Carmageddon Reincarnation is a remake of Carmageddon 1, a driving game that got very famous due to its over-the-top violence. There is no real narratives only pieces of text that slide by on the status screen. The most noticeable thing the series brought to the table is a wide-open sandbox with a solid physics engine, they even included a loop and deformation. Any car can be turned into a compact cube. To make the experience even more over the top, there are powerups all over the map. Such as pinball mode, where everything that is not nailed down will bounce of any and all surfaces if the object has inertia.
Or springs that let the player bounce the opponents into things, such as mines and pointy edges.
Any car in the game is unlockable and drives differently. The original developers were very proud of their engine and it shows in Reincarnation. Don’t think for a moment that it’s going to be easy to drive a thin several meter long drag racer through a course, where the main goal is to either crush the opponent, exterminate all humans on the map or complete the race. That is also a thing the game got infamous for, there are several hundred living creatures called pedestrians on the map, which can be killed in a multitude of funny, horrible, and or gruesome ways. To nail the point down, they also abide by the physics engine and will lose body parts.
The concept is easy as it is challenging. with several difficulty levels, that affect the powerup usage and the time gained from killing and crushing opponents. personally, I did most of the career mode easily, but that’s mostly because its fun, and the opponent can get a bit frustrated on hard. Should you actually get hurt, there is an auto repair key to hold down that will fix any damage for a cost. For some reason this also cures death, which would cause a game over, which is a good thing, since I can escape the loading screen. To unlock the next set of levels points are needed, but dying and repairing the ride cost points, which means it’s totally possible to go into negative points. As the game progresses new multiplayer modes are possible to host. Also, new upgrades can be bought from tokes found on the map. Cars that can be unlocked come with a prompt that says “Steal worthy”. Crush the puny enemy to a bloody pulp, win the race and it’s all mine to misuse. Each ride is unique with various spinning blades and pointy bits that slices dices and falls off rather easily. Each driver has an image at the bottom of the screen and a name which is often a painful pun.
So far customization is just a list of skins to pick from and two sets of rims. One which can be found somewhere on the map. The real meat of the experience for me is the absurdity of it all, exploring the map and just playing around with powerups. Gather enough time and take a trip through the countryside, there are bound to be some loops and hops around there. The replayability comes from achievements, completing the various goals on each track, and playing through all levels with each car. This is much harder than it sounds. There is also a fleshed out multipalyer mode, with many match choices with pedestrians all over the map.
A very important point to note is that there is some profanity and crude humor, also a lot of mutilation. Though it’s mostly British profanity so it should be too mild for most people these days. The biggest reason for the reaction back in the day was the blood and gore. The game is mostly centered around the teenage demographic and people caught up in nostalgia. However, it is a unique gaming experience and a piece of gaming history. With physics and fully smashable cars, did I mention that? Decent graphics and the fact that it runs okay on most computers do help. The music on the other hand is a mixed bunch, if you enjoy Fear Factory, that’s good for you. Just not my cup of tea. Since they are one of the more noticeable bands behind the Carmageddon music, The game has easy pick-up controls and a simple interface, with full gamepad support.
At the time of this review, it’s still in public beta after it got green-lit on steam. So there will be bugs, such as long loading time and random crashes, however, those will soon be fixed, if you want to check it out be sure to check it out on Steam!
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