Until just a few moths ago, the PC sorely lacked a good
arcade racer. That all changed when Dethkarz came along.
Combining mind blowing 3dfx graphics with intense racing made
Dethkarz a winner. Along comes Rollcage, one of the prettiest
games ever to grace my computer. Fans of arcade racing should
be pleasantly surprised with this little gem. However, Rollcage
should be passed up by the hard-core racing sim fans.
Fifteen tracks around a galaxy on four different planets; Neoto,
Harpoon, Sapphire and Outworld
Six of the toughest cars and their owners
3D Accelerated resolutions up to 1024 x 768 32 bit color depth
League, Practice, and Arcade modes of play
What makes Rollcage special is the ability to drive on
any surface, whether it is the ceiling of a tunnel or a transition
from asphalt to grass. This feature enables the use of wall-riding
tactics that in some cases will give you the upper hand in a race.
Another cool feature of Rollcage is the ability to destroy just about
every object surrounding the track. Missiles will lock into certain
buildings, which can be used to block your opponents’ path
temporarily. The design of the cars also allows you to land upright
all the time, which really helps after you go off a huge jump.
Numerous powerups are also included to assist you with getting
the upper hand. These include single missiles, triple missiles,
shields, and a few other interesting powerups. Aside from the
flashy graphics and environmental destruction, Rollcage turns out
to be just another arcade racer.
Dethkarz simply blew me away in terms of graphics,
now Rollcage has completely blown me out of my chair once
again. Half of the time that I was racing, I couldn’t stop staring at
the backgrounds and special effects. Rollcage in 1024 x 768 in 32
bit ran flawlessly on my P2 233mhz with a TNT graphics card.
Weapon effects will leave you drooling, for example, when you
shoot a triple rocket smoke trails each rocket, creating a
spectacular show in the sky. In addition to all the fantastic weapon
effects, there are also many amazing effects dotting the sidelines.
Green torches flicker wildly on the Outworld, while waves tap
gently at the shore in Harpoon. Background graphics are top-notch
as well; all of the worlds are set apart from each other in some
distinct way and it shows in the surroundings. Harpoon contains
palm trees, while Outworld is littered with brown dirt and hovering
direction signs. If you’re an explosion fanatic, you won’t be
disappointed by Rollcage’s explosion effects. Chunks of flaming
metal fly out from every explosion and huge sonic boom blasts
radiate from each missile impact. The list of spectacular effects
just goes on and on. The sense of speed is really apparent as well.
When traveling at 475kph, I really felt as though I was really going
that fast. I wish I could sum up everything about the graphical
aspect of Rollcage in this review, but I can’t. You really must see
for yourself what a spectacular show Rollcage puts on.
Controls might be the only ‘iffy’ part of Rollcage. I had a
difficult time adapting to them and sometimes I was downright
frustrated. Gamers are given the option to use either the keyboard
or a gamepad, and I opted for the gamepad. Buttons consist of:
primary weapon, secondary weapon, accelerate, and target next
object. The unique feature of Rollcage is the ability to drive on the
ceilings, however, this isn’t as easy as it sounds. Most of the time I
found myself bumping into something and it would send my car
spinning in all directions. Therefore, I felt that I should avoid riding
the ceilings or steep turns, which doesn’t make much sense
because this ability is one of Rollcage’s top features. Another quirk
of Rollcage’s physics engine is the fact that any slight tap will send
you careening into the walls. Many times I lost a race simply
because I was tapped, lost control, and hit a wall. I know that’s
what happens in real life, but this is a fast-paced arcade racer, so I
am not looking for realism. Aside from touchy physics, Rollcage
has a decent control system and after a while I eventually adapted
Those of you with an environmental effects sound card
will somewhat appreciate it in Rollcage. Most racing games aren’t
known for their spectacular sound effects and neither is Rollcage.
Sound effects consist of a dull engine roar, tire screeching, and
‘booms’. Initially, I thought the sound effects in Rollcage were
worse than a Super Nintendo, but eventually I became
accustomed to the dull hum of the engine. The sound isn’t too bad
in Rollcage, it’s just not that good either.
Multiplayer mode supports TCP/IP, Serial, Modem, and
up to four players at the same PC. Over TCP/IP, the connection
was so lagged on a 56k modem that it was unplayable. I have also
heard complaints that even T1 and cable-modem players suffer a
tremendous amount of lag. The ability to play against four people
at the same computer is a great addition to this game. The
question is, how am I supposed to cram four people around my
Rollcage is a great game, don’t let it pass you by. If you
enjoyed Dethkarz, but want a little more, then Rollcage is
definitely your answer. Fifteen tracks are certainly going to be
enough to keep you busy for a while. The only thing that detracts
from the replay value is the shabby multiplayer design.