Carmageddon: Max Damage
Developed by Stainless Games
Published by Stainless Games
*Please Note: This Review is of the PlayStation 4 Version*
Carmageddon: Max Damage doesn’t really have too much of a story with the closest substitute to this being that a group of drivers gather together to try and cause as much havoc as possible in Death Races which could result in cars being destroyed, pedestrians being killed or possibly even just a peaceful race.
As previously said, Carmageddon: Max Damage doesn’t really have a story which to be honest is not uncommon for the Carmageddon franchise however I feel given how far games have come in terms of storytelling since the last Carmageddon game; this title could have at least included a story campaign similar to that of other car combat titles such as Twisted Metal however I feel that the lack of a story mode comes down to the fact it was a kickstarter project so I won’t hold this against it as much.
Carmageddon: Max Damage is a fun car combat title which after playing for a while seems very familiar to the original titles. The big selling point for the game is its career mode in which there are multiple stages with different requirements in order to fully complete them with the classic carma stages allowing you to finish the stages in multiple ways including racing around the track through multiple checkpoints, destroying all other vehicles in the race or mowing down a certain amount of Pedestrians. While the latter requires more time to complete the level, this is definitely the more fun option as it involves endless slaughter which is always a fun thing in car combat games however the first option is a lot quicker and allows you to experience more of the career mode at a quicker pace. Another thing I liked about this game is the rate at which you receive damage to your vehicle with every slight little hit whether it be a collision with a car or successfully completing a stunt jump causing damage to your vehicle which then requires you to use coins you collect through the level to repair your vehicle.
One thing that I definitely found to be annoying about Carmageddon was the actual controls with the vehicle being almost uncontrollable at times and even when doing a slow turn, drifts and more; the vehicle would just spin out of control with almost no warning which can make things really annoying and difficult when you are lining up a crowd of pedestrians or the perfect ram into an enemy vehicle as the uncontrollable spinning allows the crowd to run away or the enemy car to get the upper advantage. The game features multiple power-ups which can be collected by driving through items on the map (very much like Mario Kart) however from playing and using the items; it seems almost like majority of the items don’t really work much with the occasional items that do work being fun and highly effective (if not overpowered). The different variety of cars is another one of the selling points in the game with their being some really fun and unique vehicle designs and features with more cars being unlockable through destroying vehicles in the different career modes.
The game did glitch at one point aswell which I will be marking the game down for since it prevented the completion of the stage through the method I set out to complete it with. When I chose the stage I did set out to kill all the pedestrians to win the stage and within one hour of playing I almost achieved the win with 199 kills out of 200 however the next hour I spent on the stage searching for my final kill was wasted as after searching every ounce of the map (rooftops, alleyways, tunnels, underground sections, etc…) the final ped was nowhere in sight causing the timer to run out and for my two hours in the stage to have completely went to waste.
All in all, Carmageddon: Max Damage does have some fun gameplay whether it be killing innocent people or destroying vehicles however it does have it’s fair share of problems in the form of the steering controls and power-ups not really having much effect apart from a select few which are highly overpowered and the glitch made it almost impossible to redeem the game.
The sound in Carmageddon: Max Damage is terrible and personally to me has one of the worst soundtracks I’ve experienced in a game. Each track that plays throughout the game is just a generic rock score with no real defining music or enjoyable songs in the game. In addition to this there is next to no voice acting in the title (apart from some grunts and screams) which also really let it down. The only thing I can really praise the game for in the sound section is the sound effects used which consist of explosions, the car engines revving, the power-ups and of course the squelching and dicing of human flesh under your death machine. Even then though they are very generic sounds that overall become repetitive after playing for a while.
The Visuals in Carmageddon: Max Damage are really poor with the overall graphics being extremely dated and looking like that of a late PlayStation 2/Early PlayStation 3 game. The cars do have interesting designs as mentioned in the gameplay section which help to give the game some sense of style with the cars themselves looking like pure death machines with saw blades and spikes sticking out of different parts of the cars bodies and the way car looks upon taking damage is great and is an element of this game that actually seems realistic. The maps are big however they are very drab and don’t really have any real appealing aesthetic to them with one of the maps (Bleak City) explaining how the games open world feels…bleak.
One of the few things that Carmageddon: Max Damage really has going for it is the replay value. Carmageddon: Max Damage has hours of replay value with the career mode and freeplay being available for those who are purely fans of single player while the multiplayer mode also adds online calamity to the mix which pretty much makes the game have endless value for as long as you are wanting to play the game. Like most games these days, Carmageddon: Max Damage also features Trophies/Achievements for the hunters out there aiming to get 100% in the game.
All in all, It is with great disappointment that I have to say that Carmageddon: Max Damage might just be one of the worst video games I have played in my life which really is a disappointment considering this is a title I was actually anticipating. There is very few things that Carmageddon actually has going for it with those few things being it’s replay value, the car design, the damage and fun calamity however the lack of story campaign, decent soundtrack or voice acting, visuals and stable steering controls really bring this game down and the glitch alone made this game painstakingly annoying.
Score = 3/10
- Plenty of Replay Value
- Great Car Design
- Rate of Damage the cars receive
- Some fun gameplay elements
- No Story Campaign (Not even a generic one)
- Steering controls are uncontrollable at times
- Power-Ups are either useless or overpowered
- Game Breaking Glitch (Unable to complete a mission by killing peds “Missing Ped”)
- Generic Rock Sound Score is awful
- No Voice Acting (Apart from occasional Grunt or Scream)
- Visuals look like a late PS2/ Early PS3 game
- World looks very bleak and drab
- Gets boring very quickly
Carmageddon: Max Damage is available now for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One aswell as PC under the title; Carmageddon: Reincarnation. Thanks go to Stainless Games and Premier PR for supplying the game and assets used in this review. Be sure to let us know your thoughts on this review in the comments section below and be sure to stay tuned to UGNN for all your gaming news and reviews and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Review by Matthew McNamee