Carmageddon TDR 2000
Having come full circle, the next game in the multiple award-winning Carmageddon series is named after the film that inspired the original concept. Now developed by Australian outfit Torus Games, this latest incarnation is already reckoned to have twice the frame rate of Carmageddon II.
Designed from the ground up for Internet play, the game will boast unique arenas and play modes, with the focus on fast action gameplay in immersive environments. These will take many forms, including Suburbia, which will contain a cinema, a moving bridge and a football pitch. There's also a typical English country estate, complete with golf course, horse stables and a tranquil lake surrounded by deer, all of which should be quite satisfying to run over.
Of course, mowing down zombies will still play a major part of the game, but this time they will be far more aggressive -and even homicidal.
Britain is a country of animal lovers. But we don't seem to be that keen on people, judging by the string 'em up mentality exhibited by the tabloid press. Second shoplifting offence? Life imprisonment mate. Privacy? No such thing. Public interest you see. It's typical stuff. But it seems a bit odd, in the face of all this, that the tabloids were so concerned about an innocuous game such as Carmageddon. What was the big problem? The fact that you had to run over innocents and claim points?
Take a look at the big-screen antics of Stallone and company in the film Death Race 2000. The fact that this has been shown on national TV makes the hounding of Carmageddon look pathetic. Especially as it was alright to hack and blow people to pieces with huge guns in other games available at the time.
Anyway, enough of the soapbox stuff, because the next version of the game is only a couple of months away, and curiously enough it's entitled Carmageddon TDR 2000. It was going to be called The Death Race 2000. but after legal pressure from Paramount (who is set to make a big budget sequel to the cult film, allegedly starring one Tom Cruise), it decided to stick to the letters.
That's the only concession made, though. As far as new features go, TDR 2000 is positively overflowing, with a brand new story, mission structure, rendering engine and pedestrian AI. The latter means that peds will now form orderly queues outside banks and run off in groups rather than scattering, enabling you to maximise your kill ratio. Which is rather considerate of them really. There are also more animals to slay senselessly, including kangaroos, although there is a Planet Of The Apes power-up which enables the animals to exact their revenge. You have been warned.
The storyline is pretty basic (lawless areas have been fenced off, and you're trapped in the middle), but the missions have been thoroughly overhauled and we're promised they're going to be far more sophisticated than the pitiful excuses in Carmageddon 2. You can expect to interact with items in each, and follow a logical path in order to 'escape' from the level before moving to the next environment. We've saw a level based around a movie studio where you have to build a bomb that releases a creature which startles a King Kong who's more than happy to kick a hole in the outside wall leaving you free to make a getaway. You get the idea.
You can also expect more than 50 vehicles (old and new), all of which are visually different, as well ashaving their own attributes in terms of speed, handling and defensive and offensive capabilities. Some are just there for novelty value. Haven't you always wanted to mow someone down in an ice cream van? The one in TDR 2000 is large, strong and durable, but more importantly it plays a jingle as it drives along.
As you'd expect, all the vehicles are completely trashable. We failed to heed a missile strike warning and our car's roof was blown clean off. You can also lose individual wheels (which obviously makes the vehicle a bitch to steer), doors and even leave bumpers scraping along the road in your wake.
All of this is handled by the game's new D3D-native rendering engine. It's promising double the frame rates as Carmageddon 2 on the same hardware and it won't shut up about the impressive array of new features, including hard shadows, reflection mapped cars and a brand new particle system for sparks, rain and smoke.
On The Net
The big news is that the developers have finally managed to code in support for the Internet. Multiplayer Carmageddon is what it's all about and solid online play is promised. This isn't in place yet, and there are no servers running TDR 2000, so we can't vouch for the stability or speed, but we'll keep you informed. We're expecting finished code (see boxout, right) soon, so you should expect to see a review in the very near future.
But before we sign off, we've got a bit of a confession. We got a bit carried away with Carmageddon 2. We were so wrapped up in the mindless violence and road-kill debauchery, we neglected to see that the single-player game wasn't all that hot. But forget about all of that. TDR 2000 looks as if it's going to be a blast, as long as you don't mind the occasional gush of crimson, and you don't get upset by the spasmodic twitching of a poor defenceless cow that's been stupid enough to have a fight with your undercarriage.
Which brings us rather neatly back to the start. You see publisher SCi is going for a 15 certificate this time around, and it doesn't foresee any of the legal wrangling previous versions faced. Media hysteria whipped up Government interest last time and the Government lost. Even if the game is forced to ship with green blood in place, every kid on the block is going to be turning it red with the patch that will inevitably follow. And the main point is that Carmageddon TDR 2000, like its predecessors is just a bit of a laugh. A bit of harmless fun.
If anyone seriously thinks that the game is going to make us jump in a bath on wheels and go hunting kangaroos, then they really shouldn't be anywhere near the reigns of power. They should be put in a padded cell and given crayons to scribble with.
But When's It Going To Be Finishes?
TDR 2000 is not reviewable yet, but it is looking good...
it's always a tricky one, but we saw early code mid-April and we're pretty sure the game should be ready to review in a couple of months, but not before. Most of the game's missions are in place, and the engine is chugging away pretty smoothly, but there are a lot of bugs to iron out and gameplay to balance. The preview code we were slaughtering our way through crashed a lot and it was hard to get a coherent sense of how the finished version is going to play. One thing is certain though, it looks a lot better than Carmageddon 2, and we're not just talking about the graphics. The missions seem to have been more thought out this time and, if its promise is realised, we could have another smash-and-grab hit on our hands.
Processor: PC compatible, P-100
OS: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game Features:Single game mode
Carmageddon TDR 2000 Screenshots
- 4x4 Evolution
- Boss Rally
- Colin McRae Rally
- Colin Mcrae Rally 2.0
- F1 Live Information
- F1 2000
- Formula 1
- Formula One
- Mobil 1 Rally Championship
- Official Formula One Racing
- Rally Championship '99
- Rally Championship Xtreme
- Test Drive 6
- Wipeout 2097