Published on August 7th, 2012 | by Charlie1
Review: Death Rally (PC)
Summary: Charlie takes a look at Death Rally on PC, is it any good? read the review to find out!
As someone who relatively enjoys the content that comes from Remedy, Death Rally was a no brainer for me to try and completed. The iOS version was a huge success, as it was when the very first version was released on the MS-DOS in 1996. But 16 years on, can Death Rally still interest the gamers of this generation? That depends on your willpower and patience.
Now this isn’t just any other racer; this is “death rally”. The first moments of the game will seem quite confusing, but all becomes clear in the end. You’re on the run from police, but your vehicle (depending on how good you are at holding out) will fail on you, forcing you to get caught. Instead of going to prison, the police chief forces you to participate in an event called “Death Rally”, where eventually you’ll go on to battle the king of the Death Rally; the Adversary. The story missions will appear randomly throughout your progression of the game, with the final battle being the toughest of all the races you compete in.
Each race is sectioned down into difficulties, going from beginner to extreme. In order to beat these races easily, you need to get the right upgrades, which can be obtained by earning the money in easier races. Depending on if you beat the boss of the match, or your position or how many vehicles you destroy will depend on the amount of money you earn. You might even be offered something sneaky, such as double your money if you destroy the boss. You might even earn bonuses at the cost of your final winnings of a race, such as a racers vehicle being sabotaged, or you get to start a match with a pack of nitros.
From the money you earn, you can upgrade your vehicles, which includes the speed, the handling and the armor. Before you spend any money of those however, it is recommended your vehicle is at 100% health or else you’ll start a race with very low health. Not only can you upgrade vehicles, but you can also upgrade weapons, such as a flamethrower, a Gatling gun and even a sniper. But wait- before you can do all that, you need to actually find the required parts in actual races, so there’s a chance you’ll probably need to participate in over 40 races before you can unlock “a certain weapon”. It depends on the weapon really on how many parts they require. You can get the parts from either finding them in the road or by destroying other vehicles. Through the same method, you can even unlock more vehicles, each which may improve on the vehicles you already have; of course once you unlock the vehicle, you’ll still have to upgrade the handling, armor and speed all over again, but that’s only fair… it is the point of the game after all. When racing, you’ll need to be careful of red barrels on the track, as they’ll set on fire if you knock or shoot them, and will eventually explode. There are also boxes on the track, which once broken open, you can pick up whatever may be inside, which could be money, a small vehicle repair, ammo or a nitro.
The reason why I said “that depends on your willpower and patience” on if you’ll enjoy the games is that, despite being a game that feels relatively small, the game doesn’t have many maps; only 7 maps in fact, not including the one and only death match map, which is a bummer because I’m sure Remedy could have made more maps for “Deathmatch”. Don’t get me wrong, each map is quite unique, from a map in the snow, to a map in the jungle, to a map in the streets, but Remedy could have at least made double the amount of maps they did. Speaking of deathmatch, it’s a feature where you battle against Tex Harris to get the highest score in destroying vehicles. Each destroyed vehicle is worth 100 points whilst destroying the boss is 300 points (of course if you die, Tex earns 300 points also). It’s challenging if you don’t have the right gear; with the right gear, the difficulty is average.
The one interesting thing I like about the bosses of Death Rally is their slight uniqueness. For example, the women always seems to be a lot faster than the men in races, which comes as quite a surprise if I do say so myself. You’ll also run into a couple of recognizable characters among the bosses; sadly there’s no Duke Nukem, but from Alan Wake, Barry Wheeler (his agent) and Emerson a.k.a Mr. Emerson (the insane video game developer from Cauldron Lake Lodge) both make an appearance as bosses. You’ll also encounter John Gore from the highly praised iOS game “Minigore”. Strangely, these 3, along with Tex Harris, seem to be the only bosses that actually have dialogue lines; it would have been nice if all the bosses did, because sometimes races need that social interaction.
The game comes with a whole load of achievements for you to earn (87 in total) which range from destroying each boss to earning each fame rank. The more money you earn, the higher your fame rank will increase. You can also expect leaderboards too, where you can battle either your friends or even the world. You can even try to beat your own records on each map, from how long it takes you to do a lap of the map or how long it takes you to beat the map as a whole. Either way, if you beat your record, you get a small money bonus. Unfortunately the multiplayer matchmaking hasn’t been working properly lately and I’ve only managed to get into 2 games, but playing a multiplayer match is pretty much just like racing in a match against bots. One thing I’m disappointed in however is custom matchmaking for multiplayer. I mean what if I wanted to do a marathon with a friend?
Finally, the game as a whole looks brilliant for what it is. In the menus, the paintwork on the cars (which you can change from various styles) look absolutely gorgeous (even if it might have a unicorn on it) and the headlights really adds that god like feel to your car. Even in actual matches, the graphics just don’t falter much.
Death Rally is pure fun and pure addicting. With lots of things to unlock, including weapons, achievements and more vehicles, this feels like a game that you’ll be playing even after you’ve unlocked everything. Remedy, you told me to shut up and give you my money… and I did. Thank you. It’s just a shame it has it’s slight flaws though, or else this would be the perfect racing game.