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Carmageddon 2
Carmageddon 2

PC, 1999


Race through cities, quarries and forests in a car souped up for death. First person perspective and strong 3d graphics, coupled with literally killer sound effects make for a giddy sociopathic simulation experience. Earn points to upgrade your killing machine by squishing pedestrians and attacking your fellow racers. Each of your opponents is armed with their own particular wheeled killing machine including forklifts, hotrods, dune buggies and elegant old sportsters. Beat them and buy their car, and you can drive it in the next race. Carmageddon 2 supports a single player mode through a series of boards and missions, as well as malicious multiplayer madness.


Carmageddon 2: "Carpocalypse Now" is a most unabashedly twisted game. You drive an armed racecar and the more you splatter and creatively mangle pedestrian bodies, the more points you recieve.

Carmageddon 2 offers similar opportunities for ruthless anti-social driving as Grand Theft Auto, in first person perspective. You see old people, pregnant women, teenagers, construction workers, and business men flee from your big red hot rod just before you crush them beneath your mighty wheels. This abominable behaviour is accompanied by a grisly combination of sound effects: agonized screams, squishing flesh and your revving motor. There are extra points for shredding pedestrians under your tyres, or crushing bodies against buildings or landmarks.

woah This is the darkest game i've played to date, not in the least bit afraid to be offensive, sociopathic and obnoxious. In this mileu of death, destruction, mayhem and utter disregard, perhaps encouraged by it, there's a exhilarating load of good gaming. The driving interface is easy enough, and it's fun to bash your car into people, buildings, other cars; the audio feedback, sounds of breaking glass and crunching metal, are excellent.

In most driving games, there's a predominant static background: buildings are impermeable blocks and if you drive through the outdoors long enough you run into a wall of nature! In Carmageddon 2, if there's a building, there's a good chance you can drive into it. Smash your car through the large windows that office building and drive up stairs to the second floor, scattering and smashing employees just before you exit through another window to land on a foe or a gaggle of terrified onlookers below (perhaps earning a "cunning stunt" bonus).

Each game is ostensibly a "race" around a "track." There is a time limit that is extended every time you complete a lap-portion, succesfully injure your peers, or attack an innocent bystander. I found the most fun in ditching the race-loop and attacking other cars; it's a bit like jousting. It's quite satisfying to create headon automotive destruction and see your opponent's car steadily reduced to a hobbling cacaphony of polygons.

The missions are mostly a tour of the game's features and levels. I found some of the time trials bothersome, espcially jumping from roof to roof on skyscrapers knocking out antennas; the level-skipping cheat came in handy here. Perhaps there is something to be said for building the skills necessary to complete that mission, but those levels where there's no killing involved seem quite unexciting compared to the normal giddy gorefest.

There are power-ups strewn throughout the level. Some are helpful, offering additional speed, money, time or useful weapons. Some are a drag, like a car-sized ball and chain that suffixes itself to your car making it very unweildy to drive. Others are just random; for example, there's a drugs powerup that makes everything wavy and multicoloured. Some powerups affect pedestrians: making them dance, explode-on-contact, extra large or super squat; the authors here clearly had a lot of fun creatively abusing the human form.

In an attempt to capture the spirit of the game in song, I've penned this tune, "Carmageddon, Carmageddon" to the tune of Jingle Bells:

careening through the town
in a big red death mobile
mowing people down
laughing at the wheel
(ha ha ha)

enormous fearless car
making pavement red
what fun it is to drive until
everyone is dead!

ho - carmageddon carmageddon
killing's so much fun
if my parents saw this game
they would sure be stunned.

ho - carmaggedon carmaggedon
drive a killer car
if they can't outrun you,
you'll drag those bodies far

Carmageddon 2 was preceeded by AutoDuel.

spring 1999: published in part on WildWeb Games

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