In the wake of recent tragedies involving undersupervized minors and overly powerful weaponry, politicians and parents have taken aim at video games and computer games that glorify violence. Although id software’s long-in-the-tooth game Doom seems to be taking the brunt and computer games that glorify violence. Although id software’s long-in-the-tooth game Doom seems to be taking the brunt
of this criticism, these individuals would consider Doom small spuds indeed, were they to catch a glimpse of Carmageddon and its sequel, Carmageddon 2: Carpocalypse Now. Unlike Doom, where your arguably noble objective is to hunt down the spawn of Satan, the Carmageddons ask that you participate in a series of automobile races with the express goal of careening into your opponents and mowing down as many innocent pedestrians as possible.
If you find this kind of gratuitous bloodshed despicable, please feel free to avoid these games. Although I’m not terribly offended by this sort of cartoon violence – I have a fairly firm grasp on what’s real and what isn’t – I am bothered by a game that is so repetitive that even the cheap tricks of fast action and violence can’t keep me engaged. And that, ultimately, is the problem with Carmageddon 2. It’s just the same old thing over and over again – start the race, try to keep your barely controllable car on the road, slaughter innocents, pick up bonuses, and bash your opponents into submission.
Carmageddon 2 isn’t without charm, however. There’s a degree of grisly good fun in the proceedings. For example, I couldn’t help but be amused by the Drunken Pedestrian bonus, which causes your foot-bound victims to stagger and weave; the Groovin’ Pedestrians bonus, which results in passersby who perform a version of the hully-gully; and the Peds With Stupid Heads bonus, which operates as advertised. Such bonuses abound – each goofier than the next. Also, Carmageddon 2 was built in 3D from the ground up – supporting both 3Dfx Glide and RAVE – and although it still looks cartoonish, its graphics are far superior to the original's.
If you’re offended by the game's concept – or just want a game that offers more than the opportunity to repeatedly biff pedestrians and automobiles – skip Carmageddon 2: Carpocalypse Now. If you have the cash spare, possess a compatible sense of humour, and don’t mind the repetition, give the game a shot.