A Free Ride On The Death Track

By Alec Meer on June 25th, 2008 at 11:58 pm.

You may recall that Jim talked positively about Russian shooty-racer Death Track: Resurrection a little while ago – but then Jim says a lot of things, like how Belgians are trying to steal his eyebrows and that his favourite colour is burple.

Fortunately, a demo of this sequel/remake of an old Activision gem has just been released, so find out for yourself if this is Eastern promise or Slavic slop. Some quick thoughts on it below.

Unfortunately it crashes rather frequently in Vista 64 so I haven’t played all of it yet, but my impressions so far are THE COLOURS OH GOD SO MANY COLOURS AARGH MY BLEEDING EYES. It’s actually fairly pretty, just in a very, very busy way, like Burnout with cyber-marshmallows. The play formula seems very much a giggle, if a familiar one – the driving and the shooting, the power-ups and the crashing, but with controls more akin to an FPS (UT’s vehicles are the obvious reference point) than a Super Luigi Trolley. There is at least more focus on destruction, of both cars and scenery, than in similar fare, so multiplayer should offer some cheerful smashin’ trashin’ unpredictability.

It’s also very Russian. I say this because an in-game character keeps shouting at me in Russian. Or at least I think it’s Russian. It could be Cornish.

I wonder if it being released now, just a couple of months ahead of Paul W.S. ‘Rubbish’ Anderson’s remake of Death Race, is accident or design. Probably the former as, really, Massive Cars With Massive Guns on are always in vogue to a certain audience.

Anyway, the demo‘s a chunky 800Mb and includes two cars and a bunch of weaponry – enough, I suspect, for you to make the crucial buy/don’t buy decision. An alternative take on a similar idea is HL2 mod Die In Pain Rest In Pieces (which, by an uncanny coincidence, is exactly the phrase I greet my parents with). It’s more vehicular deathmatch than a racer, but it shares the drive/shoot mouse’n'keyboard setup – and of course it’s free. It is a bit brown, though. This, by contrast, has COLOURS OH GOD SO MANY COLOURS.

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14 Comments »

  1. Mythrilfan says:

    Still waiting for a positive remark about the original. Why am I the only one who remembers the fun?

  2. Kelduum says:

    Burple? Ha!

    Everyone knows that the best colour is clearly Florange, or possibly Magnetta!

  3. Lh'owon says:

    Free death on the freedeath freeway!

    Sorry.

  4. Evil Timmy says:

    Everyone knows that Royal Burple ™ is the visible spectrum’s gift to mankind.

    I’ll give this a shot; I’m yet to find a game that surpasses the sheer cars’n'guns fun of Apogee’s classic Death Race, but this might have a chance.

  5. Ben Abraham says:

    From the screenshot “COLOURS OH GOD SO MANY COLOURS” evidently means “THE GREEN OH GOD SO MUCH GREEN”…

  6. kenok says:

    Death Track on EGA graphics… oooh, the times. Might try this game sometime. Any old developers involved?

  7. RiptoR says:

    Already got Jim’s left testicle, if he doesn’t keep quiet about us Belgians being after his eyebrows, I’ll be coming to collect his right one too.

    Should go nicely with a fine Chianti… Muaha…

  8. Dolphan says:

    Grue is the king of colours. I should know, I’m writing a dissertation on it.

  9. Citizen Parker says:

    I just tried the demo version of DIPRIP the other day, when looking for interesting HL2 mods through Steam.

    Overall it’s very promising. It’s still pretty early and there are plenty of rough edges, but if they keep working on the handling of cars and make more interesting tracks, it could be a total hootenanny.

  10. Kevin says:

    Dynamix!!

    I was once waiting in line to see a movie and two developers from dynamix were in line ahead of me.. once I figured out where they worked, I pleaded with them to release a sequel.. I think they thought I was crazy.

    Now who’s crazy?

    Dynamix is gone (I am currently sitting in their old office space), and somebody else is writing the sequel.

    ha!

  11. mark says:

    so is this like full auto but better? i never played the original death track

  12. CitizenLand says:

    so is this like full auto but better? i never played the original death track

    It’s like Full Auto went to Pep Boys, bought every tacky car accessory and installed them.

    Its got some cool ideas but they’ve tried to do so much that the control system is overly complicated to the point that a gamepad can’t fit all the bindings, the visuals are too busy and the upgrade system somewhat confusing. If they streamlined things while keeping some of the better ideas in place I’d be much more apt to buy it.

  13. Sandro says:

    I remember the original fondly! The characters had personalities (Killer Angel was my favorite) and would give you tips, as I recall. This device preceded the Road Rash games.

  14. Worldeater says:

    The original Death Track was a great game. Persistent vehicles with upgradable weapon, defense and performance systems were all pretty innovative back then. The game played fast and the combat was fluid and intuitive. This was probably one of the last EGA games made, but it maintained its replay value in a VGA world with great gameplay and the best video game hook ever invented – progression through upgrades.

    Take care and GL with DT : Resurrection

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