death rally




As much as it pains me to say, it's often not me putting someone onto a good thing, but vica versa. Now back in, oh I don't know, '96-'97, one day near the end of term: someone had smuggled a nice little multiplayer game onto the school server. Sure, usually it was something like Quake or Duke Nukem 3D; but not this time. It was a nifty little game that I have to admit I never got a damn chance of playing. I hope those selfish ba- well... I hope they all choke. Painfully.

The game, which most of you should have already guessed was a little gem called Death Rally. If memory serves, James was one of the ten to twelve people playing. I suppose a small consolation is that he is the one that reminded me of it, and I spurned myself towards getting a copy. I'm pretty sure that it will make an appearance at the next LAN, or at least the next time I stop over at either Mark's or James' (or maybe even Trav's - who knows?) The long and the short of it is that this is a multiplayer game, through and through.


A pogee? Ap, oh gee? Meh

Fireballs optional   

An idiotic name by an  

I mean D3ath?! Sheesh.
Got cr

Screens compliments of
Tomer Gabel

In the classic style of most games that are primarily made for multiplayer, this game has no plot. It makes no false pretense at having a plot. A plot wouldn't appear to save a kitten from a bucket of water. I also think no plot is necessary. I mean the title is enough. It's a rally... and death factors in. Of course death is something that happens to other people. In this case other players, so you better make damn sure that you have some skill if you want to survive.

Visually, this game isn't what I'd call compelling. For it's time, the top-view racer is pretty much what you'd expect for a fast-paced game. The tracks have the illusion of dimension, and the obviously plagiarised cars do look like what they are stolen from. Mostly using bland or outrageous colours to render the maps, the only thing that clashes worst is people's taste in paintjob for their car: which is about as much customisation as you're going to get for a mid-90's game.

The whine of the engine and the squeal of the tires are your constant companion. The clatter of the machinegun on the weakening armour of your opponent. The eruption of mines under-tyre and the scream of the crowd when you accidentally turn them into a red smear on the tarmac. So... that's about six sounds? There's a few more though. Music too. The kind you expect when racing... although racers don't really listen to music... ahh - whatever. The sound's pretty good for it's time.

So I was prepping to thrash against Clint West and Mr. Duke Nukem when I get offered 6Gs to vape Nukie on the way through. I dig it considering I just upped my ride to a Wraith: a nice hard blue with the works. Phat tired and the engine purrs like my girl on a Friday night. OK, OK... so basically you race with, which is good, or without, which is for sissies, weapons. You earn money to get better rides, and you compete to defeat the big bad racer by climbing the ranks. You get extra cash for smuggling drugs or wasting all your opponents, and for winning X amounts of times in a row. All that jazz. Turbo, mines, and a hot machine gun add to the experience. Sabotage and bumper spikes are just part of the job. A multiplayer game through and through. With simple controls and a few competitive friends... this thing could be as good as Worms!

So here's where the fun is. If I'm correctly informed, you can have up to 20 people playing this thing at a time, all vying for first place. If I'm not, then you can probably have four or something, but sometimes finding that many people that actually want to play the same game at the same time is a challenge. Anyway: forget that. So each race is at a different track, and there is three difficulties, each toting a ever-increasing prize. Not much else to say except that it's a great multiplayer game to play that actually HAS some PLAY in it. An ever-increasingly rare thing to find. I mean all you have to do is look at games like UT23K and DOA Beach Volleyball...

Apogee really should have avoided making idiotic and plagiarised characters. Sure, they own the Duke: but they had things like Mori Sato, Mad Mac and Jane Honda to name a few. I don't know about you, but that just isn't cute. The cars too. Sure: I like the old 80's Porsche as much as the... next person that likes... Porsches... and considering their designs for Duke Nukem I wouldn't expect them to be able to create anything aesthetically pleasing in any case. Other than that stuff, which was really only worth a mention, the game stands alone quite well.

In closing, this game is only good for multiplaying: so if you have no friends - not for you. Top view racing games have been a simple, but warm and fuzzy style game for a long while. GTA picked it up, so it couldn't be that bad. It's come a long way since the one map with the four cars in 8 colours... well, maybe not as far as I thought. Anyway: this game does serve a purpose. It's important to share older games with people. Show a younger nephew your old 2600 games. Set up your 486 and play those forgotten DOS games. Don't let them die. Share... just like those bastards didn't share with me in the Tech lab... *grizzle*

 death rally

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