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Review by: Pete Hines
Published: March 2, 1998
Ew, gross! Hey, cool! I find myself saying those two rather eloquent phrases consistently while playing the new add-on for Carmageddon, called the Splat Pack. Quite simply, this expansion offers more of the same. If you loved the thrill of making a bloody mess of pedestrians while making your way around some pretty cool tracks, then hang on to your hat. More levels, new opponents, and souped-up cars make for more great action in the Carmageddon Splat Pack.
Now, I may sound more enthusiastic than I usually do in the game description, but I think it’s with good reason. Carmageddon is a title that a number of us here at Avault have enjoyed immensely (check out my review if you haven’t already). Hell, even as a simple racing sim the game offers some pretty cool action and great graphics. Throw in some humorous elements and the sinister, primal rush of running down the innocent and you’ve got the makings of a great title. The Splat Pack offers 20 new tracks, 15 new opponent vehicles, and nine new environments.
Let’s talk about the new levels first. The new environments include hell, ancient civilizations, and other locales. They provide a pretty wild backdrop for the different levels. As with the original, everything looks better with the 3Dfx mode, and the Splat Pack includes 3Dfx support right out of the box. While the game looks decent without a card, it’s almost a completely different game. I really like the environments in the Splat Pack and think they are better than those in the original. They look a bit more surreal and offer a big change from the cities and towns in Carmageddon. Some of the environments include ancient cultures, like Mayan and Aztec, medieval periods, and Hell.
The tracks set in these environments are also pretty intense. You’ll find a lot more of those gut-wrenching drops and hairpin turns, plus all of the challenges that a graveyard or underwater setting offers. There are still lots of places to explore off the beaten path, and hidden areas that offer tons of power-ups and perils. Take a ride through the prison and wipe-out some convicts, or head into the pits of Hell and take out the demons and unfortunate souls who reside there. The Hell tracks are pretty cool and offer some interesting twists, like the way the course weaves it’s way through the level. On the Ring of Fire level (the last one), you find yourself heading along the “track” and straight through the front of a church, which mysteriously lets you through and into the bowels of Hell. Walls continue to dissipate in front of you as you make your way through the level. The whole effect is rather disconcerting.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a new game without new opponents, nine of them to be exact. My personal favorite (to drive) is the massive truck that wastes almost anything it hits on the first try. It’s an easy way to make quick work of opponents and a lot of fun. Of course, it isn’t very easy to get to the point where you can drive it, but it’s worth the effort. For the pure thrill of acceleration, try the souped up silver racer that doesn’t offer as much punch, but can get you away from the scariest of opponents in a hurry. Also, both of the original cars have been modified and look a lot better than they did in the original. I think I spotted a few different pedestrians and animals and a couple of new power-ups, which can make even the toughest of opponents look vulnerable if you find the right combination.
There are also a number of new network tracks, including a figure-eight track. The music and FX that graced the original are still around and just as good as ever. Beyond that, the add-on just offers lots more gameplay and challenges, so load up and have at it.
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