Motorhead arrived in the office a short while after we'd reviewed Ultimate Race Pro, and was soon adopted as the office racing game of choice. At first glance it's not that different from Ultimate, though just a few minutes' play confirms that it's much quicker, and that there's more scope for long-term appeal thanks to a well thought out and implemented league system that really forces the learning curve as you struggle to gain enough points to win promotion to the next league. Those of you without dedicated 3D hardware will be pleased to hear that Motorhead looks far from knackered when running in software, though with 3D hardware support it looks quite glorious.
Futuristic and plentiful, the cars all handle quite differently and have different top speeds and varying degrees of acceleration and grip. Which car you choose depends largely on the track you're racing on, and it's worth taking at least a few seconds to compare each car's specifications. The fact that they are 'damage-proof opens the door to some rather ruthless tactics, and means that manoeuvring your car about the track is not limited to blocking your opponents, as you can also barge them off the track. Unfortunately, the CPU-controlled cars are no crash test dummies, and given half a chance they do the same to you.
Detailed and well thought out, the tracks are visually impressive. If you're playing the league game, you soon notice that the circuits get more difficult as you progress, with increasingly tighter bends and narrower roads. There are long straights, tight turns and some pretty cool WipeOut-like jumps that have you rising out of your seat as you follow your car's trajectory through the air.
Playing solo is a lot of fun, but playing over a network is an experience not to be missed. Because the cars are indestructible, all notion of a non-contact race goes out of the window, and there's plenty of argy-bargy. The fact that if you turn your car over means it's all over Is: a) good, In that it's realistic: b) bad, especially if you end up on your root early on. You can ask a kindly Samaritan to knock into you in the hope that the impact will right your car, but don't expect much charity in the heat of a network battle.
Originality And Fun Factor
Overall, Molorheadsucceeds in being a very accessible, playable and quick racing game without any pretensions. There are no real surprises, but in terms of sheer enjoyment and features it's way up the grid. The way the singleplayer game is structured, it's as good for a 20-minute blast as it is for an evening session.
Systems: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game features: Single game mode
2018-12-21 Motorhead game added.
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