Killer Loop is a thrilling experience for anyone obsessed with speed. Equipped with 23rd Century racing tripods, you compete on incredible courses across the universe. Use your guided missiles & don't hesitate to pass another racer mid loop and you stand a chance of becoming Killer Loop Champion.
- Fast Hi resolution graphics
- 7 demanding courses
- Unique track design
- 3 competing racing teams with different craft designs and attributes
- Dynamic techo soundtrack
- Innovative magnetic racing system
~ from the back of the box
There were many copies of the futuristic-racing thrills of WipEout following its release. One of them that seemed to get a tonne of pre-release hype in 1999 was Killer Loop (or Magforce Racer as its DreamCast port would be known as). I remember reading the previews in magazines and being inrigued by the weird tripod-shaped racing vehicles and the unique-sounding magnet mechanics. Upon release, when the sub-par reviews were trickling in, all excitement quickly dropped like a beat in techno music track.
Reviewers at the time were not kind to Killer Loop. Their reasons were that concepts were under-utilised, content was under-abundant and the game as a whole was simply underwhelming. On PC, where other games of this type were rarely ported, it fared much better. The low 40% score averages jumped to the mid-70s but in all honesty, I feal the real score fits somewhere in the middle.
Let's first talk about the concepts. At face value, the game is very much like WipEout. Tracks are long and winding and the hover-cars at your disposal have a cool 90s design to them. You can collect weapons and shields to do damage or protect yourself and parts of the track can be raced over to replenish energy or speed. Where it differs is in how these are each presented. Glowing parts of the track can replenish two different stats.
Green signifies your speed, which is tied to your health. As you race, the green energy dissipates slowing you down in the process. A fully stocked guage will make sure you will always reach your top speed. Yellow in your magnet meter called Magforce. Press "space" to activate it when travelling upside down or through tricky to navigate sections to keep you on the track. You'll need to keep plenty of it at hand for it will begin sucking your green energy and thus your speed if you run out.
Other than these two guages, you have two types of power-ups to collect; and offensive weapon or a defensive shield. Race over the purple triangular objects to collect, and do so again to upgrade them a maximum of three times. You basic projectile can become a machine gun or a homing missile in this way or your shield can do damage to others or become mines. Their not the most impressive or useful of weapons, but they do slow down your opponents by taking chunks out of their green energy. In all honest though, it's best to focus on gathering green and aiming towards top speed.
I found few instances where the Magforce is necessary. You can race around tunnels in much the same way as Rollcage, but the additional step of activating a magnet makes it more burdonsome than it's worth. Only later tracks really require it, and none of them seem to spark the awe such a mechanic promises.
As well as the limited variety of weapons, the courses are also disappointingly few. There are a total of eight tracks with only four available from the beginning. They do look nice from a graphical standpoint, but the have a surprising lack of identity to them. At tmes, a screenshot from one could easily be confused with a screenshot from another. As a whole, they are still fun to race and are better than average in design, but are still nowhere near the same quality as its inspiration.
Killer Loop is no WipEout killer. Just a little out of the loop. It's unoffensive, unoriginal and unsubstantial. I do own the official PlayStation and Windows releases and paid less than £10 for the two over a decade after it was first released. My big box PC copy is still sealed, but don't take that as a comment on how much it's worth. I would've a little miffed paying full price in 1999, but at these low prices years later, I was satisfied. If you've played WipEout to death, I suspect you'll find it to be an OK diversion too.
I did come upon one issue playing it on Windows 10 which I thought I should bring up. The letter keys on the keyboard don't want to work. I got around this by re-assigning keys to Ctrl, Shift and Alt but if you really want the default (and the ability to type your name in the high score), you'll have to play without music by running the game outside of DxWnd. I tried playing around with a few options in this handy program, but I sadly couldn't get it to work. The ChamberNotes.txt will give more detailed information about this slightly annoying quirk and what my preferred control settings were.
To download the game, follow the link below. This is a custom installer exclusive to The Collection Chamber uses DxWind and dgVoodoo to run on modern systems. Manual included. Read the ChamberNotes.txt for more detailed information. Tested on Windows 10.
File Size: 270 Mb. Install Size: 309 Mb. Need help? Consult the Collection Chamber FAQ
Killer Loop is © VCC Entertainment
Review, Cover Design and Installer created by me