RoadKill

Review

posted 11/4/2003 by Charlie Sinhaseni
other articles by Charlie Sinhaseni
One Page Platforms: PS2
Have you ever wondered what would happen if Mad Max were to take place in an urban setting? I’d like to think that it would pan out a little something like RoadKill, Midway’s new vehicle-driven action title. Gangs run the streets and wage war around the clock while the police’s efforts to qualm the tensions are futile. Pedestrians and motorists are fair game and serve as target practice for the people running the street, the world’s a messed up place and only one man will be tough enough to rule them. You play as Mason Strong, a drifter who was left for dead by his former employer. As Mason you devote your life to working your way back up the ranks so that you can make it back to Paradise City and give him a little payback.

That’s the basic premise of RoadKill, an excellent vehicular combat title that exceeds every expectation that I had going in to it. I was expecting a generic Twisted Metal clone that would bring nothing of worth to the table but I got a whole lot more than I bargained for. Instead of reciprocating the same dry formula that has been on the scene since the birth of the PSOne Midway injected some depth into the genre and has produced one of this holiday season’s best surprises.

Comparisons will also be drawn to Grand Theft Auto and rightfully so; it’s apparent that the guys behind RK drew some inspiration from Rockstar’s highly successful title. Even the menu system and map seem to have been lifted from GTA but those are small blemishes that are easily forgiven, especially given just how entertaining this game is. You’re given free reign over three distinct cities, a hellacious town that looks straight out of Mad Max, a canyon town that’s the least entertaining of the three and a utopian society that’s a blast to roam around. Each of them offers different styles of gameplay and the pacing in which you unlock the new cities is just perfect as you’ll receive them just as you become bored with your current surroundings.

When you arrive you’re treated to a pre-rendered cutscene that lays out the scene for you. You’re driving casually through the town at a casual 30mph, as you take a gaze out your driver side window you observe a group of thugs engaging in a good old-fashioned gunfight. Undeterred by the slaughtering of one gang member you continue on your merry way as you pull into the entrance of a carnival. Instantly you hook up with another gang member as you take a tour around the city and stop at your garage, your basic base of operations. Of course this whole time you’re given free reign to fire upon vehicles, enemies and structures.
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