Welcome to a dark future without hope, peace or mercy. Behold the world's most popular and gruelling event... The Thrash Race Tournament.
If you're tough enough, ruthless enough, and deadly enough, you'll cruise to sweet victory. Otherwise, you're Maximum Roadkill!
- Ten track courses with unique hazards and lavish 3D-rendered backgrounds including mineshafts, nuclear blast zones, and orbiting space stations.
- Choose from eight bone-ripping characters.
- Featuring an original sounftrack
- Advanced 3D engine provides for fast and furious gameplay.
~ from the back of the box
Maximum Roadkill, or Maximum Road Rage if you live in blighty, is an aging sc-fi racer thay tries and fails to stand side-by-side with much better games. I found little about this game online, with none of the usual sites like
Mobygames or GameFaqs even having it listed. Not even the gaming
magazines of the era thought to give it a couple of sentences for a
review. Outside of some user comments on abandonware sites and brief YouTube playthroughs, all I found was a precise release date: 24th February 1996. This lack of info is a surprise considering it was published by Take-2 Interactive
and seemed to have a relatively wide distribution.
Despite the way it looks, this game is no WipEout. It's not even Mega Race which is probably a more apt comparison. Like that game (which you can find on GOG), Maximum Roadkill uses pre-rendered CGI video for each track, its playback speed altered depending on your own speed. Even though this theoretically allows for more detail and a greater draw distance on a low-spec machine, you are stuck with what's been rendered. And here, it's insanely low-res. Your sprite-based cars have no traction with the ultra-pixelated road, being superimposed in an unconvincing way. It is also quite hard to pay attention to the other futuristic cars on the track who often fly by far too fast to register. Even playing with the DOSBox cycles didn't help with this.
At least each racer has their own distinct personality. From a Japanese samurai with an Indian accent, to an alien cyborg with a vagina for a mouth, they bring a strange and quirky vibe, even if they are outdated to an uncomfortable degree. In-game, their vehicles have unique abilities making some racers more valuable than others. A motorbike with a machine gun is much better than a jeep with a slow moving circular saw.
That's by-the-by, though. No matter who you choose, you'll likely end up last place. Your ship/bike/bucket is difficult to control let alone rank in the tournament. You do earn cash after each race with which you can build up your vehicle in the 'Chop Shop', but this ends up being a necessary if you want to get anywhere. When you're forced to lose multiple times before your fast and robust enough to get to the second cup, you know you're in for a slog. Even cheating by typing MONEY when on the upgrade screen does little to help. I still ran out of ammo and nitro after the first of five laps placing me last more often than not. There are apparently ten tracks over a number of cups but I only managed to get to the second once, and that was a fluke.
There are much better and more balanced racing games out there, including any entry into the Mega Race series. When the best thing you can say about a game is the pumping soundtrack, stay clear.
Maximum Roadkill (aka Maximum Road Race) is © Take-Two Interactive Software
Review, Cover Design and Installer created by me