Genre: Racing / driving
Setting: Sci-fi / futuristic
Published by: Mindscape
Developed by: Cryo Interactive Entertainment
MegaRace 2 belongs to the genre of "race for survival" and is an insane continuation of the equally insane original - MegaRace, created back in 1993 by Cryo Interactive.
So, what has changed over the past 3 years and how will the continuation of the game please us? First of all, the graphical component has changed quite a lot. Unlike the first part, the game engine has undergone significant improvements. In the first part, all objects were sprited, and the tracks were made using FMV technology (in short, Full Motion Video technology is looped videos with pre-rendered 3D graphics. It's like in rides in Disneyland: you are sitting in a swinging chair, and the track seems to “move "On you, and the effect of movement is created). In the second part, the developers decided to add some 3D, and it turned out very well. A superb fusion of delicious FMV tracks and rough, uncouth but eerily cute cars, rendered in full 3D. The picture pleases the eye throughout the entire race and may not please only the most inveterate skeptic.
The second global difference from the first part is a complete change in the concept of the game. If the first part can be described as "arcade / races", then the second part is "races / arcade". What's the difference? And the difference is this! In the original, the player's task was to destroy all opponents in the time allotted for 3 circles. In fact, this is not a race, but "the extermination of rivals in a certain period of time." The element of rivalry was completely absent - you just shot the cars in front. In Megarace 2, you and your opponents start on equal terms and start at the same time. As before, you can destroy opponents using various weapons, such as missiles or mines, but now your main task is to finish first at any cost. Thus, you have the opportunity to either go fast, bypassing rivals and using short routes for this, or shoot and ram them, thus gaining an advantage. In my opinion, this is the most significant change in the second part. And for the better.
Fortunately, despite the impressive changes, the game remains the same fun and hurricane arcade. The cars do not have any zones of destruction, there is no physics at all - after all, despite the brand new 3D cars, the game is, in fact, old 2D races. As before, you need to constantly drive forward along narrow tracks where two cars can hardly pass, and, of course, in such situations, you need to do everything to push your opponent to the side of the road and leave far behind.
As I mentioned, the race tracks are built using FMV technology. This moment is simply impossible to ignore. The tracks are replete with various turns, descents and ascents, riding on them leaves an impression no worse than a ride on the Super-8 attraction. A long ascent to a high mountain, and then a quick descent with rapid acceleration - at such moments it is simply breathtaking. And considering that someone is constantly trying to shoot you from behind ...
The combat system has hardly changed since the first part. We still have missiles, mines and oil at our disposal. True, now the money earned will have to repair the car between races and replenish the stock of rockets. The races themselves have become longer: apart from the fact that the number of laps has increased from three to six, each race is now a tournament with its own rules. Now the winner is determined by the total number of points scored in all three races. The rules in the races may change: for example, if half (well, or most) of the participants were destroyed during the race, they may prohibit the use of weapons, however, no one prohibits the use of a ram, so there is still a way to play "dirty". The races themselves, although they have become longer, are in no way easier. Throughout the race, the feeling of pursuit does not leave. Since there is no way to look back (a small drawback of FMV, alas), at any moment a reckless driver can jump out from behind and try to take your place; sometimes, it should be noted, he succeeds. In general, the Artificial Intelligence did not disappoint, the races turned out to be interesting and very exciting.
The dynamics of what is happening is also added by a camera that monitors your car. Or rather, not quite so - after all, you do not participate in races, you participate in the TV Show! The camera follows you, but is not "rigidly" attached to the car - thus, your car can be on the right side, and the enemy on the left, with whom you are currently fighting a fierce struggle for the first place, and the camera, as it were, is watching the fight ... The effect looks as if you were actually watching the race on TV. It's funny that if your car stops, the camera will watch it from a static point and switch to "tracking" only when you pick up enough speed. Well, the final touch to this fun is added by music. The music in the game is represented by variations on the theme of "techno" and, despite its peculiar sound, it does not interfere with playing, on the contrary, it encourages aggressive actions on the road.
And, of course, the continuation of the game would have been impossible if not for Lance Boyle. Legendary host of a talk show called "Megarace 2" on VWBT. This time his charming assistant Lucilda will help him in his difficult task. Now all the different jokes will be "chipped off" by the presenters. Of course, the names of the characters, the name of the talk show and the TV channel are the invention of the developers, but the actors play so well that I want to believe that such a show should exist somewhere. Everything that happens on the screen is played with a certain note of pathos, and in addition, the actors speak in a funny voice, which makes watching talk shows even more fun.
Without fear and without regrets, I can only say one thing - the game turned out to be just super! It was not often that I had the opportunity to play such games. Megarace 2 is one of the striking examples of how a simple idea combined with excellent implementation can surpass the quality of a game that contains a lot of bells and whistles, a bunch of weapons and various special effects. Developers from Cryo Interactive relied on simplicity and quality, and they paid off. The game is not annoying and enjoyable. In general, the show turned out well!