Growing up as a kid, there’s a game that I would easily put in my top 5 favorite, as well as most played games, of all time. That game is Road Rage. I’ve waited a very long game to play a game similar to Road Rage and for whatever reason, it seemed like the game and any kind of sequels were not even thought about.. until now. I’ve known of this game for a little while, but then I stopped seeing people talk about it and without really doing anymore digging assumed that it wasn’t coming out anytime soon or it was going to be a terrible game and probably not worth purchasing. I was looking around the New Games section on the Store and discovered it had recently launched last week and purchased it instantly without going online and even seeing any reviews. I knew this game was something I had to play myself because it’s too “different” of a game to appreciate another person’s opinion. Road Rage was one of the reasons I grew up enjoying video games.. so I needed to see for myself if this is the next best thing to one of the best games of all time.
One thing I noticed pretty quickly was the lack of modes and things to do. It’s a $20 game so I tried to ignore that fact, but after a while of playing it will be the reason you set the game down and play something else. The game modes you do have are campaign, classic quick play, and online play. The campaign mode is what will ultimately be the reason you enjoy the game, or decide it’s not for you after about an hour or two of game time. The campaign is similar to Road Rage in that you have one chance to progress in the levels and if you die, you start from the beginning. The cool thing with this game is that you have perks that you can purchase at the end of each level. These perks can be purchased with the money you’ve earned from knocking people off their bikes or finishing the race in a winning position. There’s also targeting levels where you’re supposed to kill as maybe people as you can before the race is finished, as well as timed levels where you need to finish the level before the time runs out. The perks range from extra armor, increased damage, more ammo, and nitro boost. There’s other ones, but these are the main ones and the rest of the perks revolve around those four in some way.
Once you finally lose, you’ll have the option to build on a skill tree which allows you to start from the beginning of the campaign with certain kinds of perks and abilities. They take longer to acquire, so you’ll need to grind out a few times before you can even obtain one ability. I appreciate this because on top of the abilities you can earn to work towards being a better player and bettering your chance of survival, you can also eventually unlock a portion of the tree that allows you to start at either level 3, 6, or 9. This will allow you to bypass the easier missions and get right into the harder missions and work quickly towards higher levels in a shorter time frame.
The online mode is not as enjoyable as I had hoped for. I joined my first game just to be at the beginning of the race and the other 4 racers about 20 seconds from finishing. I was expected to still finish the race even though I had a 0% chance of winning. The time expired before I could even finish the race and ultimately my team lost. I then waited till we entered a new level, where I experienced another game mode – The team based game mode. The team game mode has potential of being great, but when you’re playing high paced maps, where it’s almost impossible to ride along side someone and hit them with a weapon, it turns into you just bashing the nitro button to try and finish the level before the other team.This ruins the whole point of the game, which is to battle against your opponents throughout the race. Once you finish the race, you get awarded points based off how you finished. You can get a win for the race just by taking first place, but the other riders will be awarded points based off how they finished. The first team to 3 wins will be considered the winner and the point system will place the drivers accordingly.
The weapons in the game are what you would expect. You’ll have knives, swords, wrenches, and poles. You will also have the option to use dynamite, handguns, rifles, and sub machine guns. The incorporation of guns seems awesome, but you’ll notice once you use them in game that they’re more clunky than useful and the melee weapons end up being the better options. This is something that an update will soon be able to fix (I hope), so for now I’m not too concerned about it.
The game itself will bring you tons of nostalgic feelings if you grew up a fan of Road Rage. It’s relatively similar to that game and plays out almost exactly like you’d hope it would. It’s a smooth, arcade-like racer, where you also have the option to use weapons against your opponents to assist you throughout each level. Sometimes attacking your opponents will put you in a higher position than them at the finish of the race, which it should, because that’s the whole point to the game and the main reason people play this. Other times, you’re supposed to just finish the race in a position that’s higher than as many people as you can outrun AND outgun- and that’s okay too. This game doesn’t have as many game modes as you’d like, but it has just enough to honor the $19.99 price tag and also hold true to the game that was the reason I purchased this game in the first place. The level designs are great – they’re randomized and constantly changing, as well as the characters and weapons you can use. The graphics are very arcade-like, while also looking just crisp enough that it’s something you can still appreciate on the next generation consoles, and the mechanics feel as good as you could hope for as well. This game isn’t a must buy for everyone, but if you were a fan of Road Rage as a kid, you’ll be a fan of this as a grown adult. If you’re new to this kind of game, you’ll still enjoy it, but I fear the replay value may not be there for you. This is an indie game, with an up and coming team, that did a fantastic job at reviving an old school game that seemed to of been forgotten. I’m nothing but thankful to EQ Games and Pixel Dash Studio for what they did, and I would say if you’re debating between buying this or not, you should lean more towards purchasing it and giving it a chance.