The early-access version included both the original carmageddon + splatpack + 3dfx patch + glide wrapper AND carmageddon 2 + glide wrapper, allowing both games to run at higher resolutions than they natively support. Therefore, let's have a short drive through memory-lane, back to the happy days of dos, and the controversy that was Carmageddon!
Carmageddon 1For myself, this was the first driving game I found entertaining. There's something to be said against the physics, it just feels off, chunky, everything has a weird inertial feel to it, like every time you get airtime, it feels a bit like slow-motion.. And it is absolutely wonderful! This lack of "realism" may have been a result of limited processing power, but whatever it was, it was what made the game for me. For example, in order to stabilize your car when driving off an edge, set it to spin first, and it won't flip, the spinning (in my head) worked as a gyroscopic stabilizer, and is just one of the many small lovable quirks of the first two games. I do not know how much code was shared between Carmageddon 1 and 2, but they had a very similar feel.
|Carmageddon 1 3dFX with nGlide in DOSbox|
|Die Anna knows how to make sports interesting|
The strongest points for this game is absolutely the car-handling, while being quite special and nothing like any other driving game, it is what makes Carmageddon so unique, it feels extremely solid once you get used to it. The cars react instantly to your input and feels very arcade, in a good way! Ramming opponents is very satisfying, and you get a good sense of force when hitting them.
|Crashes in Carmageddon feel brutal!|
There is nothing much else to say about the first Carmageddon game, it is an excellent game, and to this date, one of my favorite games.
Carmageddon 2: Carpocalypse Now!Highly anticipated, and not letting anyone down, Carmageddon 2 brought high-resolution, hardware-accelerated 3D carnage to the next level, while the graphics were more "cartoony", due to the texture filtering and higher resolution, it did not fail to deliver on gore and great fun.
|Carma 2 was nice and gory like its predecessor|
The game handles extremely well, and even at low-fps (I played this on a 100 MHz Pentium with a 4 MiB voodoo and 32 MiB memory), physics and cars worked very well. Environments were vary large, easy to navigate and the bright graphics made it easy to find your way around.
As with the first game, crashing into peds and cars felt extremely satisfying, there was a definite "umph" there, and I still catch myself moving my head when crashing hard into something (better not be a corner though, those will cut your car in half!) Everything about Carmageddon 2 is excellent, the game is great, and it set up the next game, Carmageddon 3 to be such a disappointment that I do not feel the need to include it in this brief story.
Another extremely important factor in both Carmageddon 1 and 2, is the open-world feel, there is no invisible walls, there is no angles that are "impossible" for your car (given the right starting angle and velocity, of cause), basically, it never feels like the game is trying to limit you or help you. Good example is the loop from costal-carnage from the first game, where you will simply fall off and land on your roof if you're too slow and the mission from the second game where you have to kill the escaped mental-patients.
Even with the (by modern standards) modest selection of textures, all levels feel unique and extremely large, yet easy to navigate.
So, Carmageddon 1 and 2 are near perfect games in their own rights, difficult games to live up to.
Carmageddon: Reincarnation (It's carmageddon 4..)These observations are from the early-access, pre-alpha version, and there's no clear indication of how far into the development progress it really is. I have this in mind when writing these observations, and so should you. I have no included any bugs, graphical glitches, missing features or performance issues into my considerations, these are all apparent for obvious reasons (it's not done yet), and therefore I will concentrate only on the positive improvements over the previous games, and on the current "feel" of the game, ignoring any issues. As a game developer (of much lesser scale/class/proficiency) and to a winder-degree, a software engineer, I can appreciate how tremendous a task this must be, and how seemingly gigantic issues might be a trivial on-liner fix, so there.. I'm not going to comment on those tings, that'd be unfair. Kudos for releasing this at all! It's a great privileged to get to see a bit of the "behind the scenes" stuff, where's the development console?
|Let's start with the obvious, it's a got a classy loading screen.|
|Will there be a "Max Damage or Die Anna" screen before this one in the final game?|
|Good things are in store for us!|
Right at this stage in development, what I await with most anticipation is how the car-handling will develop, as of now, it does feel a bit arcady (good), and it's clear that a very hefty physics simulation is underpinning these virtual vehicular slaughter-grounds, and that, in itself, is irrelevant to me, from a SW-engineer perspective, it is intriguing, it's awesome, it's interesting and something I'd also want to get my hands dirty on, were I to have the skills and chance. However, as a (granted, slightly disturbed) gamer, I care how many libs and blood-splatters will fill the air, and how awesomely they will paint the town red, and not much else. And oh boy am I certain they will!
This brings me to the current state of car-handling, something which I acknowledge is highly subjective, and therefore the following should be read with that in mind; They don't feel "Carma" enough right now. Certainly the wheel-spin action has been improved somewhat during actual drifting, but wheels don't spin or much influence the car during straight driving (which I for some reason want it to), the brake (space key) is not very attractive right now, it kind of just.. brakes your car, which I guess sounds obvious enough, but for some reason is not.. I'd expect it to bring the car into sideways drift if used together with turning, but this mechanic is now entirely reliant on wheel-spin. This is however minor, and something which is very likely to change in the future. I do appreciate that this game is target for the next generation of gamers, many of whom never played the first game upon release and might be put off by the unique handling, however, it might be something that "Classic Carma" mode can bring back. I mentioned it earlier, that the first Carmageddon games did not try to help you or limit you, and I do have the feeling that this is unfortunately no longer true. It might be due to physics that needs tweaking, but on several occasions, I've found geometry which looked traversable, but ended up completely blocking the car, instead of sending it into the insane-spinning-loop-whatever that I'd expect it to. However, that might also just be a glitch, and in such case, that observation should be loudly ignored (however one does something that ironic).
|Doesn't that blade just make you wanna divide pedestrians by 2 ?|
|You're next after I'm finished turning this fine lad into mist.|
|Beautiful deformation deforms beautifully.|
- Realistic looking deformation (the visual amount of damage correlates with handling)
- Awesome looking deformation (we want things to be pretty damn trashed)
- Cars that do not become un-driveable after minor crashes
This brings me to the feel of wasting opponents, it is highly subjective, but again it lacks brutality, and it is likely just a matter of opinion and tweaking. But it does seem promising. The technology is no doubt there, and I believe the engine allow the developers a wide degree of freedom when it comes to these, most important parameters.
It will also be very interesting to see what kind of modding we will be allowed to do, I already plan on doing a "violence extrêmement brutale" mod if the tools will allow it, let the streets overflow with the blood of the innocent! :)
So, in short, my modest wishlist for Carmageddon:Reincarnation
- Linux version - It's coming, wohoo!
- Deal more damage when crushing opponent/pedestrian against other objects.
- More blood/brutality on impact with pedestrians and opponents
- Not just camera shake
- Brake tweak (Spacebar)
- More arcade-like car handling/response
- As much exposed api as possible for modding, we wanna hook into everything! ;)
|Max is as charming as ever!|
To Stainless Games: Amazing work, keep it up, we have high expectations of you, and it's your own fault for previously making awesome stuff and our expectation are high only because we know you're able to do it.