by Ingvi Snædal
reviewed on PS3
New Lease at Life
One of my all time favourite games on the original PlayStation is WipeOut. The fast action, the futuristic weapons players could use to wreak havoc on the racer in front of them and the sleek art direction of that game all helped to immerse the player completely in the race. Death Track: Resurrection resembles WipeOut in many ways, but entertainment value is regrettably not one of them.
Death Track: Resurrection is a game that was released on the PC in March of 2009. It was considered bland and uninteresting and quickly found its way to the nearest bargain bin. Gamers found the graphics to be out-dated, the cut scene animations to be robotic and the lack of any form of multiplayer to be flat out ridiculous. This is a futuristic racer with weapons and stunts that simply cry out for online competition. Gaijin Entertainment has re-released the game on the PlayStation Network armed with added multiplayer and split screen capabilities in the hopes that it will have a better life in the hands of console gamers.
The Start of a Short Journey
The first time players boot the game they will have to go through a trial level. This level serves to teach them how the controls work, how to use their weapons and how to destroy the scenery in the levels to come. The car that players get their hands on during this first level is not unlocked until quite late in the game and the most surprising thing about the developer's choice of cars is that this particular one has some of the worst handling of them all. It is quite a strange decision to stick a newcomer with a car that handles like an elephant on skates in order to introduce him to the controls. Once the player has completed all the tasks set for him in the trial run, he will find himself in the main menu and with access to most of the game's features. He will only have access to one car and one track, however, seeing as he has yet to unlock them all in the Scenario mode.
The Scenario mode features a very raw and uninteresting story about the rival racers and one obese bad guy in red leather overalls. In between missions the player gets the latest news on what is going on in the story from a very badly dubbed news presenter. The bad dubbing is obviously intentional and I must admit that I found it quite humorous at first. The animated cut scenes that show the actual happenings are another story. They are horribly badly animated and all the characters move as if they were remote controlled robots. At one point a character took a sip from a Champagne glass and it was as if his lips hyper extended, like a squid reaching for its food. It is almost as if the animation department responsible for the cut scenes had not received an update since the times of Starship Titanic.
Pretty Decent Gameplay
Despite the bad animations, the in-game graphics are quite adequate. They may not be a life altering display of High Definition eye candy, but they get the job done. Explosions, bullet tracers and collapsing buildings sound awesome but look better suited for a game dated around 2005. The art direction on the other hand is something that deserves praise. The sleek and futuristic design of the cars, the gritty post-apocalyptic look of the race tracks and the powerful weapons and armour players can mount on their cars do wonders at creating the sense that you have, in fact, stepped into a race to the death in the aftermath of an all-out nuclear war.
The game is quite short and an average gamer should be able to finish the whole thing in a couple of hours. When the scenario mode is played through new cars are unlocked as the story progresses. Each time the leather wearing bad guy kills a driver, that driver's car becomes available for the player to purchase. Money is amassed by wining races an causing havoc on the race track. There are a lot of stunt jumps and destructible objects on the tracks. Firing a rocket at a building with a target on is sure to bring it down. Don't expect a cool show, however, as you will usually fire the missile as you pass it by and rarely get to actually watch as the building crumbles. There is another bonus to spending ammo on bringing buildings down beside the cash it earns you, and that is damage. Any car that gets caught under the falling rubble gets a lot of damage and in some cases spins out of control. It is therefore vital to time the rocket correctly so as not to bring your own car to a screeching halt.
Fast cars that drive well and lots of action
Way too short, uninteresting story and bland multiplayer