Cryo Interactive is commonly known for their fine action /
adventure titles along the lines of Faust, Black Moon Chronicles,
and Aztec. Racing games aren't usually their bag, but with the
help of Creat Studio, they've put together Millennium Racer, a
futuristic racing game that really has nothing to do with the
Millennium. So why is it called Millennium Racer? Your guess is as
good as mine. That aside, let's see what this game is made of.
Millennium Racer is a futuristic racing game. You ride what is best
described as a motorbike, as you cruise through futuristic
environments along a computerized track. This high-tech track
basically gives your motorbike its power, so if you fray from the
track, your bike will slow down considerably. On the other hand,
certain portions of the track seem to be glowing with extra power,
and when you ride your motorbike over these portions, you
receive a little jolt of power and your speed increases by large
There are a total of 11 tracks featured in Millennium Racer, but
there's a definite lack of variety amongst the tracks. They all seem
to fall in four different categories. There's a space theme, a lava
theme, a cloud theme and an ice theme. That's not to say that
each track isn't different, but the locales are very similar within
each theme. That aside, there's no distinct path one should take to
complete each track. There are several shortcuts you can take
(some not so short, so watch which ones you take), many of which
you have to use your jumping ability to reach. That's right, each
bike has the ability to jump to different levels of the track. There
are also hoops scattered throughout each track. If you manage to
jump through them, you'll gain the abilities associated with each
In case you're asking, no, weapons are not available in Millennium
Racer. Millennium Racer is simply a racing game, with the
objective of finishing in first place without the use of violence to
achieve it. There are two single player modes available: Arcade
Race and Championship Race. The Arcade Race mode consists of
a single race around any one single track. Upon selecting the
Arcade mode, you get to choose the difficulty level ranging from
Easy to Ultra. The harder the difficulty level, the more racers you'll
be facing. Amongst the difficulty settings is one called Training.
The training setting is obviously designed for beginners who want
to get a feel for the mechanics of the bike as well as the features
of a particular track. At the end of the Arcade Race, you can
choose another track to race on, or you can advance to the
Championship Race mode.
The Championship Race mode has two difficulty settings, Easy and
Professional. In the Easy mode, you race against four other riders
while in the Professional mode, you get to race against a full pack,
seven racers. The Championship Race mode is a progressive
mode in which you'll race through each track in an attempt to
accumulate points so you can unlock the next track. Three tracks
are immediately made available and in order to advance to the
next track, you have to accumulate points by finishing in the top
two positions. This mode is quite challenging, especially on the
Professional setting, and should give gamers a good challenge.
Millennium Racer has a decent premise, but there is a lot of pieces
missing from this puzzle. For starters, before you begin either the
Arcade or Championship Race, you can setup your player profile.
Here, you get to input your name, select which particular bike you
wish to race with, and the color of your bike. The problem is, while
each bike has it's own distinct features (grip, jumping ability,
overall speed, etc.), the bikes all look the same physically. The
only difference between each racer's bike is their chosen color.
Also, there's no damage model. You can run your bike into a wall
at 500mph and you won't be worse for the wear.
Graphically, Millennium Racer is a mixed bag. The tracks are
designed well and feature some great color schemes, but there's a
lack of detail in just about every aspect of this game. The bikes, for
starters, have absolutely no detail to them, let alone the people
riding them. The environment and the tracks also lack this same
level of detail. There's no way of distinguishing one track from
another within each theme, or one bike from another. There's
relatively no uniqueness at all when it comes to visuals and the
menu system, oh the menu system. In terms of sound, Millennium
Racer does feature some cool soundtracks. Unfortunately, that's as
far as the cool goes. The sound effects are bland and uninspired.
When you pass an opponent, or they pass you, you'll hear little
taunts from the riders as they pump their fists in the air. There
really only seems to be 2 or 3 taunts in total though, and it
becomes annoying to hear considering there could be a hundred
position changes during a single race.
Millennium Racer does feature multiplayer support via a network
and it runs fairly lag free. Whether it's from good multiplayer code,
or the lack of graphical detail, I'll leave that up to you. In terms of
control, Millennium Racer is very to pick up and play. Besides the
directional component, there is really only two other keys you'll
need to setup, and using your mouse or gamepad is also an
option. Millennium Racer also supports force feedback.
Millennium Racer is an uninspired racing title. The chosen
futuristic theme allows a level of freedom and uniqueness that
should be taken advantage of. There are a handful of nice features
in Millennium Racer but in the end, the lack of some very basic
elements puts a serious dent in this title. As a result, Millennium
Racer finishes a little behind the pack.
Overall Impression [6/10]