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Red Asphalt (PS1)

Rock & Roll Racing 2: Red Asphalt PSX
Genre: Action, Racing / driving
Perspective: 3rd-person
Published by: Interplay Productions
Developed by: Interplay Productions
Released: 1998
Platform: PlayStation (PSX, PS1)

The unique game concept has allowed the authors to harmoniously combine two genres completely different from each other - racing and shooter. Once upon a time, something very similar was implemented in a game called Spy Hunter, but since then no one has been able to create anything comparable. Red Asphalt is actually a continuation of another game called Rock’n’Roll Racing. Although the original developers intended to create a regular 3D first-person shooter, their idea gradually transformed into something that only very vaguely resembled 3D-action. And so, as a result, we got a brilliantly executed futuristic race, in which, in addition, you can also destroy your rivals.
But, imagine, even in such a game, the plot, which is also very original, is of no small importance. So, the main character named Motormouth participates in peculiar races, the significance of which is much more important than a regular sports event. The fact is that in the distant future, the terrible Lord Draenek conquers the Earth, and victory in the race is a politically necessary step to free humanity from the heel of the inexorable tyrant. The best racers of the galaxy participate in the competition with their heavy duty cars. Earth's last hope is you, Motormouth. only victory in the race can stop the growing ambitions of the space ruler.
According to the plot, races are held on five different planets. But surprisingly, the planets are really different from each other. This can be seen both in the design of the tracks and in the coloring of the sky, sometimes it may even seem that gravity is really different on different planets. That is, somehow the developers managed to achieve an important goal - to create an unusual gaming atmosphere. And this applies not only to the design of the tracks. Without even delving into the plot, you feel the importance of the mission assigned to you, you feel the personality of the protagonist, rivals who are hostile to you. This is really impressive, keeps it on the TV until the very last moment.
How can I win the race? Of course, the art of driving comes first, but almost more important is the right choice of car for a particular track. Yes, six cars presented in Red Asphalt differ in their most diverse characteristics. The main ones are maximum speed, armor and maneuverability. Each of these characteristics alternately dominates the track, so the ideal car in the game does not exist. Experience and choose for yourself, according to your preference. The main thing is to remember that fast does not mean strong yet, and strong does not mean maneuverable yet. It would be logical to assume that the armor, and weapons, and speed characteristics can be improved directly during the race. It really is. Various bonuses are scattered right on the track, collecting which you can achieve the desired effect.
Weapons are distinguished by the power of their influence on enemy vehicles, after the destruction of which, the race automatically ends in your favor. Nevertheless, it should be remembered that the same weapon can be used against you.
Back to the tracks. 25 strikingly different tracks seem to be quite enough for any, even the most demanding player. Especially considering the fact that they are all quite long and unusual. In order to learn how to properly manage your car, it will take you a little time, but even in order to win on the first track, you have to tinker a bit. The route of each of them is structured in such a way that without thoroughly learning where to turn, in which place you need to slow down, and in which it would be nice to add gas, it’s not easy to remain whole, not to mention victory. But then, when every turn and every straight stretch of track is literally felt, an unusually spectacular victory is almost guaranteed. In addition to the feelings of a successful racer, you will experience a purely aesthetic joy. Designers from Interplay worked hard. Trails are designed in such a way that the player must constantly be surprised and admire the beauty of the landscape. Ominous tunnels, amazing arches, giant walls that seem to rise to heaven - all this will not leave indifferent even the most avid racing enthusiast.
It's hard to talk about computer intelligence. More precisely, it’s embarrassing, because at first it may seem that your opponents are not much inferior even to the smartest person. The meannesses that continually occur behind you, some unexpected maneuvers, the existence of which was hard to imagine, the active use of a whole arsenal of weapons - to deal with these features of computer-controlled opponents is not easy. And better to say - unusual. Indeed, in what other game could we still meet similar antics of AI !? But, of course, this is by no means to be called a drawback of the game - this is its undeniable merit, which once again emphasizes the unusualness of the game as a whole.
It was worth talking about the animation between the tracks won. Firstly, because in total, animated inserts last more than 20 minutes, which is not enough for a game of this level. To say that they serve as an essential complement to the atmosphere of the game is to say nothing. This is not just a boring story, the development of the storyline. This is a real delightful action that deserves to be watched by all, without exception. In addition, this is one of the small rewards after winning the track.
What should be highlighted is the graphic design. Fantastic explosions, unusually interesting lighting effects - all this makes the player the most favorable impression. Very beautiful sky. Textures applied to the track, too, can not be overlooked. Imagine that on almost every track they are completely different. That is, the player, of course, does not see the texture, but a certain type of road surface, which is designed to emphasize the originality of the next race. The landscapes around the track are also very beautiful, but, unfortunately, they cannot be used in a race. Personally, I really liked the futuristic models of cars in the game. Very neat and cute, they really look great in the game.
Information about the progress of the race on the screen is also very well implemented. All the most necessary information is distributed according to its meaning and helps to navigate in time at a difficult moment. And they are enough in Red Asphalt.
The soundtrack leaves a dual impression. Music, for example, is clearly not finalized. Pseudo-metal tracks are very tired of the uniformity of their sound, especially since almost all melodies are no different from each other. If the first few minutes you first try to catch the overall musical rhythm, then in the end you just have to turn off the music. Here, the developers, of course, cheated, but in general this did not affect the game much. But the rest of the sounds are not bad at all. And even vice versa. The buzz of engines, the sounds of collisions, the roar of explosions fit well into the game atmosphere and help to feel the tension of what is happening.
What can be said in the end? Good game. Almost nothing to complain about. You are unlikely to notice any minor flaws, I promise you that.