A few weeks ago, I was accosted by a disarmingly elderly-looking salesman during the after-party of a gaming event. While everyone else clutched refreshing beverages in their keyboard-calloused hands, he brandished a clipboard in much the same way a soldier would handle a firearm. His spiel, which ended up sounding sort of like an elevator pitch for Gamification, was all at once targeted and messy – like a SWAT shotgun that fired heaping gobs of butter. It was the weirdest thing. I walked away – or escaped, really – not quite grasping what he was trying to tell me, but understanding that he wanted people to notice the goddamn hell out of it.
And now, I’m getting an eerily similar feeling from the latest trailer for Ubisoft and Dead Island dev Techland’s Mad Riders because, well, goodness. Lots of things happen in this trailer. Occasionally, they’re even related. First it’s a parody, then it’s a parody of itself, and by the end, I think it might even be parody of that parody. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll cringe. You might even do all three at once. So maybe have an ambulance on speed dial – just in case.
So that was a thing. In an equally rapid-fire twist, Mad Riders was only announced a few days ago, and it’s soaring onto download platforms on May 30 for a mere £7.99. In between all the whatever-that-was, it looked like a solid spot of dumb fun, too – although Techland’s previous high-flying off-road offering, Nail’d, suffered from inconsistent AI and physics, and a general lack of modes. Mad Riders, meanwhile, sounds like a sequel in all but name, so hopefully it’s doing more than simply sprinkle in a handful of new tracks. Then again, at that price, perhaps I shouldn’t expect too much more. And I suppose there are worse fates than 45 blindingly fast tracks’ worth of ramping ATVs so high I can see the curvature of the Earth.