Carmageddon: Max Damage feels like it was designed in and for the year 1999, which doesn’t work in 2016.
Back in the late ‘90s, Carmageddon’s open-world, pedestrian-squashing racing mechanics were fresh, exciting, and hilarious. And to its credit, the new Carmageddon: Max Damage recreates the feel, structure, and sense of humor of the original two games in the series quite well. Unfortunately, like the recent lukewarm Beavis & Butt-Head return on MTV, time has moved on, and Carmageddon hasn’t aged well.
In short, Carmageddon’s late-’90s sensibilities fail it in 2016. Every free-roam map is enormous – a revelation in 1997, but a dull chore now. Driving across the giant areas is either boring or frustrating, especially on some of the poorly-designed maps that require difficult indoor navigation. And because the objective you’re driving toward is often randomly spawned around these huge maps, they’re frequently lost before you even have a chance to compete for them because someone else happened to be closer. You’ll spend many wasted minutes chasing a target, only to have an AI rival beat you to it and then have the next objective spawn way back where you had just come from. As such, events simply take far too long, ranging from 10 to 30 (!) minutes each.
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