Delorean (DeGoryun) to the law enforcement element, a smart car which is terribly and offensively named Compact Unit: Nil Threat. All vehicles can be customised with weapons by spending tokens hidden around the levels and visual updates such as rims and paintwork. Weapons should help you mow down a greater number of ped’s such as spikes at the front or scythe blades on the wheels, and even a flame thrower why not.

Vehicle handling on Max CDM isn’t very good or responsive at all, which is made even worse by the opponents who in some cases will drive in reverse just to send you off-course, to combat this I mostly just reset myself onto the track leaving them confused bashing into walls. Even as I progressed through the career mode my handling of the vehicles never improved and ironically gave me more road rage than the premise of the game was designed to alleviate.

The load times between rounds I felt were unforgivable, even resetting an event took a full load up and there really wasn’t anything there to cover that up or pass the time by as patience started to wear down.

The games audio centers mostly around the screaming and squelching of body parts as quotes such as ‘Bacon Slicer’ and 90’s favourite ‘Cunning Stunt’ is thrown onto your screen and into your ears, and in the designated Ped killing round Kill the Bastard’ is said after each target.

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It’s without question that Stainless games were looking to push their previous boundaries on taste and humour, and without a doubt they have accomplished this, I consider myself fairly easy on these things, however I did draw the line when I spotted the C**T word used on graffiti near the stadium, and I get it, it’s used for shock effect I didn’t think it was necessary at all and left me feeling quite disgusted with myself for enjoying some of the other bad taste aspects of the game.

Away from the career path, there is a Free-play mode in which you can create your own events to your liking, and an online Multiplayer mode that inexplicably removes all the pedestrians, so you are essentially left with a bag of dicks. A split screen mode in my opinion 2 or even better 4 players could have given this game some real longevity and perhaps even some beer-fueled lolgasms.

So is this game for you?, if you were around the first time and wish to wipe the blood from the already rose tinted specs, and have suffered the same desensitising from ultra-violence that real life has offered the last 20 years then this would be worth your time and monies, and to its benefit it’s already available for £26. If you missed it the first time and GTA V is your go-to point of reference if you can live with the downgrade in visuals you may find some appeal.

For anyone else looking for a tight racer, Project Cars graphics or engaging career mode, then you’re unlikely to find what you are looking for here.

 

 

 

Pros:

Stress relieving to an extent

Well priced

clever imagined vehicles & Power Ups

Cons:

Poor vehicle handling

Last Gen Visuals

Load times zzzZZzz

Score: 5 out of 10