Carmageddon is a vehicular combat video game released for personal computers in 1997. It was produced by Stainless Games and published by Interplay Productions and Sales Curve Interactive. It was ported to other platforms, and spawned a series.

European cover art
Developer(s)Stainless Games
Producer(s)Mark Teal
Designer(s)Neil Barnden
Patrick Buckland
Programmer(s)Patrick Buckland
Artist(s)Neil Barnden
Composer(s)Lee Groves
Platform(s)MS-DOS, Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Android
Windows, Mac OS
October 17, 2012
May 10, 2013
Genre(s)Vehicular combat, racing
Mode(s)Single player, multiplayer

In 2011, Stainless Games obtained the rights to Carmageddon from Square Enix Europe. iOS and Android ports were released in 2012 and 2013, respectively.[3] THQ Nordic acquired the rights to the Carmageddon series from Stainless Games in December 2018.[4]

Gameplay Edit

Die Anna drives through the "Coastal Carnage" level.

The player races a vehicle against several other computers controlled competitors in various settings, including city, mine, and industrial areas. The player has a certain amount of time to complete each race, more time may be gained by collecting bonuses, damaging the competitors' cars, or by running over pedestrians.

Races are completed by either completing the course as one would a normal racing game, "wasting" (wrecking) all other race cars, or killing all pedestrians on the level.[5] The game includes thirty-six racetracks, played across eleven different locations. The game features three instrumental remixes from Fear Factory's album of 1995, Demanufacture.

Development Edit

The game that became Carmageddon started out as 3D Destruction Derby, a banger racing sim prototyped by Stainless Software. This was signed by SCi in 1995, with the condition that it be made into a licensed game to guarantee popularity. Initially, SCi wanted to use the Mad Max license, but was unable to find out who owned the rights to the franchise. It instead secured the Death Race 2000 license, as a sequel to the original film was at that time planned.[6]

According to head programmer Patrick Buckland, the initial concept stemmed from team members getting bored while playing racing games, leading them to ultimately drive in the wrong direction and crash into other cars. They decided it made sense to create a game where this was the objective to begin with.[6] Shortly after, Psygnosis released a game with this same concept, Destruction Derby.

The notion of running over pedestrians was added to distinguish the game from Destruction Derby and arouse controversy.[7] However, there had been a number of recent games which involved running over pedestrians, such as Quarantine and Die Hard Trilogy.[7] Rob Henderson from SCi suggested increasing the potential for controversy by awarding the player points for the pedestrian kills.[6]

The sequel to Death Race 2000 was later cancelled, but by this point SCi were impressed enough by Stainless's work that they felt Stainless could try creating their own intellectual property.[6] The name Carmageddon was coined, and development proceeded with the designers allowed unusually free rein with regard to the content of the game.

The game uses the BRender engine, which Stainless Software were already thoroughly familiar with; one of their previous contracts was to port BRender to Macintosh and build the corresponding tools and demos.[7] The PlayStation conversion was subcontracted to developer Elite, with the plan to release the PC and PlayStation versions simultaneously. Buckland anticipated that Elite would have problems with the conversion due to Carmageddon's open environments.[7]

Release Edit

Carmageddon was originally released for MS-DOS, Microsoft Windows, and Mac OS in 1997. It won the "Game of the Year" trophy in the 1997 PC Zone reader awards and "Driving Game of the Year" 1997.[8][better source needed] An expansion pack, Splat Pack, was released in 1997. It included new tracks, vehicles, environments, network levels, and 3Dfx support.[9]

The Carmageddon Max Pack, released on February 17, 1998,[10] bundled the original game and its expansion pack into one package. As a bonus, it also included a strategy guide, mousepad, and a leather car key chain with Carmageddon's logo. During the inaugural Interactive Achievement Awards, the Max Pack received a nomination for "PC Action Game of the Year" by the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences.[11]

A port was in development for the Gizmondo,[citation needed] but was never released. Carmageddon and its expansion Splat Pack were released on on 27 September 2012 for modern operating systems.[12] In addition, a port of the game for Apple's mobile devices (iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad) was released on 17 October the same year.[13] In July 2011, the City of Los Angeles launched a massive media campaign under the title "Carmageddon" to warn drivers about a major closure on the 405 Freeway during the weekend of July 15–17.[14] Stainless Games capitalized on the coincidence to promote the upcoming Carmageddon releases by announcing on the official web site that "L.A. Celebrates Carmageddon" and "Yes, it's official! The news that Carmageddon is back has been such a hit in California, that the authorities have decided to dedicate a whole weekend to the game!"[15]

A port for Android based devices was released on 10 May 2013.[citation needed]

Controversy Edit

In many countries (including Germany and, for a short time, the United Kingdom), the first release of the game was censored.

The censored version contained zombies with green blood or robots with black oil instead of humans, as running over the non-human figures was considered more acceptable by their respective ratings boards. In the United Kingdom, the BBFC refused to certify the game unless all blood and gore was removed. After ten months of appeal, the BBFC certified the original version.[16]

In some countries, the game was banned completely, including Brazil.[17][18][19] In Australia, the game was passed completely uncut with a MA15+ rating.[20]

Reception Edit

According to the co-founders of Stainless Games, about two million copies of the Carmageddon series were sold in total.[6] NPD Techworld, a firm that tracked sales in the United States,[31] reported 118,500 units sold of Carmageddon's computer version by December 2002.[32]

GameSpot was enamoured of the open ended, chaotic nature of the game, commenting that "Carmageddon touches that particular collective nerve that fuses the wholesome popularity of the All-American Racing Game with the homicidal singularity of the 70s cult film into an onscreen experience that can only be compared to the kind of automotive mayhem that a five-year-old American male wreaks with his Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars."[24] Next Generation stated that "if you're willing to sweep your morals under the rug for a while, and shamelessly commit auto homicide on a grand scale, then Carmageddon is an absolute blast."[29] GamePro gave a more mixed review, commenting that the game is intense and high on longevity, but that its focus on wanton destruction and gore is in questionable taste and ultimately to the detriment of the gameplay. They also found the graphics mediocre and the controls when using a keyboard to be "frustrating and sluggish".[33]

Legacy Edit

Carmageddon had two sequels, Carmageddon II: Carpocalypse Now (1998) and Carmageddon TDR 2000 (2000). SCi planned Carmageddon 4 for a release in the end of 2005. Little to no information was released about the game. In August 2005 SCi (at the time operating under the name Eidos) put development at Visual Science on hold for unspecified reasons.[34] SCi and Eidos went on to focus on other projects, while Square Enix Europe obtained the series's intellectual property rights.

Reboot Edit

A reboot of the series, Carmageddon: Reincarnation, was developed by Stainless Games, who re-acquired the rights to the Carmageddon name and released the game in May 2015.[35] The game is downloadable for Microsoft Windows.[36] Funding for the game came partially from a Kickstarter campaign[3] and donations through their main website. Further funds were secured from Les Edgar (co-founder of Bullfrog Productions).[37][38] An updated version of the game, Max Damage, was released the following year for Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

THQ Nordic Edit

In 2018, THQ Nordic bought the rights to the Carmageddon intellectual property. On August 3, 2021, THQ Nordic announced a Carmageddon-themed tournament in their Wreckfest racing game. It includes two race tracks, "Bleak City" and "Devil's Canyon", and the Eagle R car from Max Damage.[39]

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. ^ "Web Archive of SCI release news post". SCI. Archived from the original on August 11, 1997. Retrieved July 5, 2015.
  2. ^ "Online Gaming Review". February 7, 1998. Archived from the original on February 7, 1998. Retrieved April 16, 2023.
  3. ^ a b "Carmageddon: Reincarnation Kickstarter Page". Stainless Games. June 1, 2012. Archived from the original on June 4, 2012. Retrieved June 1, 2012.
  4. ^ "Carpocalypse Now! THQ Nordic acquires the "Carmageddon"-IP from Stainless Games". THQ Nordic. December 3, 2018. Archived from the original on December 5, 2018. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  5. ^ Amaral, Lúcio. "Carmageddon: o polêmico jogo de corrida". GameBlast. Retrieved July 18, 2023.
  6. ^ a b c d e "The Making Of... Carmageddon". Edge. Archived from the original on May 9, 2012.
  7. ^ a b c d "NG Alphas: Carmaggedon [sic]". Next Generation. No. 25. January 1997. pp. 125–6.
  8. ^ "Carmageddon Max Pack on Steam". Steam. Retrieved May 29, 2020.
  9. ^ "Carmageddon: Splat Pack". MobyGames. Retrieved May 29, 2020.
  10. ^ "More Splat for the Buck". GameSpot. February 17, 1998. Archived from the original on June 3, 2000. Retrieved December 6, 2019.
  11. ^ "D.I.C.E. Awards By Video Game Details". Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. 1998. Retrieved May 29, 2020.
  12. ^ "Carmageddon Max Pack". Archived from the original on September 6, 2012. Retrieved September 8, 2012.
  13. ^ "Carmageddon for iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad on the iTunes App Store". iTunes Store. Archived from the original on October 19, 2012. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
  14. ^ Memmott, Mark (June 30, 2011). "Fearing 'Carmageddon,' Los Angeles Police Ask Celebs To Tweet". NPR. Archived from the original on July 19, 2011. Retrieved July 20, 2011.
  15. ^ "Carmageddon: U.S. Celebrations!". July 15, 2011. Archived from the original on July 19, 2011. Retrieved July 31, 2011.
  16. ^ Bradley, David (January 1999). "Carmageddon 2 review - History of Carmageddon". PC Format. p. 81.
  17. ^ "Criar ou distribuir jogos ofensivos pode virar crime no Brasil" (in Portuguese). UOL Jogos. December 1, 2009. Archived from the original on December 23, 2009.
  18. ^ Feldman, Curt (December 2, 1997). "Brazilian Brass Puts the Brakes on Carmageddon". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on May 4, 1999. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  19. ^ "Brazil Bans Grand Theft Auto". GamePro. No. 116. IDG. May 1998. p. 30.
  20. ^ " Games A-D". Archived from the original on June 26, 2007.
  21. ^ "Carmageddon". Edge. No. 46. March 1998.
  22. ^ Olafson, Peter (October 1997). "Let the Blood Fly". Computer Gaming World. No. 159. p. 212.
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  24. ^ a b Hudak, Chris (August 8, 1997). "Carmageddon Review (PC)". GameSpot. Archived from the original on March 15, 2015. Retrieved January 1, 2014.
  25. ^ Durham, Joel (October 1997). "Carmageddon". PC Gamer. Archived from the original on March 1, 2000. Retrieved October 12, 2015.
  26. ^ "Carmageddon for iPhone/iPod". GameRankings. Archived from the original on January 2, 2014. Retrieved January 1, 2014.
  27. ^ "Carmageddon for PC". GameRankings. Archived from the original on January 19, 2012. Retrieved January 25, 2012.
  28. ^ "Carmageddon Critic Reviews for iPhone/iPad". Metacritic. Archived from the original on April 18, 2014. Retrieved January 1, 2014.
  29. ^ a b "It Shreds". Next Generation. No. 33. Imagine Media. September 1997. p. 136.
  30. ^ Dawson, Eddie (August 1997). "Carmageddon". PC PowerPlay (15): 50–51.
  31. ^ Spooner, John G. (June 13, 2003). "Gateway notebook goes for ratings". ZDNet. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  32. ^ Staff (May 2003). "The 10 Most Controversial PC Games of All Time". PC Gamer US. Vol. 10, no. 5. pp. 50, 51.
  33. ^ Elektro, Dan (October 1997). "PC GamePro Review: Carmageddon". GamePro. No. 109. IDG. p. 110.
  34. ^ "Carmageddon 4 halted". Eurogamer. August 19, 2005. Archived from the original on August 10, 2011.
  35. ^ "Carmageddon Comes Home". June 1, 2011. Archived from the original on July 28, 2011. Retrieved July 31, 2011.
  36. ^ CVG (June 1, 2011). "New Carmageddon game confirmed for digital release". Archived from the original on June 4, 2011. Retrieved June 1, 2011.
  37. ^ (March 20, 2013). "It's Budget Day". Archived from the original on March 22, 2013. Retrieved April 1, 2013.
  38. ^ Kubba, Sinan (March 19, 2015). "Carmageddon: Reincarnation Gets Full PC Release Date". IGN. Archived from the original on March 21, 2015. Retrieved March 22, 2015.
  39. ^ "Wreckfest Salutes Carmageddon-Franchise in New Tournament".

External links Edit