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
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.
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.
Fun Factor: 8/20
Overall Impression: 7/15