It's totally derivative in the best possible way. It is the greatest features of
The heavy fog to hide the pop-in of textures and the boring building textures are initially disappointing, but if you've ever been to the Midlands of Britain, hey, the cities really are that drab and depressing :-)!
I realized this could be one of the all-time greats when I jumped the first building-to-building ramp in pursuit of the dump truck, the dump truck landed on its back like a dead ant, my car landed on "Dumpie", and "Dumpie"'s still spinning wheels proceeded to give my car the "Magic Fingers" vibrating bed treatment for the rest of the game. I haven't laughed so hard at a computer game since Duke Nukem 3D.
The makers should put a trailer advertising this game with the new "Crash" movie for auto-erotic-fetishists. When you trap the green Cutter car in an alley for some serious ramming and suddenly the dump truck starts slamming your rear and Otis and Screwie fall on top of you from out of nowhere, it's a total mechanical gang bang. Sick sick sick!
The AI in this game seems to be wonderful. After I pushed one car off the roof, the others hid from me in terror in a corner under the ramp. After I pile-drived a couple of pedestrians, the others just flung themselves off the roof as soon as they saw me coming.
Here are some more fun things I've found to do, besides all the obvious "Cunning stunts" bonuses.
At the first crash barriers that direct you towards the left, pull to the right of the billboards. There is a row of power-up barrels that change. The green ones are usually more time (not that it matters much in the demo), the yellow and red ones give you things like jelly suspension, frozen pedestrians (ouch!), instant repair, and other goodies "not available in the demo". [There's a full list a the USA FAQ at http://www.aiusa.com/noyzrulz/carma]There are other barrels in alleys and entrances.
Soon after the start, pull over to the big plain on the left. There are four buildings in a row, the first has a ramp. Try setting your speed just right to land on each of the other three. Evel Knievel in a car!
After the U-turn checkpoint and the long rooftop straightaway, you can hit the red barrels on the ramp at the end and press space before the top of the ramp for an instant handbrake (driver's eyeballs bug out!), and then you can do the sharp left down the "slide". But if you want to 'scuse me and kiss the sky you can instead floor it all the way and the ramp will send you into low-earth orbit.
If you take the slide and drive over the edge, you will seriously trash your car but should get a "Cunning Stunts" bonus. It's fun to drive around with a crumpled, mutilated car, use the movie to check it out.
The bottom section of the town is pretty much off-limits. There are a few alleys that sneak through, but I couldn't find much on the ground [there is one courtyard with several barrels] and that tantalizing enclosed skyliner seems off-limits. [No it isn't! If you go up the inside spiral ramp where you're chased by the police, you emerge on a roof with crash barriers immediately directing you to the right. If you instead nose to the left, you're above the Metroliner, and you can drive off the roof at an angle such that you'll probably land in the Metroliner (press <Tab> to see it on the map). The Metroliner dead ends at both ends, but if you accelerate to the max then hit the curve,you can do a spectacular crash.] However, you can get to the roofs of the buildings in the bottom section of town. If you follow the course down the "slide", and through the construction site, there's a crash barrier that directs you left. If you go left there are cows and the pond, which are entertaining in their own right, especially in cockpit view -- MOOOeuahggghh! But if you instead continue straight ("thread the needle") between the barriers, you continue on the road, which ascends with off-road dirt either side. When it flattens out (slow down!), the road turns left and there's a billboard ahead. Right past the billboard is a huge building with a slightly angled right side. Hmmm...! If you drive up to it, and turn left, you can drive up the side of the building like an automobile Spiderman. On top there are crash barriers that direct you onto the roofs of the forbidden section. I've run out of time before completing this part, you seem to end in a flat roof with no particular place to go. [Follow the jumps until you're on a flat roof with no jumps, then turn right, go fast straight across a medium gap to another roof, and then a tiny gap to another roof that has the Metroliner on its left. The last roof has lots and lots of green time barrels.]
Get the newcar.zip utility (at, e.g. http://www.avault.com/pcrl/other.asp#carma_newcars) that lets you pick a different car, choose Otis (the Cadillac pimpmobile with the spiked front), and on maximum difficulty immediately attack all the other cars. Can you waste all of them before the timeout expires? [There's a crack that neutralizes the timeout, and read "Other Fun Stuff" for one way to waste the dump truck.]
With the newcar utility, choose the dumper, and push the other cars off the first building. When they get scared and stay away, drive up a ramp at maximum speed with two wheels over the edge. Barrel roll a 10-ton dump truck!
Try to fly to the second building so fast that you leap the wall. It's a shortcut to the rest of the course. In the screwie car you can sometimes bounce over it.
Read "Play Away - Carmageddon (demo) review" at http://web.ukonline.co.uk/keith.dumble/hopper/carmdr.html I couldn't agree more. Awesome, fantastic, mindlessly stupid!
What's the fastest shortcut to the roofs of the forbidden bottom section? [A: On the roof where you would ordinarily make a U-turn to go through the second checkpoint, don't make the U-turn, drive straight off the edge (there's a short ramp if your car doesn't land well), and immediately turn right on the road in front of the bluish building. That building (now on your left) has the super-steep ramp up its side.]
Any other cool stuff to do? [A: Lots, see Other Fun Stuff]
P.S. I take a bus to work and walk home, so no flames about brutalizing pedestrians :-)
William Gibson bibliography at | "Emancipation" CD 1!
http://www.skierpage.com/gibson/biblio.htm | Bernard Edwards RIP