Carmageddon 3: TDR 2000
Windows - 2000
Description of Carmageddon 3: TDR 2000
Strange now to think the original Carmageddon was banned by the BBFC. They caused publisher SCI to replace the blood-spattered flying corpses with green ooze-spilling zombies before the game could be released in the UK. Amid the hysterical cries of the gutter press, most players just patched the blood back in. The inevitable flood of Carmageddon -related street killings and car crashes has, surprisingly, failed to rip apart the fabric of society. It is still possible for little old ladies to cross the road without fear of being mown down by passing dump trucks for a measly 200 credits. Shame.
The first two Carmageddon games garnered some high praise from Games Domain. Cast as the driver of one of a number of high-powered death machines, your task was simply to eliminate the other cars in a bizarre race to the death. Pedestrians littered the streets; they were fair game, too, and by dreaming up inventive ways to spread them thinly along the road you earned extra credits. These credits could then be spent on upgrading (or more usually, repairing and recovering) your car. There were other ways to win - tracking down and murdering every pedestrian on the map or completing the race also led to success, but were so boring and long nobody ever seriously tries.
A timer ticked down continually, and if it reached zero, you were out. But damaging other cars or mowing down pedestrians earned more time, as did crossing checkpoints, so as long as you kept smashing things, the timer wasn't too much to worry about. The local police, though, were a different matter. Driving tank-like vehicles, they presented serious problems for the unwary player.
So to TDR 2000. The shiny new campaign option takes players through nine different environments, ranging from a theme park to docks and slums. Each environment has five levels, composed of both straight races and missions. The missions see you trying to escape from that environment and onto the next, but in fact the majority of them have you driving round a half-empty level looking for collectibles such as "bomb fragments" or "fuses." Once completed, the bomb is delivered to blow up something.
Familiar power-ups scatter the levels, and have various comical effects on your cars and the pedestrians. These include weapons for taking down pedestrians or competitors, bonuses that affect the way your car handles or accelerates, or just weird things that seem to have been put in for a laugh - the "mutant tail thing," for instance. It trails behind your car like a ball and chain, and can be used to swipe out at opponents. If the list sounds familiar to Carma players, it's because there seem to be next to no new power-ups in this new chapter.
After completing one of the smash 'em up stages, each car is available to buy. As was ever the case with Carmageddon, though, they are always a bit of a let-down, and instead money is better spent on upgrading the standard vehicle; it offers by far the best handling vs. durability compromise. But the designs are imaginative and varied. From giant single wheels to trucks and tanks, it's all here.
Physics has always been handled with tongue firmly in cheek in the Carmageddon series, and the latest instalment is no different. Handbrake turns, wheelspins and doughnuts are all encouraged, even to the extent of having a specific "wheelspin" button. Big James Bond-style jumps from bridges and buildings are the norm and the turbo power-ups encourage many Knight Rider antics. Spending some time playing with the first level's fairground section (loop-the-loops, flaming hoops to jump through, Evel Knievel ramps and buses to leap over) is well worthwhile.
TDR has seen a bit of a graphical revamp since the last instalment. There are some reasonable smoke and fire effects, and pieces of the cars become detached and bounce away. Car skins have been designed to be easily modified by gamers, so it is easy to paint your death machine whatever colour you like. But for some reason, the graphics in Carma 2 seemed better; there was something about the clean lines and simple textures of 2 that made the violence more intense and better fun.
Sounds, though, are frequently amusing. The other drivers curse as they are rammed repeatedly into the walls, and the pedestrians make entertaining squelchy sounds as they bounce off your windscreen. But you'll want to stick in your own music CD, unless you are into TDR 's shameful kind of potted death-rock-nonsense.
But TDR just doesn't have the gameplay depth the amusing concept deserves. There's a simple way to eliminate opponents: ram them into a wall, hit the "recovery" button, which picks up your car and drops it a safe distance away, then accelerating back into them. Repeat until dead, or bored. The low-gravity, nervous-handling physics model doesn't lend itself to the precise driving the missions need, and on later levels once opponents start to chase you for the collectibles, frustration sets in.
Multiplayer modes are more fun. The best, as always, is the "fox and hounds" mode, where one driver is chased by everyone else. Catching him (and generally smashing his car into a wall) makes you "it," and it's your turn to start running. The first player to amass enough time as "it" wins. Simple, but effective. Promises of brand-new multiplayer modes have turned out to be rather hollow; there seems to be only one real new mode, but admittedly finding others to play against will be easier with the provided matchmaking service.
Compared to Carmageddon 's other chief competitors, Grand Theft Auto 2 and Driver, Carmageddonis left looking a little sad. Although the use of technology and multiplayer facilities in TDR are way ahead, it's got none of the sense of involvement or mischief that GTA 2 did so well. Next to Driver, the missions feel loosely structured and samey. Like a Delia Smith recipe, TDR has all the right ingredients, but just isn't really very much fun.
Review By GamesDomain
Comments and reviews
Stonker99 2018-08-03 -1 point
ISO version asks for correct CD (burned to CD and installed from it)
REDnFUZZY 2017-01-27 -1 point
The RIP gives me an error on 3d boot. As soon as the menu resolves and it goes to the game load screen i get a couple of hex codes for (what i believe to be) audio failure. So it goes to crash. Any ideas. Dosbox is updated and new. Very quick PC.
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Carmageddon 3: TDR 2000 is available for a small price on the following websites, and is no longer abandonware. GOG.com provides the best release and does not include DRM, please buy from them! You can read our online store guide.