LGR – Carmageddon – DOS PC Game Review
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LGR – Carmageddon – DOS PC Game Review

September 10, 2019

[LGR Theme] [fizz, sip] Aahhh! Carmageddon is one of those unique
games that you just have to wonder how it was created in the first place. “Racing for the chemically imbalanced,” states the rather graphic box art, right under its blood-splattered logo. Even Postal 2 didn’t have a cover this blatant. This is the uncensored American release here. For those of you that may
not have gotten the idea yet, Carmageddon is about racing cars while causing all sorts of mayhem in a somewhat armageddon-like fashion. And holy crap, this game is fun! Carmageddon is not to be confused with the very much horrible Carmageddon 64. This one is amazing and it was made by SCI, who later released games under the Eidos brand and is now owned by Square Enix. To get a general idea of the game’s feel, think about a mashup of demolition derbies and movies like Mad Max and Death Race 2000. And actually, that’s more accurate
than you might think at first. The game started off as a
demolition racing game concept. The idea was scrapped and it was reworked once they got a license to the movie Mad Max. But that license fell through
and instead was replaced with a license to the sequel
to the movie Death Race 2000, Death Race 2020. But that movie was canned, so that license fell apart, too. Eventually they just said, “Let’s get the freaking game done,” and they released it as Carmageddon. You start out as one of two drivers, Mad Mike or Die Anna, with Mike having a car mainly made for destroying other cars, and Anna with a car that’s better for killing people. A little more lightweight. Yeah, that is the main draw of the game: being able to slaughter pedestrians for points, just like the movie Death Race 2000. In fact, Mad Mike’s– not to be confused with Mad Max’s– car is based on the alligator car from the movie Death Race 2000. So you can pick either of these two players. Each car is good for certain things,
but it really doesn’t matter too much. They’re really, really similar as far as specs. The career mode consists of 36 races and a couple of dozen vehicles that can be unlocked. You can also upgrade your cars up to five levels, and six after you beat the game, with money that you earn for killing
people and killing your opponents. So you’re really free to play how you want to, no matter what car you pick. And I mean that to the fullest. You can play Carmageddon any way you can think to. Each race is completed in one of three ways: by destroying your opponents demolition derby-style, by killing all of the pedestrians, or by completing the race circuit. Nobody ever really completes the actual racing circuits because they’re for pansies. So personally, I’d go for blowing up my opponents, as there are sometimes up to 700 pedestrians to kill. So that could take forever. And the racing takes place in
rather large open world areas. Finding all these pedestrians can
be hard to do without a power-up. Really, a nice mix of things is the way to go. Mow over a few dozen people
and animals, or even better, run over the people AND your
opponents in one felled swoop. Preferably by electrocuting them. And then landing on them from a high jump and then running back over
their carcass with your tires, spreading their guts all over the place, mixing it with the burning oil of your dead rivals. Laughing like a maniac all along the way! [maniacal laugh] Of course, you’ve got to save
a replay of that if it happens, post it on YouTube,
’cause that would be awesome. And no, I am not a psycho. This game… just… does horrible things. And you know what?
That’s why I love Carmageddon so much. It gives you such an intense feeling of freedom for playing how YOU want to. No matter how horrific it is, and usually the MORE horrific it is, the better. You get points in cash for no matter what you do, so you never feel like you’re wasting your time, really. It’s just that some things you do
are gonna be a little more satisfying to your style than other things. You could go as crazy as you want. And yes, your car will take serious damage, but as long as you have some credits to repair your car, you can do so on the spot. If you flip over, you can reset your car for 1,000 credits. I mean, I never feel like I’m being
punished playing Carmageddon. I always come away from the game feeling satisfied. Now there are three difficulty modes and the hardest difficulty is really challenging. But if you get bored of simply annihilating everyone, it’s a good way to mix things up. And if you like a particular race a whole lot, you can back and play it over
as many times as you like, still earning more cash and upgrades along the way. It’s the little things like this that
are actually HUGE things missing from racing games today, which is the freedom to follow your own disturbing path and still have loads of fun making actual, discernible game progress. Sure, the graphics are pretty dated, but it doesn’t make it any less fun. And when you use the high-res mode or 3dfx patch, it’s certainly more than playable. The soundtrack is also very enjoyable
and I think very appropriate, mostly by Fear Factory,
which was sort of a staple of action-racing games in the late ’90s. The sounds are all appropriately nasty too, with screams and crunchy collisions. One or two of them are kind of annoying, like your little guy up at the top of the screen, shouting obscenities and random things here and there. You can turn him off, thankfully. Really annoying, though, are the
cops and the sound they make. That siren just never stops for the last half of the game. So that gets old. The opponent artificial intelligence
is also… very well done, with each driver having a personal style that you’ll have to learn in order to defeat them. Each area you race in feels unique in its own way, though most of them are just
variations on previous races. There’s only about five or six different track types. But each one feels different enough. You’ll have some that are dark, some are in the daytime, some where it’s gonna be foggy or… it just looks different enough where it to
make it feel like you’re racing somewhere else. And the controls… wow. Once you get used to the very solid physics, it is a joy to drive each of the cars. Every car feels extremely different and very appropriate to its shape and mass. And it’s felt in every bump,
jump and head-on collision. And with this much variation to the cars,
as well as the tracks themselves, it makes what is already a lot
of gameplay feel like even more. And if that’s still not enough, there’s an expansion, the Splat Pack, which adds a whole lot more cars and tracks and a few tweaks along the way. And I could go on with more details,
but honestly I really don’t care to. Because Carmageddon is really that good. No other DOS racing game even comes close to this as far as I’m concerned, as far as raw fun factor. Now I do still like and prefer the sequel, Carmageddon II: Carpocalypse Now. It’s pretty much the exact same game,
but with even more to do. There’s something more intangibly
raw-feeling about the original game. It’s kind of like Doom in that respect. Sure, there are more advanced games in the genre, but this DOS classic is just perfect the way it is. And the end result is a timeless feeling that you’ll get with no other DOS racing game, period.

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  1. I actually came looking for this old review. I agree with Clint, this is by far the best DOS racing game and one of my all time favs. I’ve actually played it recently on iOS and it’s still quite enjoyable

  2. This was one of the first PC games I ever personally owned. My relationship with my best friend of 20 years was partially based on this game. Great stuff

  3. Fact : Carmageddon is the first game combining a real physics engine with deformable models, open environnement, sandbox playing if you like. It's the ancestor of anything like modern GTA and the such. I used to hack the game when I was young to modify specs of cars. A 100 tons earthmover is a thing you dream to lay your littles hands on in your kiddy sandbox, so I made one myself in Carmageddon. Yeah, I actually had a retail copy of the early uncensored EU red blood version when I was 12. I'm perfectly chemically balanced nevertheless.
    Also developed by Stainless Steel. Because good games are like good knives, they never rust.

  4. Nice Review.

    I suggest you replay TDR2000 and review it. I heard you talk it down in some of your other videos, and I really don't understand why. I reinstalled it recently to see if I was seeing it with nostalgia goggles, but it was just as fun as I remembered. Great maps/weapons/missions

  5. I was super young when i played this , I'd also sit and watch my dad play it . Oh how I miss my nerdy father who got me into gaming 🙁

  6. I was playing the android version of this game and I, with great patience, wrecked the police car at some low level. Then the game declared me a 'cheater' and rewarded me by unlocking everything immediately 😀 I wonder if the same cheat exists in the original version.

    p.s. I hereby declare that I am aware that I am commenting under an 8-years-old video

  7. A code to unlock everything in the game. On the main screen quickly type in "kevwozear" without the quotations. Have fun playing as the Suppressor!

  8. Gotta love that Body Hammer instrumental! I remember the look on my face when I heard it upon firing up the game for the first time that the music worked for me.

  9. I loved to mess around with the game powerups. I'd use the cheat to combine Pinball Mode and either Lunar Gravity to fly all around the world or Jupiter Gravity to make my enemies completely wrecked by the combination of both. At some point the models would glitch out and be really flat and huge.

  10. Ah, yes! One of my absolute favourites. I often referred to it as "THE racing game for those who DON'T like racing games at all." 😀 Likewise, I also favour Carpocalypse Now, myself, but, it was often a bitch to run it on NT-based versions of Windows – all because of the outdated version of SafeDisc it used, which was not Win NT/XP friendly.

  11. i went shopping at Electronics Boutique to buy my first PC games, i picked up Quake, Duke Nukem 3d and Carmageddon best month of gaming i ever had 🙂

  12. This is by far my favorite racing game for dos. WipEout and Screamer come close, but no other racing game on the dos platform has this much freedom.(or carnage.)

  13. Clint, I don’t know if you remember me because this is a new YouTube account that I have only had for a year but on my old account “Justinakach0ppa” we used to speak privately via email when your channel first started up, we even spoke about collaborating.

    Sadly I got sick not long after that and it’s been a long road back to recovery, however, I just want to say, I still watch your videos all the time and this is one of my all time favourites of yours.

    Hope you are well my friend and even if you don’t remember me (it has been a long time so I wouldn’t hold it against you) I just want to say I wish you all the best for the future.

  14. I remember when I got it, I was 13 years old… and it was a recommendation from the seller (no joke). It was the zombified version. Hopefully, I got a patch from the CD of a magazine and then, I got the real game. It was AWESOME, really a good time.

    Carmageddon 2 in the other hand was… meah. More bonuses, sort of challenges after some tracks, etc. It was better than the first one, but the main problem I got was the physics. Anything who looked like a small pylon, like the sides of a fence (the cente of fences was destructible, but not their supports at the sides) could literally CUT you in half if you crashed on it, and so you die. I don't remember if the first one was concerned by that, but in this one, it was so regular that I still have a sort of PTSD from it. I had to play slowly and carefully to avoid dying stupidly. I finished the game, but this annoyance affected the fun I got from the game.

    I still didn't try Carmageddon: Reincarnation despite buying it. I hope I will get the same feeling that the first one… or I will just have to reinstall my old CD 🙂

  15. Monks shouting 'Hoooooooly shit'…old people shoutimg 'I was in the war' and cows doing a shit just before being splattered.

    As a youngster…this was rather amusing, thank god for the 'blood pack'. Playing it with green goo zombies was boring.

  16. Oh yeah virtual splattering of bodies under the hood, mm that makes me so moist

    I should probably get on it and get back to killing… because everyone knows that anyone that plays this game is psychotic and insane.
    MeeP PeeM mEEp

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