Sounds like somewhere you could enjoy a nice Sunday afternoon drive.
Death Track: Resurrection on paper should be a great game. Set in a future, post apocalyptic world, in cities we all know, London, New York, Tokyo, amongst others in which you race cars around obstacle strewn, jump filled tracks in souped up cars with huge guns hooked onto any empty space. Sounds fun right? Unfortunately the game falls short in some aspects. Sure it can be fun at times, but does the fun side eliminate the bad points? Read on to find out.
So, like I said, the game is set in a future vision of our word, in real city locations on fictional tracks. The races are presented to the gamer as a future sport event, think the Death Race movies especially the recent remake. The game even goes so far as to introduce the races as a news report with movie cut scenes. I am unsure of the games origin, but the model they have presenting these cut scenes looks suitably B-Movie sci-fi like, skin tight silver with matching make up. But the most amusing thing though, is the lip syncing. Although not really a negative point, and more amusing than anything else, it reminds me of old martial arts films or the TV show Monkey, where the English has been badly dubbed in, making for a good for a giggle at least. But other than these small cut scenes, there is not a real story here. Just racing and fighting action.
Although the track locations are war torn versions of real life cities, the actual tracks are fictional stretches of road, as are all of the cars in the game. Even though they are all original vehicles, there is a wide selection of them and no matter what you look for in your preferred type of racing vehicle, you are likely to find something that suits you here. There is everything from a truck like vehicle all the way through to what looks suspiciously like a tiny smart car, along with everything in between, such as hot rods and street racing cars. There are slight differences between the cars in acceleration, handling, top speed and such, but they are mostly pretty much the same. The big changes come as you improve them through the making of money during races and purchasing upgrades and weapons.
There are three main modes. Scenario has you trying to unlock each of the game locations by winning a race at the previous one. Championship mode is split into three; the European, Asian and American Championships, with the players then racing each track in each location, the aim being to finish in the top three of each race. As you win on tracks you also unlock new cars, parts and weapons to upgrade your vehicle. Throw into the mix an online multiplayer mode, which adds to to the fun. But unfortunately the online racing also suffers from the same gameplay problems, which i will discuss in a moment. Right now however, it all sounds good and actually a fair bit of fun, as this game should well have been.
But where the game falls a little short is in executing all of these things to make a good game. What we get instead is a hit and miss game which at times can be fun. The combat for instance is simple yet fun, with your guns automatically locking onto the nearest vehicle in front of you, leaving you free to let rip with the guns and missiles. But the game is ultimately mediocre at best. The graphics throughout the game are adequate, although not jaw dropping. Both the tracks and vehicles are nicely designed and put into the game, and likewise the sound. Although the engines, guns, explosions and such are all present and correct, you just get the feeling that they could all have been done a little better. So both the graphics and sound do what is required of them, but not much more. It is far from the worst looking game we have seen, but there is plenty of room for improvement on both fronts.
Where the game does fall down unfortunately, is where it probably counts most and that is in the gameplay. Where those problems mostly arise is the handling of the cars. Granted, this does improve a little as you upgrade your vehicle. But even then it’s just not great. Keep in mind this is not a simulator and when it comes to driving it is pure arcade gameplay. But even with this taken into account, the car handling just seems so off.Â No matter how much you change the sensitivity in the options, it just never feels right. With the sensitivity high your car turns so sharp that you find the car more than occasionally going completely sideways, scrubbing off almost all your speed more often than not. The opposite end of the sensitivity scale has the car sluggishly moving from one side of the track to the other. Finding a point in between the two is not easy and so the lesser of the two evils is to go with the high sensitive steering set up.
The handling problems also add to the trouble you may have avoiding obstacles on the track, of which there are many and most are non destructible. So if you do hit them, which you will when you first start out, you come to a dead stop. As you learn the tracks, you do get to know where these obstacles are. But with the handing the way it is, you can and probably will still hit these things, especially while you are trying so desperately to avoid them. The other major problem is an old problem that a lot of racing games in the past suffered from and that is cars behind you being given a boost. No matter how well you are driving, when you manage to avoid hitting anything that is, should you end up being shot and destroyed, skid to a halt due to the overly sensitive steering or if you hit something, no matter how well you were doing before that, the chances are that you will have three or four AI cars pass you before you can get moving again.
This also works the other way though. If and when you are destroyed, you can reset your car and almost immediately you are back on the track where you were destroyed, meaning you do not lose to much time yourself and are right back in the action. This does not however make up for the previously mentioned fact that you could be driving extremely well, thinking you are onto a sure win, only to fall foul of the sensitive steering and end up in fifth place. What is even worse though is when this happens within sight of the finish, which I have experienced at least twice now during playing the game.
The basis of the game is sound. The whole futuristic death race scenario includes all the ingredients for a great game. Unfortunately it is poorly executed and, although the game can be enjoyable, certain aspects of it kill the fun for me. Other players could well enjoy this game, but for me if the developers had spent a little more time on the handling of the vehicles it could have made it a much better game. As it stands, it’s a mediocre racing game let down by the poor controls and handling. If you are desperate for a futuristic driving/shooting game and can get over the aforementioned niggles, then you may find something worth playing. Overall it’s a good idea, with decent sound and looks, but ultimately let down by it’s gameplay.