GameOver Game Reviews

Game & Publisher Mad Trax (c) Project 2 Interactive
Overall Rating 47%
Date Published , , ,

Divider Left By: Tutti Divider Right

Don't you just hate it when you go to your local computer store, pick up a box and see the amazing screenshots and impressive list of endless features, so you buy it instantly for $60 and hurry home to pop in the cdrom, only to discover it was not anything like it was portrayed to be?

"Mad Trax is one of the fastest and most violent racing games out on the track and will allow you to overtake your opponents, or blow them to bits and pieces."

I was amazed after reading just this portion, and thought "Mmmm, Rayland, this should be amazin-er, this is Rayland's first game." Then I thought again "Project 2, hmm, this should be goo-" but I finally realized that NEITHER company has done anything of any serious quality. They both joined forces and ended up with Mad Trax. Basically, it's a game where you collect coins as you race to fire away your opponents who, by the time you reach a coin line, are so far ahead of you due to the disgustingly pathetic control of your own vehicle.

Don't be fooled, Mad Trax's graphics aren't what they seem. Though it may seem dazzling at first, the more you play it the more you will realize what you thought were polygons may be flat images, like headlights and rims; simply pasted onto polygons - not polygons themselves. This is a drastic setback to the overall appearance of the game. Cars have impressive and creative designs, such as varying frames, shapes and sizes. The graphics can't even compare to those of Dethkarz but they are not pitiful like Test Drive Offroad 2. The tracks look very nice, however, unlike the cars. Highly realistic roads with detailed landscapes and terrains stand out while flat image skies ruin any potential the environment visuals had.

The power of 3dfx is not used to it's full capacity to say the least; as the power of the Voodoo\V2 chipset can produce far more polygons on screen. Rayland either forgot to work on - or just didn't bother to make this game any better. "LET'S GET THIS GAME OUT AND MAKE SOME DOUGH YOU IDIOTS!" may have been the general consensus in the office around the time this title went to press. Support is great with Direct3D, although Direct3D's use is NOT recommended - well, if you value your eyesight and sanity. Even LESS polygons are present in D3D mode than in 3dfx mode. It's quite obvious the game was not coded properly for D3D. I was able to run the game on my Voodooł-er, 2 (Had ya going didn't I?) in 800x600 without compromising frame rate or detail.

VROOM VROOM. Yep, that's about it. The engine totally dominates the sound in this game. After one race, I barely noticed the sound of firing at other cars, screeching tires, smoke fuming from my car or anything else they attempted to toss in there. The engine's constant, annoying sound drowns out all other sound in the entire race. I found the sound to be not only be annoying in its constant repetition, but also poorly recorded. Furthermore, great menu music was absolutely destroyed by poor quality and timing. For example, when I made a sharp turn and my car hit the side of the track, it made a metallic and sadly produced clinking sound. To me, it seemed almost as if Mad Trax's sound engineers were frequenting Yahoo and searching for "Free Wavs". End of race notices and "Wrong Way" warnings, along with Windows wavs imported into the game, makes for some astonishingly low-end output and a horrid overall sound experience.

Ever since EA made menus that were as amazing as the game itself, it seems that companies have followed in the gaming God's footsteps. Mad Trax's interface is absolutely ingenious. Turning screens of choices have as much detail as the cylindered background moving with it as you scroll. The menu is unquestionably the most creative I have been witness to since NHL 99's. On top of that, the configuration and options as a whole have great depth and are extremely well-done. Control is a big issue in the game, and you'll see why if you play it. Simply put: it's gross. It could have been far more enhanced and complex than it is, with turns easier to maneuver and maybe - MAYBE - you could go straight without the car HAVING to turn. I found this so annoying that I'm glad I had some chips handy to stuff my mouth while I tried to calm down. Lots of cars and lots of tracks was a plus on the other hand, and this made me throw away the chips and get back to the game. The 10 tracks seriously impressed me and the variety in them further lengthened my drool (ok, maybe not that exciting). In a nutshell, cool tracks, but awful control to drive on them. Thus, the gameplay left a bad taste in my mouth.

Fun Factor
Boy, what a bunch of mixed emotions this game gave me. The game is pretty fun at first, for maybe a half hour, hour, but it definitely dies out with the terrible control it offers. If issues such as clipping, low quality sound and lack of control could be enhanced, this game would certainly devastate the futuristic racing phenomenon of late. Graphics make it look nice and make me want to play the game, but once I start racing I want to exit before I can finish the race or even a lap for that matter. Sound draws me away, as well as the control which I just cannot see anyone accepting.

Overall Impression
Good graphics, bad sound, unimpressive gameplay and a lack of entertainment and replay value. If I ever recommend this game to anyone that is into racing, leave me a message on the forum to migrate to Indonesia. That should sum it up.

Highs: Graphics both impressive and suitable for the genre, incredible menu style.
Lows: Quality and timing of sound, appalling control of cars, duel screen multiplayer only.

Graphics: 13/20
Sound: 3/15
Gameplay: 16/30
Fun Factor: 8/20
Overall Impression: 7/15


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