A Highway to Hell!

The original ‘90s video gaming bad boy returns, but is it's bite still as strong as it's profanity fuelled bark.

Worth the wait?

Carmageddon, Road Rash and Twisted Metal the founding forefathers of rampant car crashing, pedestrian slaughtering and unrelenting censor prone language. Developed by Stainless Games, Carmageddon: Max Damage marks the island studio’s return to the series almost twenty years after its inception. The controversy Carmageddon created on it’s release led to it being censored or banned in many countries resulting in a high demand and high profit margins.

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Carmageddon: Max Damage is set in an apocalyptic world where people roam the streets waiting to be slain by manic drivers, cities are decapitated yet sheek, and your goal is to take your sweet sweet ride and ram it into your fellow racers destroying their prides and joy and mowing down some ‘peds’ along the way. Carmageddon Max Damage’s main ‘career’ mode has some life to it, in amongst it you must revel in ped destruction, checkpoint reaching and adversarial driver annihilation in order to earn coins to unlock the next wave of events so you can progress the coins can also be used for making repairs or resetting your position on the track.

Carmageddon: Max Damage takes pretty much all of it’s cues from its predecessors which in theory isn’t the worst idea in the world as what came before it made such a big impact to the gaming industry.  However, the execution of that theory left a lot to be desired…A LOT. Dated graphics, repetitive gameplay and lackluster driving mechanics soon shatter the rose tinted glasses to unveil what feels like an unfleshed out idea. In a world of ‘Definitive Editions’ and ’10 Year Anniversary’ game releases you can’t be angry at Stainless Games for wanting to throw their hat in the ring but for all it’s potential Carmegeddon: Max Damage plays as coarse as it’s humour is; many times I found myself getting frustrated with every car in the game and for the same reason, they don’t want to or simply can’t turn properly.

Initially I chalked it up to being down to the fact that it’s the first car, what do I expect a F1 Style super car Lewis Hamilton would be happy to race in? So I bit my tongue and powered through, progressing through the story and unlocking a medley of colourful characters, I then tried out all of these newly unlocked characters and found myself smashing into the same issue which made my previous conclusion inescapable; that this driving game staple went very wide of the mark when it came to creating the fundamentals necessary to having a pleasant driving experience first and foremost. Once that was done then all the juicy fillers of ped kiling, ramp jumping, car blood bathing, and ect could be added on top.

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There are some plus points; the soundtrack is harsh, powerful and unrelenting which compliments the game well. Max Damage retails at £29.99 which makes the pill a little easier to swallow and the humour is my cup of tea, with that being said it is very Marmite-esc in the sense you will hate it or love it, with lines like ‘harder than rimming a rhino’ your own moral compass will soon find it’s true north and you’ll know if Carmegeddon: Max Damage is for you.

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The Good

- Running over pedestrians
- Musing power-ups and upgrades
– Language

The Bad

– Graphics are lacking
– Driving is clunky
– Repetitive and with very limited replayability

The Verdict

Unfortunately a failed attempt to revive a fun franchise, granted it's predecessors weren't 10/10 must plays but the enjoyable elements which made Carmageddon a fun ride were not present here.

5.4