Check out this game--
It is the Serious Sam of off-road titles. It's everything that the shallow, banal, corporate "4x4 Evo 2" is not. In other words, real kick-ass off-road physics. And check out these multiplayer modes:
"In addition to the five racing options in Screamer 4x4's single-player mode, there are five multiplayer options, each with a different style of gameplay. The first multiplayer option, king of the hill, lets you select from a series of tracks that are generally constructed as large platforms with four starting gates. The basic objective is to stay in the center of the platform to avoid falling off the side, but there will be more than a few opportunities to get a clear shot of another vehicle, knocking it off the platform. Another fun multiplayer mode is destruction, in which each player tries to damage the other's vehicle so badly that it can't even move. The tracks in this particular mode are wide-open spaces with plenty of trenches and jumps, so--in addition to opponents--reckless driving can cause a substantial level of damage to your vehicle. Three of the five multiplayer modes--first to point, catch-up, and off-road rally--actually involve racing. In first to point, there are a series of checkpoints spread out across the track. The first driver to reach these areas gains points, and the driver who reaches the point limit first wins. Catch-up is somewhat similar in that it's basically a race to checkpoints--only you have to follow the path of the other driver if he reaches a checkpoint before you"
And the demo is amazing.
$19.99 for this game. Can you believe that? I got my pre-order on.
Of course the game was released in January on the other side of the ocean. Sigh. It's always like this with rally games. DAMN YOU NASCAR COUNTRY!
By Tom Price on Wednesday, November 7, 2001 - 02:43 am:
Sounds like Insane from Codemasters, a really good, yet mostly ignored off-road game that came out earlier this year. Or was it late last year? I'm not sure.
By Jeff Atwood (Wumpus) on Wednesday, November 7, 2001 - 08:16 am:
No, this is a different game than insane. Here's another review:
The developers are hungarian.
By Dave Long on Wednesday, November 7, 2001 - 09:23 am:
All the Screamer games are fun. The ones developed by Milestone were really fantastic graphically for the time they were released. Of course, Milestone went on to make the Superbike series for EA. Eye popping doesn't even begin to describe the beauty and sheer visceral thrills of SBK2001.
The Screamer series has a good pedigree and a rather low profile.
By Jeff Atwood (Wumpus) on Wednesday, November 7, 2001 - 10:18 am:
I don't think Screamer 4x4 is related to that series, either.
However, I am with you on the general sentiment. I had Screamer, Screamer Rally, and Screamer 2. All terribly underrated games for their time.
By Jeff Atwood (Wumpus) on Wednesday, November 7, 2001 - 01:14 pm:
Hmm. Maybe the game IS somehow related to previous Screamer titles.
A few of the reviews listed at the above link do mention the Screamer connection.
Man, I can't believe a game this great somehow fell between the cracks. Probably the first real off-road simulator I've ever played. And a damn good one. Maybe it'll get more attention on the US release come Thanksgiving...
By Tom Price on Wednesday, November 7, 2001 - 01:48 pm:
"No, this is a different game than insane."
Yeah, I know. It sounds *similar* to Insane. That's all I was saying.
By Jeff Atwood (Wumpus) on Wednesday, December 12, 2001 - 09:15 pm:
Finally got the retail version of this game.
1) It's fantastic. Outstanding. Amazing. Easily my pick for best driving game of 2001, and would probably crack the top 10 games of the year for me. It's so technical, and deep. For a $19.99 game? Someone pinch me.
2) Worst. Voiceovers. Ever. EVER! Now I know why some Europeans hate Americans. It's because of these voiceovers. When you get this game turn off the driver chat immediately. I cannot be held responsible for any bleeding from the ears, nose, or mouth that may occur if you choose not to follow this suggestion.
3) This game is also a case study in why physics make a game fun. The gameplay IS the physics. It's all predicated on that. Don't believe me? Try it. And I dare you not to have fun. G'wan. I can guarantee you haven't played any other car game even remotely like this one.
4) Surprising amount of multiplayer functionality out of the box. And Paging Tom Chick, Paging Tom Chick.. there are bots. So make room on your oh-so-busy :60 reviewing schedule, pal.
By Dave Long on Thursday, December 13, 2001 - 10:58 am:
Bah...the voiceovers didn't bug me. But everything else is true. This is the best driving game of 2001 IMO. Even with NASCAR Racing 4 being released this year, Screamer 4x4 stands atop the stack. It's the best use of 3D to make a game fun that I've seen in quite awhile. The 3D is the game. My review is in so look for it at CGO or in CGM.
King of the Hill multiplayer mode is incredibly fun and totally different from the main game too!
Clevers...the developers...have another game that just hit the shelves, Cabela's Off-Road Adventure 2 which is another budget title. Supposedly they built a new 3D engine and this entire game in four months and those that have played it seem impressed. I plan to check that out soon.
This may actually be a big hit at Shoot Club. It's easy and plays great with just the keyboard. Though a wheel with force feedback is certainly a super fun experience.
By Jeff Atwood (Wumpus) on Thursday, December 13, 2001 - 03:37 pm:
Are you deaf? I don't know, I'm just asking. Those voiceovers are stunningly bad. Maybe it's because I picked a female co-driver? It is a female voice.