Carmageddon: Max Damage GAME REVIEW
Developer: Stainless Games
Publisher: Sold Out Software
Release: Out Now
Formats: Xbox One, PS4
Rating: PEGI 18
One of video gaming’s original “video nasties” back in 1996, Carmageddon settled for blood-splattered headlines over quality, leaving that for its excellent 1998 sequel, Carmageddon II: Carpocalypse. Now, 20 years on, Carmageddon’s crowdfunded revival finally hits consoles, and it’s not the triumphant return it could have been.
The puerile focus on toilet humour cheap laughs will put off many, as will its murderous nature, but there’s something compelling about the open-ended Classic Carma missions. Rather than its more focused races and missions, it’s here where you can win by wrecking all the other competitors, hitting all the checkpoints, or painstakingly running over or mauling every pedestrian on the map (even if this process drives you insane).
It’s a sandbox driving idea that’s compelling because it revels in its ridiculousness, with a bevy of silly power-ups and a few that fall a bit flat. The handful of environments can be a joy to explore but there aren’t enough unique ones, and they’re hampered by the amateurish handling and physics modelling, which comes dangerously close to derailing the whole experience.
Simply put, vehicle handling is a completely inconsistent joke. It’s twitchy and stiff and leaden, switching between any of these almost at random, regardless of how damaged your ride is, what speed you’re going or what power-ups are active. Sometimes driving in a straight line is simply impossible. It’s not totally game breaking, but it taints the playability of any racing missions, and can leave you angry and frustrated just getting around the maps.
Sadly, outside of Classic Carma the game modes and multiplayer don’t really measure up, and when combined with naff visuals, lengthy loading times and godawful music, Carmageddon: Max Damage isn’t horrific, but it’s nowhere near the ghastly, grin-inducing gore-fest as it should have been.
Review by Martin Wharmby