Genre: Racing / driving
Perspective: 1st-person, Behind view
Published by: Acclaim Entertainment
Developed by: Clockwork Games Limited
Platform: PlayStation (PSX, PS1)
Before Vanishing Point, I thought there were two kinds of racing: arcade and simulation. But the creators of VP decided to show their individuality and created something new - overly realistic races. But can originality compensate for the game's shortcomings? It all starts, as it should be, with a video. Beautiful cars, a picturesque landscape and a truck driver who lost control, and a mandatory explosion at the end. The only interesting thing is that the video was made in such a way that the game graphics in the Vanishing Point version for the Sega Dreamcast were minimally different from the video in quality. It is possible that on DC, he simply runs on the game engine. We will not be distracted and go to the main menu. I warn you that I got the Russified version (by the way, funny neologisms have recently appeared: runglish and stylus - they fully fit this product), so I could not read the names of many points and had to use the skills of "translating" Japanese games. It soon became clear that VP has another feature - in the beginning, you only have the two worst cars and only one track. Of course, it would be even worse if there were no secret machines at all, but such stinginess can simply scare away gamers. Metropolis Street Racer (DC) can afford a complex system for obtaining new cars and tracks, but not every gamer will agree to spend as much time on Vanishing Point. The game, however, is saved by the fact that a complete list of cars and data on how many undiscovered secrets are available immediately. So, we take what they give and go where they give. Stylish picture "loading" pleased with the fact that it hung on the screen for a short time. The next plus the game earned for the fact that the player is put behind the wheel of an already moving car. To be honest, I never liked the standard start of all races - waiting for the green whistle of the commentator and painfully long acceleration. Although there are a lot of cars on the track, they are not really your competitors - you just need to drive two or three laps in a certain amount of time! But civilians are not eager to let you go ahead. Some cars crawl on the sly and always get under the wheels. And when you are out of control, some perform almost stunt stunts themselves, after which all that remains is powerless to stare at their rear window. The AI of PC drivers is good and, again, not similar to the AI of VP's cousins in genre. Another plus.
Now let's talk about the main disadvantage of the game. Remember the words about being too realistic? How do arcades differ from simulators? The fact that in the latter you cannot fly the turn at full speed - you need to slow down and turn at the right moment, otherwise the car will fly off the track by inertia. But in Vanishing Point, when turning, you can easily ... turn 180 degrees instead of, say, 60. It feels like the car is driving on ice, for fidelity covered with a layer of engine oil, and its tires are carefully sanded to get rid of from the marks of what had been thorns. A light press on the cross of the joystick - and the wheels are turned 90 degrees, and the bumper grinds disgustingly on the rock. Trying to get back on the track only leads to the fact that you crash into the rock from the other side of the road. And time goes on ... Interestingly, at full speed VP becomes more like an arcade - to go through a corner, you need to unscrew the steering wheel (i.e. press the joystick button) to the maximum and hold the car in this position. But maneuvering on a straight track (for example, in order to overtake other people's cars) is extremely difficult. It is better to sacrifice a second and push a car that is in your way than to waste a few moments for a turn in the opposite direction. The creators of VP tried to make life a little easier for gamers by inventing a "return to the track" button. The only problem is that the "return" takes the same few seconds. VP can also be attributed to arcades because damage is not taken into account either by you or by computer drivers. The beautiful explosion in the opening video can be regarded as a banal publicity stunt - cars are also immortal.
The tracks are pieces of ordinary urban and rural roads. Almost everywhere there are obtrusive elements of "interactivity", like the railroad along which the train ALWAYS passes. On the third lap, enthusiastic: "Look, what have you invented!" is replaced by a gloomy one: "I wonder if you can derail it?" Unfortunately, this cannot be done in any way. The graphics on the tracks are nothing outstanding, but there is nothing to scold them for. The prefix, of course, can produce more polygons than it can according to the passport, but the struggle for optimization cannot last forever. So the developers focused all their efforts on car models, since it requires a competent design rather than the trivial performance of the engine in 3D. They should be especially proud of the dynamic lighting system. It doesn't matter if it looks like the actual glare of the real sun, but it looks great on screen. For those who are interested not only in virtual races, I recommend opening all the cars - they are worth it. The sound of a passing train is more like the squeak of a crushed fly, but the engine of your own car works very realistically. Once, for fun, I rested on a rock and pressed the gas button. The car growled and groaned, could not push it from its place, but it tried to do it so beautifully! I can’t say anything about music, if it was, it’s kind of indistinct. At the very least, she's not annoying.
If someone asks me: “Is it worth taking the game?”, I will honestly answer: “I don’t know ...”. If you are not afraid of the terrible control and the fact that to get normal cars (which, by the way, are much easier to control!) You will first have to spend time on passing, then take it. And I recommend the rest to find something simpler.